Despite mounting evidence that Pfiesteria picicida, a marine organism that releases a neurotoxin, poses no serious threat to public health, its threat continues to be exaggerated by journalists, popular writers, politicians, and scientists. After presenting evidence against the public health threat that the organism poses, the author discusses four reasons that such evidence was initially questioned, rejected and vehemently opposed by journalists, politicians, and scientists engaged in research on Pfiesteria. The argument contains several implications for past and current trends in anthropological research, analysis, and reporting.

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