A reason to minimize highly processed foods, but not to panic
this was an act of fact-based advocacy, as opposed to science, a distinction worth considering
An analysis conducted with the express purpose of justifying a cause means bias, which is evident in the reporting of the results, which omit practical analysis of the levels of phthalates in the cheeses. And yet the choice was made to analyze and warn against macaroni and cheese—a product that would resonate with pregnant people and parents with young children. This was a scare-based publicity move undertaken with apparently noble intentions, to raise awareness for what the advocacy group deems to be a dire cause. It worked. It also caused undue concern and regret.
If I could end this answer with a question to you, it would be, do you think this sort of approach is justifiable? Is this kind of stunt a necessary means to call attention to an issue that has gone largely ignored for decades? Or does it do more harm by undermining the idea of science and the public’s trust in the process, if readers start to assume that studies are simply means of gathering data to justify a pre-existing agenda?