So I was on the radio this morning (Kulturnytt - you can hear it here), and one thing that Berit made a point of was "natural carrots" versus "un-natural beta-carotene": In a study someone had isolated beta-carotene (that you find in carrots), and seen that it actually may increase the risk of getting some types of cancer (I haven't read the study, so don't take this as a warning - I have no idea of how big this risk increase is supposed to be, or how much you actually had to eat to see this increase, or if the study was even done on people, or what), but eating carrots seems to be healthy...
Well, if you isolate one substance (beta-carotene) from carrots, and this turns out to potentially cause cancer, then the only thing you've shown is that this particular substance cause cancer. And that there is an element in carrots that may be bad for you.
You have not shown that carrots are healthy because they're natural, and you have NOT shown that beta-carotene is bad because it was made in a lab!
Maybe carrots are made of other substances than just beta-carotene...?
These other substances may either neutralisze the negative effects of beta-carotene in some way, or the positive effects from the other substances may turn out to be so much better than the negative effects from the beta-carotene, so that all in all the effect is positive. But it's NOT because carrots are natural!
Someone critized me for my first blogpost about this subject, since no-one is talking about eating uranium. Ok, here are two other examples of something that people actually may eat:
European destroying angel mushroom (Hvit fluesopp in Norwegian) and Cowbane (Selsnepe in Norwegian). Both of these are deadly poisonous!
Even potatoes may be dangerous to eat - if you eat potatoes that have become green you may have diarrhea, cramps, or you can even die (rare!)...
So again; please just stop using "natural" as a justification of why something is good, or that stuff that's made in a lab is bad!