Corruption in Science News ArticlesExcerpts of key news articles on corruption in science
Documents released Tuesday in a lawsuit against Monsanto raised new questions about the company’s efforts to influence the news media and scientific research and revealed internal debate over the safety of its highest-profile product, the weed killer Roundup. The active ingredient in Roundup, glyphosate, is the most common weed killer in the world. The documents underscore the lengths to which the agrochemical company goes to protect its image. Documents show that Henry I. Miller ... a vocal proponent of genetically modified crops, asked Monsanto to draft an article for him that largely mirrored one that appeared under his name on Forbes’s website in 2015. An academic involved in writing research funded by Monsanto, John Acquavella, [wrote] in a 2015 email to a Monsanto executive, “I can’t be part of deceptive authorship on a presentation or publication.” He also said of the way the company was trying to present the authorship: “We call that ghost writing and it is unethical.” Mr. Miller’s 2015 article on Forbes’s website was an attack on the findings of ... a branch of the World Health Organization that had labeled glyphosate a probable carcinogen. The documents also show that A. Wallace Hayes, the former editor of a journal, Food and Chemical Toxicology, has had a contractual relationship with Monsanto. In 2013, while he was still editor, Mr. Hayes retracted a key study damaging to Monsanto that found that Roundup, and genetically modified corn, could cause cancer and early death in rats.
Few science writers have worked as hard as Keith Kloor to impact public opinion on genetically modified organism (GMO) agriculture. An adjunct professor at New York University and former editor for Audubon and blogger for Discover, Kloor has spent years championing GMO products and portraying skeptics and critics as scientifically illiterate quacks. His curious form of advocacy includes bitter attacks on anyone who disagrees with him. Kloor’s targets have included Jake Tapper of CNN; Michael Pollan, professor of journalism at UC-Berkeley; Tom Philpott of Mother Jones; Mark Bittman, the noted food columnist; Glenn Davis Stone, Guggenheim Fellow and professor of archaeology at Washington University; Nassim Taleb, professor of risk engineering at NYU; Marion Nestle, professor of food science at NYU; and Charles Seife, professor of science journalism at NYU. The public has known for some time that Keith Kloor loves GMOs. What they haven’t known, until now, is how hard he’s worked with industry-funded “experts” to present corporate talking points as journalism and then try to cover his tracks. An avalanche of documents released through court proceedings and freedom of information requests point to a coordinated effort by corporate front groups, scientists secretly funded by agrichemical industry giants, and allied reporters attempting to portray themselves as arbiters of scientific expertise while condemning critics of GMO technology as “antiscience.”
Note: The above article provides an in-depth view of Monsanto's corruption of mass media. This company's use of scientists as industry puppets, its lies to regulators and the public and its massive lobbying campaign have not kept information on the risks and dangers of GMOs from getting out.
As an Arctic researcher, I’m used to gaps in data. Just over 1% of US Arctic waters have been surveyed to modern standards. Over the past two months though, I’ve been navigating a different type of uncharted territory: the deleting of what little data we have by the Trump administration. At first, the distress flare of lost data came as a surge of defunct links on 21 January. The US National Strategy for the Arctic, the Implementation Plan for the Strategy, and the report on our progress all gone within a matter of minutes. As I watched more and more links turned red, I frantically combed the internet for archived versions of our country’s most important polar policies. This disappearing act had just begun. Since January, the surge has transformed into a slow, incessant march of deleting datasets, webpages and policies about the Arctic. I now come to expect a weekly email request to replace invalid citations, hoping that someone had the foresight to download statistics about Arctic permafrost thaw or renewable energy in advance of the purge. Each defunct page is an effort ... to deliberately undermine our ability to make good policy decisions by limiting access to scientific evidence. In a remote region where data is already scarce, we need publicly available government guidance and records now more than ever before. It is hard enough for modern Arctic researchers to perform experiments and collect data to fill the gaps left by historic scientific expeditions. We don’t have time to fill new data gaps created by political malice.
The idea that pesticides are necessary to feed the world’s fast-growing population is “inaccurate and misleading”, a UN report has warned. The document, which is expected to be presented to the UN Human Rights Council this week, strongly denounced the “aggressive promotion” of pesticides by the industry as experts found the chemicals had “catastrophic impacts on the environment, human health and society as a whole”. [These impacts] have been exacerbated by corporations’ “systematic denial”, “aggressive, unethical marketing tactics” and by having “obstructed reforms and paralysed global pesticide restrictions globally”. Lobbyists have often defended pesticides as being necessary to increase yields as the world is facing threats of climate change impact. But the report debunks this idea. “The assertion promoted by the agrochemical industry that pesticides are necessary to achieve food security is not only inaccurate, but dangerously misleading. In principle, there is adequate food to feed the world; inequitable production and distribution systems present major blockages that prevent those in need from accessing it.” The report notes that while pesticides have “not succeeded in eliminating worldwide hunger”, studies indicate that food can contain “a cocktail of pesticides”. Washing has no effect on modern pesticides.
Note: Pesticide giant Monsanto was recently banned from the European parliament after shunning important hearings with regulators. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on food system corruption and health.
The oil giant Shell issued a stark warning of the catastrophic risks of climate change more than a quarter of century ago in a prescient 1991 film that has been rediscovered. Shell’s 28-minute film, called Climate of Concern ... warned of extreme weather, floods, famines and climate refugees as fossil fuel burning warmed the world. A separate 1986 report, marked “confidential” and also seen by the Guardian, notes: “The changes may be the greatest in recorded history.” The predictions in the 1991 film for temperature and sea level rises and their impacts were remarkably accurate. Shell was one of the first major oil companies to accept the reality and dangers of climate change. But, despite this early and clear-eyed view of the risks of global warming, Shell invested many billions of dollars in highly polluting tar sand operations and on exploration in the Arctic. It also cited fracking as a “future opportunity” in 2016, despite its own 1998 data showing exploitation of unconventional oil and gas was incompatible with climate goals. Shell ... is estimated to have spent $22m in 2015 lobbying against climate policies, [and] has also been a member of industry lobby groups that have fought climate action. Another oil giant, Exxon Mobil, is under investigation ... for allegedly misleading investors about the risks climate change posed to its business. In early 2016, a group of congressmen asked the Department of Justice to also “investigate whether Shell’s actions around climate change violated federal law”.
A Chinese official has suggested China may still be using organs farmed from the bodies of executed prisoners. Huang Jiefu, director of Beijing’s transplant program, said at a Vatican summit on the topic that organ collection could still be taking place, despite China declaring zero tolerance for the practice at the end of 2014. At the summit held to discuss the practice of organ trafficking, Huang Jiefu told the assembled crowd - which included 80 doctors and NGO representatives - that China was trying to improve on its history of taking organs from those on death row. His attendance at the Organ Transplant and Transplant Tourism Summit was criticized by some attendees, who said that China’s presence reduced the legitimacy of the conference. The BBC reported that the Doctors Against Forced Harvesting described China’s involvement as “compromising.” Reports in the early 2000s suggested organs were frequently harvested from executed prisoners. Reports last year suggested the practice may have continued. The spiritual group Falun Gong, which was outlawed in China in 1999, is one of the most outspoken groups against organ harvesting. Members of the group, and supportive Western politicians, have suggested that waiting times for organ transplantation in China are so short due to the harvesting from prisoners. A 2008 paper ... co-authored by Jiefu published in The Lancet, suggested that more than half of organ transplants in China came from death row prisoners.
Note: For more evidence this practice may still be happening, see this article in the UK's Daily Mail. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing government corruption news articles from reliable major media sources.
Corporate spin is nothing new. Whether it’s cigarettes or sugar-laden sodas, the companies that make billions from such products employ a variety of strategies to promote the good and bury the bad. But the tactics being unveiled by Monsanto and surrogates over glyphosate, the key ingredient in Monsanto’s Roundup herbicide and the lynchpin for the success of genetically engineered crops, are noteworthy for the depths of their deception. The latest move, the formation of a group called “Campaign for Accuracy in Public Health Research”, (CAPHR) clearly promotes an agenda opposite to that which its name implies. Formed this month by the American Chemistry Council, whose membership includes Monsanto and other chemical industry titans, the group’s express purpose is to discredit the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), a unit of the World Health Organization. An IARC scientific team declared in March 2015 that glyphosate was a probable human carcinogen after reviewing an extensive body of published research on the subject. Monsanto and friends have been harassing IARC ever since through a series of demands, threats and legal maneuvers, including lobbying the U.S. House of Representatives to cut funding for IARC. The new campaign takes the assault further. Embedded in the industry’s truth-twisting tactics is the characterization of anyone who gives credence to scientific research showing problems with glyphosate, or the GMOs that go with it, as “anti-science.”
Note: The negative health impacts of Monsanto's Roundup are well known. Big lawsuits are building over Monsanto's lies to regulators and the public about the safety of glyphosate. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on GMOs and the corruption of science.
It was 1956. Papers had run a photograph of President Dwight D. Eisenhower sweetening his coffee with saccharin, with the news that his doctor had advised him to avoid sugar if he wanted to remain thin. The [sugar] industry responded with a national advertising campaign. The ads explained that there was no such thing as a “fattening food”: “All foods supply calories and there is no difference between the calories that come from sugar or steak or grapefruit or ice cream.” More than 60 years later, the sugar industry is still making the same argument, or at least paying researchers to do it for them. The stakes have changed, however, with a near tripling of the prevalence of obesity in the intervening decades and ... an almost unimaginable 655 percent increase in the percentage of Americans with diabetes diagnoses. When it comes to weight gain, the sugar industry and purveyors of sugary beverages still insist, a calorie is a calorie, regardless of its source. The assumption ignores decades of medical science, including much of what has become textbook endocrinology (the science of hormones and hormone-related diseases) and biochemistry. Different carbohydrates, like glucose and fructose, are metabolized differently, leading to different hormonal and physiological responses. Fat accumulation and metabolism [are] influenced profoundly by these hormones. In light of this research, arguing today that your body fat responds to everything you eat the exact same way is almost inconceivably naďve.
Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing food system corruption news articles from reliable major media sources.
Bee colonies have been dying off in high numbers, with suspicion falling on agricultural pesticides like herbicides and fungicides, as main factors behind the declines. Now, a new study out of the University of Maryland is the first to look at how a “cocktail” of all of various pesticides could be impacting bee colonies over time. “Our results fly in the face of one of the basic tenets of toxicology: that the dose makes the poison,” study senior author Dennis van Engelsdorp, an assistant professor of entomology at the University of Maryland, said. “We found that the number of different compounds was highly predictive of colony death, which suggests that the addition of more compounds somehow overwhelms the bees’ ability to detoxify themselves.” The study looked at 91 honey bee colonies that were owned by three migratory commercial beekeepers over one farming season. The research team examined 93 pesticide compounds that were found in the colonies throughout the season. These compounds were found building up in the bees’ wax in processed pollen, [as well as] in the bodies of nurse bees. The researchers ... measured three key things: the total number of pesticides, the total number of pesticides that were above a minimum level of toxicity, and each colony’s “hazard quotient,” which factors in the hazard posed by the total toxicity of all pesticides present in the colony. What did the researchers find? Unfortunately, all three measures corresponded with a higher probability of colony death or the loss of the queen bee.
Note: This study was published in Nature Scientific Reports, and found that some compounds regarded as "bee-safe" could be a major contributors to honey bee colony losses. Prior to this, neonicotinoid pesticides were found to be connected to colony collapse disorder. Bayer, a major manufacturer of this pesticide, attempted to cover up the connection between its products and the massive die off of bees.
Trump delegate and Gawker bankrupter Peter Thiel is no stranger to the idea of increasing his lifespan through science. On Bloomberg TV in 2014, Thiel explained that he was taking human-growth hormone pills as part of his plan to live 120 years. Given Thiel’s obsession with warding off death, it comes as no surprise that the Silicon Valley billionaire is interested in at least one radical way of doing it: injecting himself with a young person’s blood. [In] a year-old interview ... the venture-capitalist [said] that he’s interested in parabiosis, which includes the practice of getting transfusions of blood from a younger person, as a means of improving health and potentially reversing aging. “I'm looking into parabiosis stuff. This is where they did the young blood into older mice and they found that had a massive rejuvenating effect,” he said. “It’s one of these very odd things where people had done these studies in the 1950s and then it got dropped altogether. I think there are a lot of these things that have been strangely under-explored.” A Thiel Capital employee ... previously expressed interest in the technique to Jesse Karmazin, the founder of Ambrosia LLC, a company that has been looking for volunteers over the age of 35 to receive blood transfusions from individuals under the age of 25. Bercovici notes that Silicon Valley is abound with rumors of wealthy tech elites experimenting with parabiosis, and Gawker ... received a tip in June claiming that Thiel “spends $40,000 per quarter to get an infusion of blood from an 18-year-old.”
Note: One university researcher has found that many in the European royalty until the end of the 18th century practiced selective cannibalism in the belief if would keep them young. Another article goes into greater depth about the practice some elder members of the wealthy elite taking blood infusions from young people to stay young.
I’m a science journalist. That keeps me busy, because, as you know, most peer-reviewed scientific claims are wrong. So I’m a skeptic, but with a small s, not capital S. “The Science Delusion” is common among Capital-S Skeptics. You don’t apply your skepticism equally. You are extremely critical of belief in God, ghosts, heaven, ESP, astrology, homeopathy and Bigfoot. Meanwhile, you neglect [many] dubious and even harmful claims promoted by major scientists and institutions. Let’s take a look at ... mainstream medicine. Over the past half-century, physicians and hospitals have introduced increasingly sophisticated, expensive tests. They assure us that early detection of disease will lead to better health. But tests often do more harm than good. For every woman whose life is extended because a mammogram detected a tumor, up to 33 receive unnecessary treatment, including biopsies, surgery, radiation and chemotherapy. For men diagnosed with prostate cancer after a PSA test, the ratio is 47 to one. Similar data are emerging on colonoscopies and other tests. Mental-health care suffers from similar problems. The biological theory that really drives me nuts is the deep-roots theory of war. According to the theory, lethal group violence is in our genes. But the evidence is overwhelming that war was a cultural innovation. I hate the deep-roots theory not only because it’s wrong, but also because it encourages fatalism toward war. War is our most urgent problem.
Note: The above was written by John Horgan, director of the Center for Science Writings at the Stevens Institute of Technology. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing science corruption news articles from reliable major media sources.
A lack of diversity in farming and a related over-reliance on pesticides have triggered a host of negative effects, including the decline of pollinators, such as butterflies and bees. Commercial beekeepers continue to report escalating losses of 42 percent or more, jeopardizing $30 billion in annual revenue and our health. A couple of years ago, [Jonathan] Lundgren - running a government lab, winning awards from both his agency and President Obama - occupied the right position to aid in this crisis. He says he was doing just that when the trouble started. In October, Lundgren filed a whistleblower suit alleging that he was disciplined to suppress his science. Nine additional USDA scientists have been ordered to retract studies and water-down findings, or have faced discipline in retaliation for their work. Three of those scientists, beyond Lundgren, were also working on pollinator-related research. This dynamic of government scientists claiming suppression extends across institutions. Such disputes show how complicated the intersection of government, science and industry can become when billions of dollars are at stake. Bee declines, says Lundgren, are not difficult to understand.
Note: Read an article showing how the USDA is often bought out by corporations. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing science corruption news articles from reliable major media sources.
Water authorities across the US are systematically distorting water tests to downplay the amount of lead in samples. Water boards in cities including Detroit and Philadelphia, as well as the state of Rhode Island, have distorted tests by using methods deemed misleading by the Environment Protection Agency. The revelation comes as the growing crisis in Flint, Michigan, has prompted an emergency EPA order, the condemnation of Barack Obama and the resignation of a top agency official. “Gamed” tests help ensure that water utilities don’t breach federal lead and copper rules. Dr Yanna Lambrinidou, a Virginia Tech academic, has disclosed what she considers to be evidence of deceptive practices ... after she sat on an EPA taskforce that reviewed federal rules on lead and copper poisoning. The taskforce ended its work last year, shortly before the full extent of the city of Flint’s problems with smelly, brown water hit the headlines, with Lambrinidou criticising the final report for failing to step up protections. Several cities have advised residents to use questionable methods when conducting official tests for lead content. These include encouraging testers to run taps for several minutes to flush out lead from the pipes. Such methods have been criticized by the EPA for not providing accurate results. If the water was tested directly from lead pipes, up to 96 million Americans could be found to be drinking water with unsafe levels of lead.
Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing government corruption news articles from reliable major media sources.
The integrity of research and expert opinions in Washington came into question last week, prompting the resignation of Robert Litan, an economist, from his position as a nonresident fellow at the Brookings Institution. Senator Elizabeth Warren raised the issue of a conflict of interest in Mr. Litan’s testimony before a Senate committee. The testimony was based on a paper Mr. Litan had prepared for the Capital Group, a mutual fund company. Mr. Litan disclosed that the Capital Group, which has a stake in the debate, had funded his paper, but he did not disclose that it had also commissioned it. At stake is the integrity of the research process and the trust the nation puts in experts, who advise governments and testify in Congress. Had [Litan's] conclusions not pleased the Capital Group, it would probably have found a more compliant expert. And the reputation of not being “cooperative” would have haunted Mr. Litan’s career as a consultant. The practice of bending an opinion for money is so widespread as to be the norm. By shedding light on how funding of research can affect its content, Senator Warren increased the reputational penalty for experts who bend to special interests. But we need two more changes. Congressional testimony and policy papers should be posted online at least two weeks in advance of a hearing and open for comments. And all expert witnesses should be disclosed to the public, with a time delay if needed for confidentiality.
Note: Read more about how big money buys off institutions democracy depends on. Then see these concise summaries of deeply revealing corporate corruption news articles from reliable major media sources.
Cancer patients need to be prepared for serious side effects from chemotherapy, and hospitalization is one that happens much more often in the real world than in drug trials, according to a new study. Researchers found that people with advanced lung cancer receiving chemotherapy in real-world settings were almost eight times more likely to be hospitalized during treatment than those participating in clinical trials. What's more, very few clinical trials even report how often participants are hospitalized during the research, the study authors found. "Clinical trials should be routinely reporting their hospitalization rates so we know what to expect," said senior author Dr. Monika Krzyzanowska, a medical oncologist at the Princess Margaret Cancer Center in Toronto, Canada. Krzyzanowska and her colleagues write in JAMA Oncology that the number of times a person goes to the hospital with treatment complications is important to the patient and to the hospital. The researchers suggest several possible explanations for the differences in hospitalization rates. First, the patients in highly selective clinical trials are different from real-world patients. In this study, people receiving chemotherapy in real-world settings were also older, on average, than those in clinical trials.
Note: While big pharma profits from hiding the negative effects of their drugs, there is some promising cancer research underway, some of which is being suppressed to keep the cash cow flowing for big pharma.
The torture scandal consuming the US’s premiere professional association of psychologists has cost three senior officials their jobs. As the American Psychological Association copes with the damage reaped by an independent investigation that found it complicit in US torture, the group announced on Tuesday that its chief executive officer, its deputy CEO and its communications chief are no longer with the APA. All three were implicated in the 542-page report issued this month by former federal prosecutor David Hoffman, who concluded that APA leaders “colluded” with the US department of defense and aided the CIA in loosening professional ethics and other guidelines to permit psychologist participation in torture.. Despite rumors ... the APA framed the departures of longtime executive officials Norman Anderson and Michael Honaker as “retirements”. Rhea Farberman, who served as APA’s communications director for 22 years, “resigned”, the APA said in a statement. Anderson, Honaker and Farberman join Stephen Behnke, the APA’s former ethics chief also implicated in torture, in the first wave of APA departures as the organization seeks to rebuild its credibility. A call to end all psychologist participation in US interrogation and detention operations is slated for APA consideration at a major conference next month.
Note: For more along these lines, read about how the torture program fits in with a long history of human experimentation by corrupt intelligence agencies working alongside unethical scientists. For more, see this list of programs that treated humans as guinea pigs.
The Central Intelligence Agency’s health professionals repeatedly criticized the agency’s post-Sept. 11 interrogation program, but their protests were rebuffed by prominent outside psychologists who lent credibility to the program, according to a new report. The 542-page report ... raises repeated questions about the collaboration between psychologists and officials at both the C.I.A. and the Pentagon, [and] concludes that some of the [American Psychological] Association’s top officials ... sought to curry favor with Pentagon officials by seeking to keep the association’s ethics policies in line with the Defense Department’s interrogation policies. The association’s ethics office “prioritized the protection of psychologists — even those who might have engaged in unethical behavior — above the protection of the public,” the report said. Two former presidents of the psychological association were on a C.I.A. advisory committee, the report found. One of them gave the agency an opinion that sleep deprivation did not constitute torture, and later held a small ownership stake in a consulting company founded by two men who oversaw the agency’s interrogation program. The association’s ethics director, Stephen Behnke, coordinated the group’s public policy statements on interrogations with a top military psychologist, the report said, and then received a Pentagon contract to help train interrogators while he was working at the association, without the knowledge of the association’s board.
Note: For more along these lines, read about how the torture program fits in with a long history of human experimentation by corrupt intelligence agencies working alongside unethical scientists. For more, see this list of programs that treated humans as guinea pigs.
Many medical "facts" are simply not true. By definition, being "overweight" must be bad for your health – or we wouldn't call it overweight. But we do not define overweight as being the weight above which you are damaging your health; it has an exact definition. To be overweight means having a BMI of between 25 and 30. In 2009, a German group did a painstaking meta-analysis of all studies on overweight and obesity that they could find. As with most other researchers, they found that being overweight was good for you. Of course, they didn't phrase it in this way. They said: "The prevailing notion that overweight increases morbidity and mortality, as compared to so-called normal weight, is in need of further specification." In need of further specification? An interesting phrase, but one that hints at the terrible problems researchers have when their findings fail to match prevailing dogma; if the prevailing consensus is "if your BMI is between 25 and 29, it is damaging your health and you should lose weight", then you challenge this at your peril. Despite the fact that study after study has demonstrated quite clearly that "overweight" people live the longest, no one can bring themselves to say: "Sorry, we were wrong. A BMI between 25 and 29 is the healthiest weight of all. For those of you between 20 and 25, I say, eat more, become healthier." Who would dare say such a thing? Not anyone with tenure at a leading university, that's for sure.
Note: Don't miss the entire article to see how scientists severely manipulate the results of their data when it does not fit established norms. For more along these lines, see the excellent, reliable resources provided in our Health Information Center and concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles about corruption in science.
The powerful U.S. sugar industry skewed the government's medical research on dental care. Sugar industry leaders advocated for policies that did not recommend people eat less sugar. The government listened, according to a new report published in the journal PLOS Medicine. In the 1960s, amid a national effort to boost cavity prevention, the U.S. government spearheaded a research program, known as the National Caries Program (NCP), which aimed to eradicate tooth decay. But instead of turning to an obvious solution — having people eat less sugar — the government was swayed by industry interests that pushed alternative methods, such as [using] vaccines for fighting tooth decay. [The] committee that was set up by the government to set research priorities for the NCP included many doctors and scientists who were also ... part of another group called the International Sugar Research Foundation, which was established by the sugar industry. Rather than recommending that people reduce sugar intake, government-funded research focused on interventions that wouldn't advise Americans to lower their sweets consumption. For instance, the research encouraged the wider use of fluoride. More recently, the industry attempted to influence the ongoing debate about changes to the Food and Drug Administration's nutrition facts label. One of the key changes currently being mulled is the inclusion of an "added sugar" label, which is meant to communicate how much of any given food's sugar content was added during processing. The industry is vehemently opposed.
Note: "When you take on Big Sugar, you take on a huge political money operation," Rep. Mark Steven Kirk from Illinois said while fighting Big Sugar back in 2007. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing health corruption news articles from reliable major media sources.
More than five trillion pieces of plastic, collectively weighing nearly 269,000 tonnes, are floating in the world’s oceans, causing damage throughout the food chain, new research has found. Data collected by scientists from the US, France, Chile, Australia and New Zealand suggests a minimum of 5.25tn plastic particles in the oceans, most of them “micro plastics” measuring less than 5mm. The volume of plastic pieces, largely deriving from products such as food and drink packaging and clothing, was calculated from data taken from 24 expeditions over a six-year period to 2013. The research, published in the journal PLOS One, is the first study to look at plastics of all sizes in the world’s oceans. “We saw turtles that ate plastic bags and fish that ingested fishing lines,” said Julia Reisser, a researcher based at the University of Western Australia. “But there are also chemical impacts. When plastic gets into the water it acts like a magnet for oily pollutants. It’s hard to visualise the sheer amount, but the weight of it is more than the entire biomass of humans." The research, the first of its kind to pull together data on floating plastic from around the world, will be used to chart future trends in the amount of debris in the oceans. But researchers predict the volume will increase due to rising production of throwaway plastic, with only 5% of the world’s plastic currently recycled.
Note: Ocean acidification was number one on 2014's top 25 stories subjected to press censorship.
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