Inert Ingredients—EPA’s Disgrace du Jour

Author: Dr Klaus L.E. Kaiser on 30 Oct 2014

On October 23, 2014, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Office of Pesticide Programs has published a list of 72 chemicals it proposes to remove from the “Approved Pesticide Inert Ingredient List” (docket # EPA-HQ-OPP-2014-0558) and comments are accepted till Nov. 21, 2014. epa logo

“We are taking action to ensure that these ingredients are not added to any pesticide products unless they have been fully vetted by EPA,” said Jim Jones, Assistant Administrator for the Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention.  “This is the first major step in our strategy to reduce risks from pesticides containing potentially hazardous inert ingredients.”

Inert Ingredients

So-called “inert ingredients” in pesticide formulations are materials that have no pesticidal effects of their own but enhance those of the so-called “active ingredient(s)”, the actual pesticidal materials by improving their efficacy. For example, such inert materials are used to improve the solubility of formulations and their ability to spread out on leaves and generally reduce the amount or concentration of the active ingredient needed to do the job. In layman terms, you may think of them as akin to giving your hand-soap a better way to clean your hands with less actual soap.

So, why does EPA want to remove these materials from the list of compounds sanctioned for use as inert ingredients? The short answer is: they seem to have some mental blockage. It will become obvious to you with a few examples of some compounds on this list.



Author: Donna Rachel Edmunds, on 29 Oct 2014

Wind power is too variable and too unpredictable to provide a serious alternative to fossil fuels, a new study by the Scientific Alliance and the Adam Smith Institute has confirmed. The researchers concluded that, although it is true that the wind is always blowing somewhere, the base line is only around 2 percent of capacity, assuming a network capacity of 10GW. offshore turbines

The majority of the time, wind will only deliver 8 percent of total capacity in the system, whilst the chances of the wind network running at full capacity is “vanishingly small”. As a consequence, fossil fuel plants capable of delivering the same amount of energy will always be required as backup.

The report was undertaken by the Scientific Alliance and the Adam Smith Institute. Using data on wind speed and direction gathered hourly from 22 sites around the UK over the last nine years, the researchers were able to build a comprehensive picture of how much the wind blows in the UK, where it blows, and how variable it is.

They found that, contrary to popular opinion, variability was a significant factor as “swings of around 10 percent are normal” across the whole system within 30 – 90 minute timeframes. “This observation contradicts the claim that a widespread wind fleet installation will smooth variability,” the authors write.

Likewise, and again contrary to popular assumptions, wind does not follow daily or even seasonal outputs. There were long periods in which the wind was not blowing even in winter, making it difficult to match generation of wind power to demand. The report concludes that covering these low periods would either need 15 storage plants the size of Dinorwig (a pumped storage hydroelectric power station in Wales with a 1.7GW capacity), or preserving and renewing our fossil plants as a reserve.

Most significantly, it found that the system would be only running at 90 percent of capacity or higher for 17 hours a year, and at 80 percent or higher for less than one week a year; conversely, total output was at less than 20 percent of capacity for 20 weeks of the year, and below 10 percent during nine weeks a year.


NASA: Huge Solar Flare Cause of Latest Radio Blackout

Author: on 28 Oct 2014

NASA scientists witnessed another major solar flare on the Sun on Friday - the fourth such activity in the past week erupting from the biggest sunspot in nearly 25 years. solar activity

This particular flare was classified an X3.1, meaning it was pretty damn intense. The latest powerful burst erupted from a particularly large active region on the sun that scientists have labelled AR 12192. That sunspot represents the most substantial activity on the fiery object at the centre of our Solar System in 24 years.

NASA explained:

Harmful radiation from a flare cannot pass through Earth's atmosphere to physically affect humans on the ground, however - when intense enough - they can disturb the atmosphere in the layer where GPS and communications signals travel.

Any flare classified as X-class is serious business, but this one pales in significance compared with an X28 flare measured in 2003 during the Sun's last solar maximum period.

"The biggest X-class flares are by far the largest explosions in the solar system and are awesome to watch. Loops tens of times the size of Earth leap up off the sun's surface when the sun's magnetic fields cross over each other and reconnect. In the biggest events, this reconnection process can produce as much energy as a billion hydrogen bombs," NASA said.

"If they're directed at Earth, such flares and associated CMEs [coronal mass ejections] can create long lasting radiation storms that can harm satellites, communications systems, and even ground-based technologies and power grids."

The latest solar flare led to an hour-long radio blackout being reported by the US space agency's weather prediction centre


Fred Singer Closing in on Fact: CO2 Doesn’t Affect Global Temperature

Author: Dr Pierre R Latour on 27 Oct 2014

I write to concur with conclusions in Dr S Fred Singer’s recent essay: “The Climate Sensitivity Controversy”, by  S. Fred Singer, American Thinker (October 15, 2014) and to solve the puzzles he posed. fred singer

In particular he concludes “climate sensitivity, CS, is close to zero”. This means any effect of CO2 on Earth’s temperature and climate is vanishingly small, hence unimportant. Singer leaves his warmist camp and joins the denier camp of skeptics.

I met Singer at his University of Houston lecture hosted by Prof Larry Bell on February 6, 2012 and his several talks at the latest Heartland Institute ICCC, Las Vegas, July 7-9, 2014. He has played an important role in disputing alarmist global warming claims for decades. He has received many awards.

Singer reveals he assumes CO2 warms Earth because it is called a greenhouse gas, which does not make it so. It is also green plant food, which does chemically make it a coolant.  Great confusion arises when a radiating gas, which cools the atmosphere, is incorrectly labeled a greenhouse gas and then warming is arbitrarily assigned to it, by virtue of the nomenclature change.

I discovered in 2012 introducing radiating gases like H2O and CO2 to the atmosphere actually cools the Earth slightly and had useful direct email exchanges with Singer on the matter. Naturally I am pleased he has reached a similar conclusion, perhaps by another way.

The proper way to calculate CS is from the laws of physics, chemistry, biology and chemical engineering with correct physical properties. Relying on empiricism and data regression for large complex engineering systems is well known to be incorrect and flawed. They never represent the nonlinear world outside their domain of fit; cannot extrapolate, only interpolate. Same for stock market charting. The whole data fitting exercise to support GHGT (greenhouse gas theories) is worthless from its inception. (Except it conveniently proved CO2 lags temperature by 800 years from Al Gore’s 420,000 year trend, proving CO2 could not cause these temperature changes; the sun did it.)

My way is physics, the Stefan Boltzmann Law of radiation intensity from all matter proportional to its temperature and emissivity. This Law works for entire planets, even when there are clouds, thermal feedbacks and hurricanes.

I parted company with Singer with his current “Of course, the proper way to determine Climate Sensitivity (CS) is empirically -- by using the climate data.” two years ago. That is wrong. He expresses misgivings himself.

Singer and GHGT promoters are wedded to the idea of correlating temperature and CO2 data, which alone can only prove correlation, never causation. A corollary error is to account for other known causes driving temperature, like solar, and ascribe all response discrepancy actually due to unknown causes, to CO2. Another error is to statistically fit data to empirical equations and attempt to extrapolate outside the validity domain of the data. Interpolation is allowed, extrapolation of nonlinear natural world outside the domain is not. A fourth error is to deviate from the scientific method practice which uses experimental data to falsify proposed theories that don’t predict nature’s behavior well, rather than claim validity of when predictions are confirmed by luck. A fifth error is to keep data analysis methods used to support validity of hunches confidential, particularly when publically financed. (Newton’s Principia Mathematica made him famous by full disclosure.) Worst of all is filing defamation lawsuits against skeptics questioning secret GHGT methods, assumptions and scientific basis. Even smearing them and attacking their character is unacceptable. Five strikes and you are way out. These principles are well known to control systems engineers, but not UN IPCC GHGT promoters that lack credentials.


My Favorite Atom is Carbon!

Author: Dr Pierre R Latour Chemical Engineer on 26 Oct 2014

Here is why carbon is my favorite atom. It is quite beautiful really; once you learn to behold and appreciate it. I cover chemistry, physics, politics and common sense. diamond

Chemistry Lesson.

With over 100 elements in the periodic table of atoms, why is one so special that it has its own branch of chemistry? Chemistry is divided into two main branches: organic and inorganic. Organic chemistry is the science of molecules with carbon. Inorganic is the chemistry of molecules of all the other elements. Yet organic chemistry is much larger and more complicated, interesting and useful than inorganic chemistry. There are many more different organic molecules than inorganic ones. Organic chemistry is the science of life and medicine. Carbon is one of the few elements known since antiquity.

Organic chemistry has many sub-branches: petroleum, coal, petrochemical, polymer, textile, rubber, agricultural, biochemical, pharmaceutical, paper, perfume, cosmetics, food, nanotech, diamond. Discovery of DNA by Crick & Watson is one of the greatest discoveries of mankind. Major areas of study are: chemical bonds, molecular structure, reaction rates, catalysis, acid-base, stereochemistry, alkanes (linear & cyclic), alkenes & alkynes, aromatics, combustion, polymers, alkyl halides, substitution/elimination/addition reactions, alcohols & ethers, aldehydes & ketones, acids & esters, amines/Imines/nitriles, nitrates/amino acids/amides, conjugation & Diels-Alder, sugars/starches/carbohydrates, DNA & nucleic acids, amino acids/peptides/proteins, blood, metals, Fullerenes, spectroscopy, chromatography, polarimetry, nuclear magnetic resonance, purification by crystallization, distillation, extraction, absorption.


Wind energy fairytale

Author: Harry van Gelder, De Telegraaf, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, 18 October 2014 Translated by Hans Schreuder on 23 Oct 2014

The [Dutch] Energy Deal is going to cost the Dutch citizen at least 53 billion euros, without any benefit for the environment. "This is more than the high-speed rail link, the North/South rail line, the Betuwe rail line and the JSF [Joint Strike Force] together," according to physicist Fred Udo, who amongst others works for the prestigious CERN in Geneva. de Telegraaf
 According to a number of renowned scientists the fairytale of wind energy will be an onslaught on the buying power of every Dutchman. They're thinking of at least 500 euro per household per year. "This is the greatest waste of community money ever,"  says Pieter Lukkes, Emeritus Professor Economic Geography.
Udo and Lukkes are speaking on behalf of scientists like Kees de Groot, ex-director of the Shell Laboratory Rijswijk, physicist Kees Lepair, economist Hans Labohm, energy researcher Theo Wolters and the Emeritus Professors Frans Sluijter and Ad Verkooijen.

Climate change PROVED to be 'nothing but a lie', claims top meteorologist

Author: Jason Taylor, on 23 Oct 2014

The debate about man-made climate change is finished - because it has been categorically proved NOT to exist, one of the world's leading meteorologists has claimed. John Coleman

John Coleman, who co-founded the Weather Channel, shocked academics by insisting the theory of man-made climate change was no longer scientifically credible.

Instead, what 'little evidence' there is for rising global temperatures points to a 'natural phenomenon' within a developing eco-system.  In an open letter attacking the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, he wrote:

"The ocean is not rising significantly. The polar ice is increasing, not melting away. Polar Bears are increasing in number. Heat waves have actually diminished, not increased. There is not an uptick in the number or strength of storms (in fact storms are diminishing). I have studied this topic seriously for years. It has become a political and environment agenda item, but the science is not valid."

Mr Coleman said he based many of his views on the findings of the NIPCC, a non-governmental international body of scientists aimed at offering an 'independent second opinion of the evidence reviewed by the IPCC.'


What is the greenhouse effect?

Author: Carl Brehmer on 21 Oct 2014

Is it a decrease in outgoing longwave radiation?
Is it an increase in downwelling IR radiation from the atmosphere?
Is it an increase in the R-value of the atmosphere, i.e., greenhouse gases act like insulation?
Is it a decrease in upper atmospheric temperatures which forces an increase in lower atmospheric temperatures? puzzled
Is it an increase in the atmosphere's temperature lapse rate?
Is it a warming of the entire atmosphere while the temperature lapse rate remains unchanged?
Is it simply the difference between the Earth's "effective radiating temperature" and surface level air temperatures?
Is it when greenhouse gases force heat to move back towards the Earth's surface against the temperature gradient?
Is it simply when greenhouse gases slow the rate at which the surface cools?
Is it when greenhouse gases cause the outgoing longwave radiation to be emitted from progressively higher and higher altitudes?
Is it when greenhouse gases essentially turn the many mile thick, fluid, compressible, gaseous atmosphere into a solid piece of glass?
Does it only exist at night like John Tyndall said?
Is it "when carbon dioxide is released into the atmosphere [and] it acts like the ceiling of a greenhouse, trapping solar energy and 
         retarding the escape of reflected heat." Mass vs EPA 2007 (This is this definition that got carbon dioxide classified as a "pollutant".)
Is it the effect without which the surface of the Earth would be the same temperature as if there were no atmosphere at all?
Is it the effect without which the surface of the Earth would be the same temperature as Mars?
Is it the effect that is assumed to have caused the Earth to come out of the Little Ice Age in the mid 1800's simply because carbon dioxide levels 
        have increased since then as well?
Is it the effect that threatens to "runaway" causing the oceans to boil, convert to steam and kill everything?

Osmosis—An Alternative Energy Idea Gone Bust

Author: Dr Klaus L.E. Kaiser on 20 Oct 2014

Norway’s Crown Princess Mette-Marit was invited to open the world’s first osmosis power generation plant back in 2009. The Norwegian energy giant Statkraft had completed the construction of a 2 kW pilot plant that was to test the principle and iron out technical problems of the system. Needless to say, environmental advocacy groups were enthralled. The head of WWF Norway then proclaimed “...osmosis is a good example of technology which could be used in developing nations.” osmosis

In September 2013, after four years of operation of the pilot facility, Statkraft announced its intention to build a much larger osmosis pilot plant with a design output of 2 MW (2000 kW), likely at Sunndalsøra. However, a few months later they changed their mind entirely. The company was not going ahead with the larger system and after working on the osmosis project for over a decade was abandoning the idea altogether. You might ask why?

Osmosis Power—Theory

The osmotic force or osmotic pressure was discovered a long time ago and is well understood. The principle is that a saltwater solution will take on water from salt-free water when the two are separated by a “semi-permeable” membrane. The pores in such membranes are small enough to let water molecules pass through it but not the larger salt ions. Over some time then, the surface of the saltwater column will rise above that in the freshwater column and create a “head” that can be used to drive a turbine. The above graphic demonstrates the principle.


Plate Climatology Theory

Author: James Edward Kamis on 17 Oct 2014

Geologist, James Edward Kamis presents a fascinating new theory as how volcanic activity and other geothermal impacts play a previously ill-considered role on earth's climate. Below, the concept of “Plate Climatology”* is proposed. plate climatology


The Sun, quite obviously, is the first order driver of Earth’s climate, but a much neglected second order driver can contribute significantly to short term variations. The theory proposed herein is that periods of active Earth tectonism can be correlated to periods of active climate change and climate related events.

Increased global tectonic activity equates to more faulting and crustal plate movement which leads to more global heat release from faults, fractures and volcanoes that are more active.

Altered heat input equates to climate change.

This effect has been largely hidden from scientific investigation because the primary heat release is within underexplored / monitored deep ocean regions; deep ocean rifts (Plate pull-apart boundaries), fumaroles, traverse faults, and other faults . Ocean temperatures, densities, and chemical compositions are altered by this varying tectonic activity. The “Altered Oceans” then influence or drive climate changes and climate related events.

Many connections between Geology / Climate are explored and explained in this theory. The aim of publishing this theory is to accomplish two objectives:

1.) Raise awareness of the strong connection between Geology and Climate and:

2.) Act as a catalyst for future research.

This paper is especially germane in light of the current discussion concerning man-made global warming, also referred to as man-made climate change and the ongoing 18 year global warming pause.

1. General Theory of Plate Climatology

The theory proposed herein provides a platform to join what are now several independently researched branches of science; Geology, Climatology and Meteorology. Geological phenomena are thought of as unrelated and unimportant to climate, especially modern day climate. This notion is likely to be proven incorrect. Many current / modern weather phenomenon are directly tied to current geological events; local continental glacial melting, local droughts, local warming ocean, La Nina, and El Nino to name a few.

The proposed Plate Climatology theory is exactly that, a theory and not a proven fact, yet deserves strong consideration amongst all scientists involved in the discussions surrounding current climate events.

2. Sub-Ocean Tectonism, Volcanism, Heat Flow, and Fluid Expulsion

This theory proposes that sub-oceanic tectonism, volcanism, heat flow, and fluid expulsion have a strong influence on worldwide climates, as exemplified by the El Niño and La Niña climate phenomenons.

These phenomenons originate as deep ocean temperature anomalies in the western Pacific and as they migrate east, they become progressively shallower. This can be interpreted as strong evidence that the control / origin of these phenomena is heat and chemical bearing fluids from deep-sea volcanoes, vents, faults, and fractures. In essence, increased sub-oceanic crustal plate movement, or increased sub-oceanic volcanism in the western Pacific leads to release of large amounts of heat and fluids. El Nino’s and La Nina’s are born, migrate east and directly affect the climate of the North American continent.

Another specific example is the most recent California drought. Meteorologists have concluded that an unusually persistent high pressure ridge in the Gulf of Alaska has affected North American storm tracks. Storms with much needed rain have by-passed California. It is herewith theorized that this unusually persistent high pressure ridge is related to a geological phenomenon, specifically the increased volcanic activity associated with the Pacific Plate Subduction Zone. This increased activity is both oceanic and continental in nature, and has altered / locked oceanic and atmospheric conditions in the northern Gulf of Alaska.

In fact, recently published data indicates that the water in the Gulf of Alaska is warmer than surrounding areas. Additionally, unusual fish species have been noted in the Gulf. They are likely present in response to heating of the overall ocean column… again likely related to geological / deep sea vent heating. This fits well with the proposed theory.

In general there is little or no monitoring of most of the heat and fluid releases in any of the deep oceans, so the effect of deep ocean heat releases has been larger hidden / ignored. Additionally, some have argued that even if this heat and fluid release exists, it stays trapped in the deep ocean. Yet many forces act to vertically mix the ocean water column - tsunamis, volcanic eruptions (small and large), density flows, and sub-oceanic vortexes.

From a geologist’s point of view, it has been obvious for a long time that Sub-Ocean Tectonism, Volcanism, Heat Flow, and Fluid Expulsion are a major driver of Climate.

3. Continental Tectonism, Volcanism, and Heat Flow

Continental tectonism, volcanism, and heat flow have a moderate influence on worldwide climate, however locally the effect can be strong. A good example is the connection / influence of tectonically generated heat release beneath Continental Glacial Ice Masses. Examples include; Mount Kilimanjaro / East African Rift, Greenland / Mid-Atlantic Rift, Antarctic Ice Masses / Western and Eastern Antarctic Continental Heat Flow. This phenomenon may also be happening in southern Greenland.

For years the scientific establishment has been unable to explain why specific western Antarctic glaciers were retreating / melting at unusually high rates relative to the majority of other Antarctic glaciers. Nearly ten years ago the author started arguing that the unusual retreat of these local glaciers was related to local geological fault heat. Recently scientists have indeed measured increased heat flow in these local areas.

I also believe that continental land based heat and fluid release along fault zones can have a limited effect on local weather patterns. Such as the active volcanoes along the Cascade Range, which emit varying amounts of; heat, particulate matter, and chemicals into the local atmosphere. We are all very aware of the weather and climatological effect large scale eruptions have on local and worldwide weather. However to date no one has considered that lesser volcanic events can have an influence on local weather patterns. This is very likely happening.

4. The Relationship between Major Worldwide Deep Ocean Currents and Tectonism / Volcanism

Major worldwide deep ocean currents, such as the Gulf Stream, are affected by variations in sub-sea tectonism, volcanism, heat flow, and fluid release.

Major shifts in deep ocean currents, such as the Gulf Stream, have long been thought to be associated exclusively with changes in continental surface water discharge. Although this obviously has some influence, the theory proposed here suggests that the major reason these currents shift, often suddenly, is Plate Tectonism. Significant periods of Crustal Plate movement can lead to major heat and ocean density changes. This in turn leads to changes in deep sea currents.

Additionally this tectonism can lead to increased numbers of Tsunami’s which act to rapidly mix the ocean’s water column vertically. Once this mixing happens, it can easily lead to, or add to, the shifting of major deep ocean currents.

Scientists have long noticed that altering deep ocean currents can lead to major climate changes. My theory suggests that more often than not these major changes are related geological phenomenon.

5. The Relationship of Oceanic Plankton Levels and Ocean CO2 Concentrations with Deep Ocean Tectonics / Volcanism

Worldwide deep ocean tectonic activity and associated heat and fluid release have a much greater effect on plankton levels and ocean CO2 concentrations than previously thought.

Chemosynthesis is a fascinating new branch of biology. It is now well known that deep ocean vents have biologic communities associated with them. These vents release significant amounts of heat and chemicals which supply food for numerous biological communities. The number of vents and their overall effect on the ocean is largely unknown, save a few isolated areas. Ongoing research shows that there is likely significantly more heat and chemical release than previously thought. The implications of Chemosynthesis have not been fully appreciated. However, it is in essence a confirmation that geologically driven deep ocean geological events are likely to be significant.

Given that deep ocean chemosynthesis exists, it is a logical next step to theorize that increased heat anomalies in the oceans also have an effect / alter shallow plankton blooms. More heat leads to more plankton, more CO2 consumption, and more oxygen generation.

Increased ocean heat may also lead increased ability to absorb CO2.

The atmospheric implications are obvious; more oxygen and less CO2 lead to warming changes that are indirectly related to deep ocean geological events.


The overall theory contends that periods of active Earth tectonics and volcanism can be correlated to periods of active climate change and climate related events. To describe this new theory, the term “Plate Climatology” is proposed.

This short paper will hopefully spawn a new era of joint research between geologists, climatologists, and meteorologists. The time is long overdue for scientists to join forces in an effort to more accurately describe what drives climate over and above the Sun.


The Weekly Volcanic Activity Report is a cooperative project between the Smithsonian's Global Volcanism Program and the US Geological Survey's Volcano Hazards Program. Updated by 2300 UTC every Wednesday, notices of volcanic activity posted on these pages are preliminary and subject to change as events are studied in more detail. This is not a comprehensive list of all of Earth's volcanoes erupting during the week, but rather a summary of activity at volcanoes that meet criteria discussed in detail in the "Criteria and Disclaimers" section. Carefully reviewed, detailed reports on various volcanoes are published monthly in the Bulletin of the Global Volcanism Network.

*Theory is a contemplative and rational type of abstract or generalizing thinking, or the results of such thinking. Depending on the context, the results might for example include generalized explanations of how nature works. The word has its roots in ancient Greek, but in modern use it has taken on several different related meanings. A theory is not the same as a hypothesis. A theory provides an explanatory framework for some observation, and from the assumptions of the explanation follows a number of possible hypotheses that can be tested in order to provide support for, or challenge, the theory.


James Edward Kamis is a Geologist and AAPG member of 40 years and has always been fascinated by the probable connection between Geology and Climate. Years of casual research / observation have convinced him that the Earth’s Heat Flow Engine, which drives the outer crustal plates, is also an important second order driver of the Earth’s climate. The term ”Plate Climatology” is coined to describe this connection. (The word Plate from Plate Tectonics)



Author: Paul Joseph Watson, on 17 Oct 2014

A doctor claims that he developed a successful drug to combat Ebola with the U.S. Army at Ft. Detrick Maryland but that the research was inexplicably shut down two weeks before the first outbreak of the virus in West Africa. ebola outbreak

Richard C. Davis, M.D., a former flight surgeon with the U.S. Navy, told Infowars that he was leading a project to develop a drug called RC-2Beta, which according to Davis works, “at the core of our cells to enhance mitochondrial efficiency and promote gene signaling to stimulate cellular self-repair and pathogen destruction.”

In the fall of 2013, Davis’ company began collaborating with the US Army at their Level 4 bioweapons facility at Ft. Detrick, Maryland to develop the drug, with astounding success.

According to Davis, the drug “Killed four of the world’s deadliest viruses in a dose-dependent fashion. The Army also noted that uninfected cells in the same cultures were untouched by the drug (i.e., it was non-toxic).”

“Everyone was very excited about these results since there has never been a broad-spectrum anti-viral drug that killed so many different viruses without affecting normal (uninfected) cells in this way,” writes Davis.


Michael Mosley: Should people be eating more fat?

Author: BBC Online on 15 Oct 2014

Contrary to conventional advice, eating more of some fats may be good for our health, says BBC's Dr Michael Mosley. Mosley

It really is the sort of news that made me want to weep into my skinny cappuccino and then pour it down the sink. After years of being told, and telling others, that saturated fat clogs your arteries and makes you fat, there is now mounting evidence that eating some saturated fats may actually help you lose weight and be good for the heart.

Earlier this year, for example, a systematic review, funded by the British Heart Foundation and with the rather dry title "Association of dietary, circulating and supplement fatty acids with coronary risk" caused a stir.

Scientists from Oxford, Cambridge and Harvard, amongst others, examined the links between eating saturated fat and heart disease. Despite looking at the results of nearly 80 studies involving more than a half million people they were unable to find convincing evidence that eating saturated fats leads to greater risk of heart disease.

In fact, when they looked at blood results, they found that higher levels of some saturated fats, in particular a type of saturated fat you get in milk and dairy products called margaric acid, were associated with a lower risk of heart disease.

Although there were critics, NHS Choices described this as "an impressively detailed and extensive piece of research, which is likely to prompt further study".