Flora Teoh

Science Editor

ARTICLE REVIEWS

Article claiming vaccines cause autoimmunity and autism due to fetal DNA contaminants found unsupported and implausible

in Vaccine Impact, by Theresa Deisher

— 09 Jun 2019

"While the letter provides some concerns about the fetal cell-derived DNA contamination in vaccines, it does not provide any actual evidence to support the claims made. The whole h..

New Scientist article accurately summarises polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) research but overstates significance of animal studies

in New Scientist, by Alice Klein

— 17 Jan 2019

"I think that the title overstates the position with the present level of knowledge and is too sensationalist. The ‘ovarian cysts’ stated to typically characterize PCOS are not..

Research showing benefits of exercise on ageing immune system correctly reported by Time

in Time, by Alexandra Sifferlin

— 11 Jan 2019

"The overall message of the article is a fair reflection of current scientific opinion that being physically active regularly throughout life most likely promotes healthy ageing of..

Time article on bone marrow transplant trial for multiple sclerosis treatment mostly accurate but needs more important details and context

in Time, by Alice Park

— 07 Jan 2019

"The article contains some inaccuracies and simplifications, but is overall accurate. It is not clear which article and whose scientific data it refers to. Such information should ..

2018’s most popular health article promoting cannabis’ safety found to be biased and misleading

in urhealthguide, by John Regan

— 20 Dec 2018

“The article fails to point out that only very limited, low-quality evidence supports the use of cannabis for treating chronic pain. The article also fails to describe the potent...

Scientists discuss the widely shared Huffington Post article “Everything You Know About Obesity Is Wrong”

in Huffington Post, by Michael Hobbes

— 17 Dec 2018

The article failed to place the science in context and overstated scientific confidence, resulting in flawed conclusions. Reviewers also pointed out the bias present in the article...

Viral news article misinterprets classification of processed meat as carcinogenic in claiming it is “as harmful as cigarettes”

in Truth Reporter, by vinit

— 05 Dec 2018

"The classification of processed meat as “Group 1” – carcinogenic to humans means that the evidence is as strong as for other risk factors included in the Group 1 category, i..

Time article accurately describes distinguishing features between influenza infection and infection by other respiratory viruses

in Time, by Markham Heid

— 28 Nov 2018

"Generally accurate. However, the main issue is that influenza viruses can also cause a "cold", i.e. upper respiratory tract infection. A "cold" is a symptom/diagnosis whereas "inf..

CLAIM REVIEWS

Oral contraceptives associated with increased relative risk of blood clots but not a significantly increased absolute risk, generally safe to use

CLAIM
"Women are not warned about the risk of blood clots with their daily steroidal hormone pill"

SOURCE: Anonymous, LifeSite News, 7 May 2015

VERDICT

Fluoridated drinking water is not associated with neurological damage, despite online claims to the contrary

CLAIM
"Studies have repeatedly linked fluoride to reduced IQ and brain damage"

SOURCE: Joseph Mercola, Real Farmacy, 10 Feb. 2014

VERDICT

HPV vaccine does reduce viral transmission, helping with eventual cervical cancer elimination

CLAIM
"HPV vaccine may lead to elimination of cervical cancer"

SOURCE: Kaitlin Sullivan, NBC News, 27 Jun. 2019

VERDICT

Article claiming that the National Cancer Institute “admits marijuana kills cancer” is inaccurate and unsupported

CLAIM
"Cancer Institute Finally Admits Marijuana Kills Cancer"

SOURCE: Anonymous, USA Health Times, Healthy Food House, 21 Apr. 2018

VERDICT

Despite claims of curative effects, homeopathy has been shown to lack clinical efficacy and plausibility

CLAIM
"The effectiveness of homeopathy is confirmed daily"

SOURCE: Joseph Mercola, Mercola, 8 Jun. 2019

VERDICT

Claims of curcumin cancer cure are premature and unsubstantiated

CLAIM
"Science just confirmed eating turmeric every day could ‘reverse cancer’"

SOURCE: Anonymous, Get Holistic Health, Natural News, 16 Mar. 2019

VERDICT

Contrary to popular video claim, vaccine ingredients are safe, not linked to encephalopathy

CLAIM
"Toxic vaccine ingredients in the MMR vaccine cause encephalopathy"

SOURCE: Del Bigtree, The Highwire, 4 May 2017

VERDICT

Article wrongly claims that measles vaccine claims more lives than measles infection, misinterprets epidemiological data

CLAIM
"Measles Vaccines Kill More People than Measles, CDC Data Proves"

SOURCE: Ethan A. Huff, Global Research, Natural News, 5 Feb. 2015

VERDICT

Vaccination does not weaken the immune system against natural infection

CLAIM
"With repeated use of vaccines, cell-mediated immunity weakens"

SOURCE: Lance D Johnson, Andrew Wakefield, Newstarget, 19 Apr. 2019

VERDICT

Acidity in bottled drinking water not a cause for health concern, contrary to popular Facebook video claim

CLAIM
"Drinking bottled water with an acidic pH is bad for your health"

SOURCE: Internet user, Facebook, 19 Apr. 2017

VERDICT

INSIGHTS

Do radio waves from mobile devices cause cancer? A look at the evidence

— 08 Apr 2019

Mobile phones have become an integral part of our lives, and most people would not consider even leaving the house without one. In fact, the World Health Organization (WHO) has est...

How we know vaccines don’t cause autism – and why this belief persists

— 26 Mar 2019

The claim that “vaccines cause autism” first received its scientific backing by Andrew Wakefield’s now-retracted study in The Lancet, published in 1998. The study...

The Most Popular Health Articles of 2018, a Scientific Credibility Review

— 28 Jan 2019

News about health and medicine touch the lives of many people, therefore they often become highly circulated on the Internet. Many of these articles achieve viral status, but how m...