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Chemophobia and the Chemical-Free Bear


February 11, 2014 by IPAlchemist

When I set up this blog, one of the things I said I would do with it is address Chemophobia.  That is, using the word “chemical” to mean “something that will kill or at least seriously harm you” (and its cognate, using “natural” to mean “safe and good for you”).  I have not done that much on it yet (although I have touched on it a couple of times here and here), but I was delighted last week to witness the creation of the Chemical-Free Bear, who in barely more than a week on Twitter as @ChemFreeBear has tackled more lazy chemophobia than most of us do in a year.  He clearly hit a chord with us chemical Twitterers because he attracted more followers in a week than any mere person that I have known.

I was catching up on Dragon’s Den at the weekend and saw an episode that filled me with horror.  It is a pitch in Episode 8 beginning ca. 19 mins for “innovative sports recovery drink”, and if you are watching this soon, you may be able still to see it on iPlayer at:

Well, I straightaway informed my new ursine friend, and you will never guess what the splendid furry creature did – he started a blog!  So he duly now appears on my blogroll, and you can read his criticism of the item here:

If this makes you RAWR like the Chemical-Free Bear, then leave a comment below!




  1. Charles says:

    Ayee! They have something even worse than chemicals in their drink: E numbers! (Shock, horror) More particularly E330.
    To their credit, I’m sure they ensure that they only use organic molecules in the drink 🙂

  2. Tony McStea says:

    Hello, Darren, I came across this page by accident and was interested in your “Making sense of scents” item, but couldn’t actually find it. My interest is because I retired some years back from the Head of Patents position at Givaudan, which is the biggest company in the world in the flavours and fragrances business. I still consult for them and go to the Fragrances R&D Lab at Dübendorf (just outside Zürich) twice a week. Fascinating business, where art meets science. Something you’ll like – Philip Kraft is a leading researcher at Givaudan – here’s his story of Chanel No. 5:

    I did correct the “versus” in the title to “via” but unfortunately it got changed back again.

    Best regards,


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