Science group complains over Daily Express light bulb story

The Science Media Centre has complained to the Daily Express over a story warning of the dangers of low energy lightbulbs.

The SMC describes itself as an “independent organisation set up to promote accurate reporting of scientific issues in the media”.

On Saturday 14 March, the Express splash was headlined: “Dangers of Low Energy Lightbulbs: They contain poisonous mercury powder”.

The article quoted scientists who spoke at an SMC briefing.

But the story caused SMC director Fiona Fox to complain via email to the story’s author, Penny Stretton.

The email, leaked to Media Guardian, said: “Over six years we have run hundreds of these trademark ‘background briefings’ on some of the most controversial issues of the day and … we rarely encounter mis-reporting.”

Fox added the story contained eight factual errors.

But Daily Express news editor, Greg Swift, described the story as “a factual and accurate account of the SMC briefing”.

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