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Friday, 5 May 2017

The Poor Little Fishes - Science and Environmentalism

Unless you've been living in a cave - you will have heard about microbead plastics polluting the environment.

The research that resulted in a huge PR campaign by environmental groups citing emotional articles about baby fish treating plastic beads like McDonalds fast food and  flurry of bans from governments keen to polish their eco credentials   - well that "research" has hit a road bump (a while ago).

That paper has been flagged by the Swedish agency tasked with policing scientific research as very problematic indeed - and the only copy of the data used to produce the claimed results has very conveniently disappeared with a single "stolen" laptop.

The study concerned a single freshwater fish species that some angling readers might be familiar with - Perch. As far as I can see - without exception all the coverage about the consequences of the research have cited the effect on the oceans - which is rather a big leap.

Rather a large group of researchers (most having far more relevant experience and track record than the authors of the disputed study) have called out the study as having faked the data - that data now having disappeared....

See more at this link 

The conclusions that Lönnstedt and Eklöv claimed are very convenient indeed for many in the eco-charity business.  It is now several months since the academic body charged with maintaining standards recommended that the paper be retracted.

I'll bet you have not seen any hint at all - as in nothing - about this matter when "plastic pollution" has been the subject of articles in the media. The paper / "research" is still widely cited when one looks at Google - yet not a single citation that I can find at the moment has a caveat on the matter or suggests that there is any problem with the "research".

A lie goes around the world while the truth is struggling to get its socks on.


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