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Holistic chemophobia

What do you make of a tweet like this?

“Become very aware of where chemicals are present in your life and do what you can to minimise them.”

It comes from DrLibbyLive (Libby Weaver). Her bio says she’s a “holistic nutrition specialist” and her website tells us she completed her PhD examining biochemical and nutritional factors in children with autism at The University of Newcastle, Australia.

So, is it the oxygen, water, amino acids, proteins, sugars, peptides, vitamins, polyphenols etc of which we should become “very aware”? Or, maybe it’s the stuff from which trees are made, or perhaps the oceans, the air, the plants, the animals, the earth, the stars, the planets? I cannot tell from her tweet.

I suspect she means nasty, synthetic chemicals. But, synthetic would include life-saving drugs, food-producing fertilisers, polymers, plastics and the countless other materials that give us the modern, comfortable lifestyle, homes, shops, and hospitals. Those synthetic chemicals also give us the computer factories and the computers they make that allow us to twitter about “chemicals”.

Actually, she might mean chemicals like snake venom, aflatoxin, strychnine, cyanide. I cannot tell as she doesn’t qualify her tweet she just warns us about “chemicals” in general and that we should minimise them.

A few others spotted the good doctor’s comments and made constructively sarcastic responses. Among them scientist Dr Darren Saunders, Nature’s Stuart Cantrill, cancer researcher Daniel Mould and others. So, who would you trust to comment on chemistry, someone who tacks “holistic” in front of a job description or straight-talking scientwists?

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