Nina Planck Would Be Proud

Last Updated: March 14, 2009

The reporting about the Pediatrics article covering pregancy and B-12 has hit a new low. A Vancouver Sun reporter has written a piece headlined, “Is eating vegan while pregnant as bad as smoking, drinking?”

And the article goes on to basically say: Yes, it is. The reporter, Chad Skelton, writes, “So is eating vegan as bad as drinking and smoking while pregnant? On the face of it, it seems like a crazy suggestion. But a bit of online research suggests the comparison may actually be fair.”

The worst part is that this reporter’s beat is writing articles for parents. He has no excuse to be this incompetent and misinformed. I’ve linked to this before but here is Jack Norris’ take on the study.

The only cool thing about this are the reader comments inspired by the article, and a lot of well-informed parents are tearing Skelton a new one. But I assume the article has also appeared in print, and that many online readers won’t bother to read the comments. So all in all, this is a serious setback to the veggie movement thanks to a grossly incompetent reporter.

A retraction is in order. Link.

Update: Skelton seems to have retracted his main claims. Good on him. But now he’s introducing new confusion by suggesting that vegans must take B-12 shots. Oy. As I understand it, shots are used to treat acute B-12 deficiencies, whereas sublingual B-12 tablets will generally eliminate the risk of a B-12 deficiency arising. I’d hate for people to think that vegans need B-12 injections to avoid deficiency.

On a brighter note, my assumption that Skelton’s article also appeared in print was, happily, incorrect. I’m glad to be wrong on that point. (Thanks, Alison) Link.