SIRC Media Watch Archive
Comment and Opinion – March 2001

Veggie bangers. One small benefit of the current obsession with foot and mouth disease has been the marked decrease in scare stories on other topics. It seems that as soon as we have something more concrete to worry about, our fascination with artificially manufactured fears wanes. The Times, admittedly, continued to alarm us with the dangers of living near to power lines long after other newspapers had dropped the story. It even gave credence to the physicist Denis Henshaw who says that power lines cause not only childhood leukaemia but also skin cancer, lung cancer, depression and 60 suicides a year. Quite how he knows precisely why those 60 people killed themselves is, of course, a bit of mystery. But apart from this and the odd panic about killer fungi which may be attached to the plummeting Mir space station, our 'Scares and Miracles' column has been relatively quiet. Full story.