Seema Yasmin is a physician, writer and science communicator based at Stanford University in Stanford California. She was asked why people are drawn to medical myths:
"The world is so uncertain. While scientists are quite comfortable in the uncertainty, humans like a complete narrative with the gaps filled in. The credible scientist will say that vaccines have saved millions of lives, but no medicine or treatment is 100 percent safe, whereas if someone comes up to you and says vaccines are 100 percent dangerous, it’s easier to believe that because there is so much certainty baked into that statement.
"Also, a big part of being human is tribalism. So, if everyone in your yoga class, your community, your kids’ school is saying, I’m not getting my kid vaccinated, it can be quite terrifying to be the outlier saying, 'Didn’t you know there are millions of data points that show that vaccines are safe?'
"I think the motives can be very varied. There have always been people exploiting people’s anxiety and fear. They might be doing it for profit, to scam people. For others, I don’t think it’s about health. It could be about their beliefs that government should not be intervening in private parts of your life."
In the video below for Wired, she explains and debunks several common medical myths.
2 minutes 20 seconds - Your body naturally flushes out toxins on its own. All "cleansing" products are a scam.
3 minutes 26 seconds - No need to take vitamin supplements if you are eating a balanced diet.
3 minutes 54 seconds - Zero evidence that MSG is unsafe or harmful in any way.
4 minutes 22 seconds - GMO foods are safe. All criticism of GMO foods is based on hysteria with zero evidence.
4 minutes 45 seconds - No, artificial sweeteners do not cause cancer or Alzheimer's disease.
6 minutes 2 seconds - Yes, bad oral health CAN lead to heart disease.
6 minutes 31 seconds - No conclusive proof that Aspirin prevents cancer. No harm in trying and hoping.
7 minutes 39 seconds - Antibiotics cannot take care of your cold. Sore throats and colds are caused by viruses. Antibiotics fight bacteria.
7 minutes 59 seconds - Do Not starve a fever.
10 minutes 12 seconds - Vaccines do NOT cause autism.
10 minutes 37 seconds - Hand sanitizer is not better than soap and water.
Stanford doctor and author fights medical misinformation in time of COVID-19 https://web.archive.org/web/20210810230409/https://www.mercurynews.com/2021/01/24/stanford-doctor-and-author-fights-medical-misinformation-in-time-of-covid-19/
How To Avoid Bad Medical Advice: A Basic Guideline http://www.mybestbuddymedia.com/2016/05/how-to-avoid-bad-medical-advice-basic.html
8 Basic Reasons People Fall For Alternative Medicine https://www.mybestbuddymedia.com/2019/07/8-basic-reasons-people-fall-for.html
The Uncomfortable Truth & Harsh Reality Of UNCERTAINTY in Medicine https://www.mybestbuddymedia.com/2021/09/the-uncomfortable-truth-harsh-reality.html
17 Simple Truths That Make Anti-GMO Alarmists Squirm http://www.mybestbuddymedia.com/2016/03/17-simple-truths-that-make-anti-gmo.html
Anti-GMO Founder: “I Was Wrong!” http://www.mybestbuddymedia.com/2016/03/former-anti-gmo-founder-and-activist-i.html
128 Nobel Laureates Support GMOs http://www.mybestbuddymedia.com/2017/10/128-nobel-laureates-support-precision.html
Unassailable: Concisely Eloquent Overview Exposing GMO Hysteria http://www.mybestbuddymedia.com/2017/07/unassailable-concisely-eloquent.html
Supplemental Madness: Still More Evidence For The Uselessness Of Dietary Supplements
Enough Already! The Great Dietary Supplement Scam http://www.mybestbuddymedia.com/2016/12/enough-already-great-dietary-supplement.html
The Amish & Autism: Latest Anti-Vax Lie http://www.mybestbuddymedia.com/2017/08/the-amish-autism-latest-anti-vax-lie.html
Kids & Autism: Peer-Reviewed Studies That Make Anti-Vaxxers Squirm http://www.mybestbuddymedia.com/2016/07/kids-autism-peer-reviewed-studies-that.html
Anti-Vaccine: Fraud, Paranoia & Vulnerable Children at Risk http://www.mybestbuddymedia.com/2014/12/anti-vaccine-fraud-paranoia-vulnerable.html
Risk Perception: Six Fatal Flaws of the Anti-Vaccine Movement http://www.mybestbuddymedia.com/2018/03/risk-perception-six-fatal-flaws-of-anti.html
Exposing the Deniers: 10 Quick Points On The Psychology of Vaccine Denial https://www.mybestbuddymedia.com/2020/04/exposing-deniers-10-quick-points-on.html