In the actual study, which none of the articles even link to correctly, the researchers found that when a woman drinks one more drink per day between days 43 and 84 of their pregnancy than the average woman drinks, her child has an increased risk of birth defects. Yes, that’s a total of 41 more drinks than average. No surprise, right?
But then the authors make this point, “Based on our findings, there is no safe threshold for alcohol consumption during pregnancy with respect to selected alcohol-related physical features. Women who are of childbearing age and who are contemplating or at risk of becoming pregnant should be encouraged to avoid drinking, and women who are pregnant should abstain from alcohol throughout pregnancy.”
Excuse me? How did you get there? And what’s worse, both Time magazine and Mother Jones picked this story up and ran with is, stating that no alcohol intake is safe during pregnancy. Now the story is all over the net–USA Today, everywhere–and it’s WRONG.
I’ve written both magazines to ask for a retraction. I suggest you do, too!