Today's blog entry is inspired by the following tweets.
Man in Black
Over 2,000 horses die a year as a result of RAGWORT poisoning. Time to completely eradicate this horrible plant.
And then after being pointed to an article saying this wasn't the case by ragwort expert Esther Hegt
@Ragwort_horses There seem to be as many articles 'for' Ragwort as there are from those 'against'. Who is telling the truth then?
How do we know what the truth is? Well we use the scientific method and evidence. With the 2000 horses figure we can actually show that these figures were examined in advertising by the Advertising Standards Authority.(ASA)
They are independent body who look at the evidence. Those adverts are no longer there because the ASA took action and the companies could not provide the evidence.
( That blog entry talks about the nonsense figure of 6500 deaths but there was one company saying 2000)
The problem is that there are two groups of people involved. There are people like me and Esther who look
at the science and there are people who just repeat what they have been told.
On Twitter Esther advised asking the University of Liverpool. The death figures are often claimed to be from data collected there. As she knows I have already checked with them they recorded not one single death over a five year period.
Anyone wishing to do so can read about the circumstances surrounding this at a blog entry I made this week.
In regards to what happens if you look at the scientific evidence Esther Hegt is a prime example.
She once believed the nonsense , but she is a good scientist and looked at the evidence.
It is the evidence that says it is nonsense.