Just read this on James Delingpole pathetic excuse of an opinion column. For some unknown reason James has decided to attack the science of Lead poisoning which was pretty much sorted out in the 1970’s. The basic story being exposure to lead is bad for you and causes amongst other things mental retardation and other medical problems in children. Some public spirited scientists in the 1970’s having worked out the basic science, campaigned for the removable of lead in petrol. And of course some epidemiological studies were done, which confirmed what we basically already knew from the basic science.
Delingpole’s issues as far as I can see is that in his eyes despite the overwhelming evidence that lead is bad for you, which no doubt included animal studies. The epidemiological studies were not done to a high enough standard for his liking. Of course we could have just fed lead to kids and waited 10 years to see what would happen that would be scientific and vigorous, but fortunately scientist are more ethical than Delingpole and are prepared to put in hard work to tease out the correlation between lead and IQ from existing children. You can’t be sure when you do epidemiology that you have excluded all the relevant factors and distractors will always be able to criticize you. But faced with the other evidence what was the ethical thing to do Mr Delingpole?