2015-02-18 / Health

The science is settled, eggs are good for you

By Rick Manning

The science-is-settled crowd got a little more uncomfortable as the settled science of cholesterol being bad for us is being dismantled by the U.S. government’s top nutrition advisory panel.

That’s right. After more than fifty years of government and public health harpies hectoring against eating eggs, with many Americans resorting to eating the dreaded egg substitute in a cardboard container as a result, the feds are issuing a gigantic never mind.

The Washington Post quotes Walter Willett, chair of the nutrition department at the Harvard School of Public Health, as saying, “There’s been a shift of thinking.”

Egg producers have seen a 30-percent drop in consumption since the shootfirst find-out-the-truth-later public science industry had their way in getting cholesterol declared a public enemy to good heart health. I’m certain some eager trial lawyer will figure out someone to sue to help these small farmers get fair reparations from those who lobbied the federal government to include cholesterol on the bad-for-you nutrition list, and subsequently profiteered off of the farmer’s hardships.

Gee, I wonder if there are any other examples of settled science turning out to be wrong after many years and untold economic damage?

How about the case of the northern spotted owl?

The northern spotted owl was declared an endangered species back in the early 1990s and the remedy was that large swaths of forest in the Northwest were placed off-limits for timber harvesting. Now, two decades later, mill towns are ghost towns, and environmentalists are pressing to take even more land out of production.

Yet, the original goal of the northern spotted owl recovery plan was to get 3,000 nesting pairs well distributed throughout the region that included northern California, Oregon, Washington and Idaho. Today, there are 3,000 nesting pairs on privatelyowned land in California alone. Privately-owned land where timber harvesting continues and peacefully coexists with a thriving species.

It is on the publicly-held land where the professional environmental activists hold sway that the bird is doing less well, struggling under pressure from the irony that it does better hunting in more open spaces (the exact kind of habitat created by timbering.)

Naturally, the environmental group scientists and their allies in the Obama Administration refuse to declare victory for a re-established species because to do so will open up millions of acres of additional timberland for harvest. And that is the dirty little secret in the Northwest, it never was about the bird, and always was about shutting down timbering — the destruction of small, rural communities was just acceptable collateral damage to the public interest scientists.

As President Obama and his media allies continue lock-step declaring the science settled on the climate change issue, it would be wise for policy makers to remember the previouslyfought wars on eggs and timber and the mistaken science that led to destructive decisions before proceeding with actions that will have catastrophic impacts on the American economy.

Because sometimes the science is settled until it isn’t. Oh, by the way, is Pluto a planet again, or have scientists changed their minds once more?

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