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Monday, 19 April 2010

Listen to yourself, Richard

Even reactionary Mail readers aren't being fooled by this jumble of suggestions, coulds and probablys, dressed with a sprinkling of views and - "hallelujah, brothers and sisters ... pay me" - beliefs.

Despite there being no better way to scare men into hectoring compliance than to go after their virility?

A large-scale review of factors affecting sperm production found that how a woman looks after herself in pregnancy could have a major effect on her unborn baby's ability to father a child in adulthood.

Professor Sharpe, of Edinburgh University, evaluated studies from around the world on the effects on male fertility of factors such as smoking, obesity and exposure to chemicals.
You see, it would be more believeable if he hadn't said that.

Or this when asked about his assertion that perfumes and body lotions could cause unborn kids to suffer infertility or cancer.

Infertility groups have said the issues of smoking, drinking and diet are more pressing – what do you think?

I couldn't agree more. I'm more interested in the environmental factors. You have to put these things in perspective. What we need to do in giving advice is first deal with what we know are important – about alcohol consumption and smoking.
And how exactly is this known? Well, we just have to rewind to the Godber Blueprint as it stood in 1979.

Donovan's most interesting remarks related to smoking and pregnancy . He admitted that he couldn't explain how or why smoking harmed the fetus but suggested that, instead of worrying about such fine points, women be told that all unborn children of smoking women will be hurt . Donovan urged every participant to go back to their countries and publish estimates of the lethality of smoking and pregnancy based on the number of pregnant smokers . He urged this as an effective method to get women to stop smoking.
Now, no-one is saying that smoking while pregnant is a good idea, far from it, but the scaremongering of Professor Richard Sharpe could be viewed as counter-productive and dangerous. In fact, his willingness to cause alarm merely by way of supposition is diluting potentially useful health messages.

How do I know this? Well, because Professor Richard Sharpe said so.

Pregnancy and fertility stories are very popular – what is your main concern about them?

If people are constantly bombarded by these, they can become desensitised, so when something comes along that is important, they don't pay any attention.
Did someone just cry wolf, Richard?

2 comments:

TheBigYin said...

Smoking and the effects of smoking must be the most scrutinised subject in the entire world and yet they still resort to junk "scientific" methods.

Godber will have a huge smile on his face as he rots in his grave.

Anonymous said...

My two sons have 7 children between them and I smoked heavily when I was pregnant.
Good job I did as there would have been more Grandchildren on the 'Granny payroll'

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