Flora Teoh

Science Editor

ARTICLE REVIEWS

Viral New York Post article perpetuates the unfounded claim that the virus that causes COVID-19 is manmade

in New York Post, by Steven W. Mosher

— 02 Mar 2020

Overall, Mosher’s argument is based on unfounded speculation and scientific inaccuracies. Such claims, which continue to be perpetuated even by public officials, have real-world ...

New York Times accurately reports vaccine-derived polio outbreaks caused by low vaccine coverage

in New York Times, by Associated Press

— 02 Dec 2019

"The content of the article is correct: attenuated polio strain type 2 contained in the oral vaccine can – in very rare cases – mutate and cause disease in under-immunized pers..

Daily Mail article misleads with clickbait headline claiming cowpox-derived virus will “kill every type of cancer”

in Daily Mail, by Zoe Zaczek

— 20 Nov 2019

"This article substantially overhypes early pre-clinical work with a viral therapy that has not yet been tested in even the earliest stages of human clinical trials. The headline i..

Washington Post article provides accurate and insightful report on recent spate of vaping-related illnesses

in Washington Post, by Lena H. Sun and Lindsey Bever

— 13 Sep 2019

"At the moment, it is not possible to know if these pulmonary diseases are related to propylene glycol, glycerol, nicotine, flavorings, or more likely, synthetic/natural drugs some..

The Atlantic provides accurate summary of research on gut microbiome, hypothesizes well-reasoned potential benefits of consuming fresh produce

in The Atlantic, by James Hamblin

— 02 Sep 2019

"The article provides a well balanced discussion of current knowledge surrounding the gut microbiota and benefits of eating whole foods. The author could have provided more details..

Article claiming vaccines cause autoimmunity and autism due to fetal DNA contaminants found unsupported and implausible

in Vaccine Impact, by Theresa Deisher

— 09 Jun 2019

"While the letter provides some concerns about the fetal cell-derived DNA contamination in vaccines, it does not provide any actual evidence to support the claims made. The whole h..

New Scientist article accurately summarises polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) research but overstates significance of animal studies

in New Scientist, by Alice Klein

— 17 Jan 2019

"I think that the title overstates the position with the present level of knowledge and is too sensationalist. The ‘ovarian cysts’ stated to typically characterize PCOS are not..

Research showing benefits of exercise on ageing immune system correctly reported by Time

in Time, by Alexandra Sifferlin

— 11 Jan 2019

"The overall message of the article is a fair reflection of current scientific opinion that being physically active regularly throughout life most likely promotes healthy ageing of..

Time article on bone marrow transplant trial for multiple sclerosis treatment mostly accurate but needs more important details and context

in Time, by Alice Park

— 07 Jan 2019

"The article contains some inaccuracies and simplifications, but is overall accurate. It is not clear which article and whose scientific data it refers to. Such information should ..

2018’s most popular health article promoting cannabis’ safety found to be biased and misleading

in urhealthguide, by John Regan

— 20 Dec 2018

“The article fails to point out that only very limited, low-quality evidence supports the use of cannabis for treating chronic pain. The article also fails to describe the potent...

CLAIM REVIEWS

Vaccines do not cause neurological damage, aluminum levels in vaccines are safe

CLAIM
"Aluminum in vaccines causes neurological damage including autism"

SOURCE: Arjun Walia, Facebook users, Collective Evolution

Published: 24 Mar 2020

VERDICT

No, the Shanghai government has not recommended intravenous vitamin C as a treatment for COVID-19

CLAIM
"The government of Shanghai, China has announced its official recommendation that COVID-19 should be treated with high amounts of intravenous vitamin C"

SOURCE: Andrew W. Saul, Orthomolecular Medicine News Service

Published: 20 Mar 2020

VERDICT

Viral claim falsely asserts that COVID-19 is due to 5G technology rollout, not a virus

CLAIM
"The coronavirus outbreak is not actually caused by a virus, but by 5G technology"

SOURCE: Dana Ashlie, YouTube

Published: 12 Mar 2020

VERDICT

Contrary to viral Facebook claim, numerous studies show vaccines don’t cause autism

CLAIM
"there are no studies that prove vaccines don’t cause autism"

SOURCE: Del Bigtree, Joe Martino, The HighWire, Collective Evolution

Published: 11 Mar 2020

VERDICT

No, not every U.S. election year has had a disease outbreak and COVID-19 transmissibility is unconfirmed

CLAIM
"Every election year has a disease; coronavirus has a contagion factor of 2"

SOURCE: Facebook users, Facebook

Published: 07 Mar 2020

VERDICT

Scientific evidence indicates virus that causes COVID-19 infection is of natural origin, not the result of human engineering

CLAIM
"evidence points to SARS-CoV-2 research being carried out at the Wuhan Institute of Virology"

SOURCE: Steven W. Mosher, New York Post, Daily Wire, InfoWars

Published: 05 Mar 2020

VERDICT

Cancer is composed of mutated body cells, not Candida fungi

CLAIM
"Cancer is Candida/Fungus and can be cured"

SOURCE: Anonymous, Healing Oracle

Published: 25 Feb 2020

VERDICT

Vitamin C supplementation does not prevent viral respiratory infections, such as those caused by coronaviruses, in the general population

CLAIM
"The coronavirus pandemic can be dramatically slowed, or stopped, with the immediate widespread use of high doses of vitamin C"

SOURCE: Andrew W. Saul, Orthomolecular Medicine News Service, Health Impact News

Published: 20 Feb 2020

VERDICT

Overwhelming scientific evidence shows that smoking causes lung cancer, instead of protecting against it

CLAIM
"Smoking may protect lungs from cancer"

SOURCE: Grayson Black, NewsPunch

Published: 12 Feb 2020

VERDICT

2019 novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) does not contain “pShuttle-SN” sequence, no evidence that virus is man-made

CLAIM
"2019 novel coronavirus contains "pShuttle-SN" sequence proving laboratory origin"

SOURCE: Alex Jones, Mike Adams, InfoWars, Natural News

Published: 10 Feb 2020

VERDICT

INSIGHTS

Do radio waves from mobile devices cause cancer? A look at the evidence

— 08 Apr 2019

Mobile phones have become an integral part of our lives, and most people would not consider even leaving the house without one. In fact, the World Health Organization (WHO) has est...

How we know vaccines don’t cause autism – and why this belief persists

— 26 Mar 2019

The claim that “vaccines cause autism” first received its scientific backing by Andrew Wakefield’s now-retracted study in The Lancet, published in 1998. The study...

The Most Popular Health Articles of 2018, a Scientific Credibility Review

— 28 Jan 2019

News about health and medicine touch the lives of many people, therefore they often become highly circulated on the Internet. Many of these articles achieve viral status, but how m...