‘Rhubarb Can Save Your Live’ is a load of rhubarb

If you’ve been near a newsagents today,  you may have seen this blaring headline

_86215578_express

‘Hmm, that seems unlikely’ was my first thought, unless you could somehow use it to defend yourself when attacked. Sure enough reading further into the article, we realise the following:

  1. Its not rhubarb, its parietin (the pigment which makes rhubarb orange) which is important
  2. The chemical killed half of cancer cells in a lab
  3. There’s not been any tests in people yet

So a more accurate headline would be ‘Chemical found in rhubarb kills 50% of leukaemia cells under controlled laboratory conditions’. Not catchy I admit, but certainly not misleading.

In all fairness to Giles Sheldrick, the journalist who wrote this story, none of this is his fault. He even gets it right when he calls rhubarb a vegetable, rather than a fruit. All he did was send an interesting and well-written story into the editorial ether. The fact it came back with a headline that not only misrepresented the scientific research but the contents of his own article.’

Advertisements

2 thoughts on “‘Rhubarb Can Save Your Live’ is a load of rhubarb

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s