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Don't Fear the Chemtrail, and More Unfounded Worries

Ross Pomeroy takes a look
By Newser Editors,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 29, 2017 8:33 AM CDT

(Newser) – If you're part of the 99.3% of the population that does not have Celiac disease, and yet the idea of ingesting gluten still makes you quake, you might not like Ross Pomeroy's list. A zoologist and conservation biologist by training, he's now the chief editor of RealClearScience, and he has come up with a list of things that are commonly feared, but really shouldn't be according to science. Gluten tops his list; Pomeroy concludes it's "no dietary bogeyman." Here are three more things that can stop keeping you up at night:

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  1. MSG: If the first word that pops to mind is "headache," you have an unfounded fear, writes Pomeroy. Monosodium glutamate is a naturally occurring amino acid (it's in cheese, for instance), but its presence in Asian (specifically Chinese) food is what spooked the West. On the scientific level, Pomeroy writes no studies have established that it causes headaches or other health issues. But consider the "massive, ongoing real-world experiment": It's not as if Asia is being ravaged by headaches.
  2. Chemtrails: What are harmless (and harmless sounding) "cirrus aviaticus clouds" to some are "chemtrails" to others, and without reason. The former is another name for contrails, the exhaust that sometimes streams from jet engines. The latter is what some conspiracy theorists think they really are: streams of mind-control chemicals being disseminated from above. Pomeroy pokes two holes: There are no "legitimate" scientists who buy the theory, and no whistleblower has ever come forward.
  3. Pesticide residues: If you can't enjoy a juicy apple due to the thought of the pesticides covering it, Pomeroy recommends you relax. First, a news flash: "99.99% of the pesticides you consume are produced by plants, themselves, and they are no less carcinogenic than synthetic pesticides." And the amount you take in overall is "negligible," he says. The upshot: Dig into that salad, fear-free.
Click here to read the full list, which debunks your fear of aluminum pans. (Read more fear stories.)

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