“Bogus Study Tricks Media” (2009)
Bogus Study Tricks Media and Frightens Consumers
In recent decades periodic, unverified reports of a worldwide decline in sperm count/quality and increases in testicular cancer have been blamed on ingredients found in plastics, cosmetics and children’s toys. A 2005 study performed by Dr. Shanna Swan loudly proclaimed that hormone disrupting ingredients in plastics, cosmetics and children’s toys known as “phthalates” were causing baby boys to develop abnormally smaller penises (hypospadias). Dr. Swan’s so-called “study” utilized previously unknown test methods which have never been validated by the medical community or other scientists. Consumer advocacy groups pounced upon this single study, and offered it as proof that “phthalates are poisoning us”. The news media gave widespread attention to the Swan study treating it as if it were a valid and substantiated scientific report, when in fact it was neither.
Now a major new study of children in New York State by researchers at the New York Presbyterian Hospital, Columbia University Medical Center looked into this issue to determine if hypospadias rates have actually increased. What were the results?
“Hypospadias rates have not changed in New York State from 1992 to 2005. Combined with previous studies that demonstrate sperm counts are not declining, these data suggest that testicular dysgenesis syndrome… may not be evident in humans”
In other words, Dr. Swan and the consumer advocacy groups were totally wrong and neither penis size or sperm counts are declining, nor is there evidence that plastic or cosmetic ingredients are responsible for such effects. Despite the hundreds of the news stories generated by Dr. Swan’s original and incorrect report that genital deformities may be caused by phthalates in cosmetics and plastic toys, to date not a single mainstream media publication has reported this new information. Schoon Scientific wonders why, and so should you.