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Christopher "Tanoro" Gray is a web programmer and science advocate especially concerned with resource management technologies, biology, and artificial intelligence. He is a student of epistemology and philosophy as well as an Atheist competent in Christian theology.
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Chemical Phobia
Posted by: Tanoro - Jan 13, 2014 1:19PM

Wow! It feels like it has been an eternity since I have bogged anything. I was going to do a brief Facebook post on this, but figured I'd turn it into a blog before it got too long. Let's have some fun. The following appeared in my feed today.

Most of you probably already know this, but... most artificial sweeteners cause autoimmune response effects which can increase inflammation around the body and therefor, worsen Fibro symptoms.

Easily the #1 thing you must cut from your diet completely - if you haven't already - is artificial sweeteners.

READ PRODUCT LABELS FOR: Aspartame, neotame, sucralose, saccharin, acesulfame. (Trade names include: Sweet-N-Low, Equal and Splenda.)

DO NOT allow the product into your home if it contains those things.

Be especially alert when the packaging says "diet", "light", "0 calories" or "no sugar added" - as these products are often loaded with these and other chemicals.

I laughed when I saw this. "Decreased vision" -- I'd love to know the mechanism behind that! Does aspartame alter the shape of my cornea? "Phobias" -- Drinking aspartame will give you phobias? What kind? A fear of artificial sweeteners, perhaps? "Irritability" -- Maybe it is the coffee and not the sweetener. "Hyperactivity in children?" Hey parents, guess what natural substance commonly found in sweet drinks also does that?

The honesty of the above graphic's author really shines when he or she use this weak sauce argument against aspartame to reject sweeteners that contain no aspartame (i.e. sucralose, saccharin, etc.). This graphic is not about avoiding provably unhealthy products. If it were, it would include some citations. It is really about drawing an imaginary line between substances that can harm you and substances that cannot based solely on their occurance in nature. The fallacy, of course, is that natural substances can often kill as just as easily as artifical substances. I hear no end of the chemtrail whack-a-loons blustering on and on about the health risks of aluminum in the atmosphere or the anti-vaxxers jabber on and on about mercury. These are natural substances -- elements of the periodic table! I am forced to conclude that these people slept through chemistry class.

The fact is that everything is a chemical. Everything is a poison in a high dose. That is why, in science, there is a concept known as the "LD50," the unit of measure where a substance can be expected to kill half of a population. Ask one of these paranoid numpties what the LD50 of aspartame is and not one will know. Many don't know what an LD50 is and will dislodge every argument conceivable from their rectum to escape this deficit. On the other hand, most of them demonstrably know this concept! You don't even need to drink alcohol yourself to understand that it has a lethal dose! It is otherwise acceptable to consume in moderation. These people simply apply this concept when tossing back shots with their buddies over a weekend and utilize a different standard once they sober up and get back to blogging about the dangerous of "chemicals" in our food.

Is there an official name for chemical phobia?

This blog is an editorial and contains only the opinions of the author. The author claims no expertise on most topics of discussion and this blog is not to be cited as an alternative for properly vetted journalism or scientific sources.

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