Today BBC News Online ran a story with the headline "Cider 'may have health benefits'".
Researchers at Glasgow University found that English cider apples have high levels of "phenolic antioxidants" - linked to protection against strokes and cancer.
Great news, huh? Let's crack open the cider! Okay, let's read that last paragraph again. Cider has high levels of something that protects you against strokes and cancer. No, read it again. APPLES have high levels of something that protects you against strokes and cancer - and may offer the same health benefits as eating apples.
By the way, this research was partly funded by the National Association of Cider Makers.
(1) Why are Glasgow University accepting funding from a trade body to do some dubiously skewed research?
(2) Why did the BBC clearly regurgitate a press release and report this news as cider being the cure for cancer, instead of a story about the health benefits of eating apples?
The first question is a sad reflection of the funding of science in this country, the second is a serious indictment of today's lazy journalism.
As someone who works in marketing, I should be talking about what a clever piece of PR this was. But it's not clever, and it leaves a taste in my mouth similar to that of bad cider. Bitter.