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Wine + Metals = Cancer = Terrifying Headline



Check out this headline in the DailyMail.co.uk, “The metals in your daily glass of wine that have been linked to cancer and Parkinson’s”.

I really don’t like this headline, and I feel it is misleading. In the fourth paragraph, the writer decides to let the cat out of the bag:

“However, the wine industry and Britain’s food watchdog urged drinkers not to panic, saying that the levels of metals were within recognized safety levels.”

People have calmed down, must go back to being terrifying:

“The tool  –  called a target hazard quotient (THQ)  –  gives an indication of risk based on the known safe upper dose for each metal and the likely long-term exposure of someone drinking one glass of wine a day.

‘If you have a THQ of more than one then you should be concerned,’ said Professor Naughton.
‘In the past we have seen seafood contaminated with mercury with a THQ level of 20. But here we were seeing levels up to 300. It was astonishing and it gives cause for concern.’”

Whoops, too terrifying. Lets calm everyone down:

“However, Professor Naughton said they actually underestimated the risk to older or infirm drinkers who were more vulnerable to contaminants.”

Yup, you guessed it! Back to terrifying:

“In addition to neurological problems, these ions are also believed to enhance oxidative damage, a key component of chronic inflammatory disease which is a suggested initiator cancer.
He said the wine industry should take ‘urgent steps’ to remove hazardous metals during production, and that regulatory authorities should consider putting the levels of metals on the labels of wine.”

Dammit! Now people are really getting freaked out. Better calm them down again:

“A spokesman said: ‘All wine sold in the UK has to comply with European legislation governing ingredients and the wine-making process and UK food safety legislation.
‘There is strong scientific evidence testifying to the health benefits of moderate consumption of alcohol.’

The Food Standards Agency said: ‘From the information the agency has it would appear that the researchers have used a method that is not widely used in Europe.”

I have concluded that the only risk associated with the material in this article is spontaneous schizophrenia


  1. Jeff | Friday, October 31, 2008

    So… what you are saying is that I shouldn’t drink one glass a day, I should drink six?

  2. Alan Kropf | Friday, October 31, 2008

    They say 2 is good for you heart… I agree with 2 being good for your heart, but would add that 4 good for your soul, 6 is good for your courage, and eight is good for the wine industry…

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