The face of elitism rears its ugly head again, this time in a guise way more fear-inducing
The definition of science is
Science is an attempt to explain natural phenomena. It does not create natural phenomena. It is a system hobbled together through generations of wealthy men, with a lot of time on their hands, who dabbled in the investigation of nature. There were cliques and prejudices and if a certain viewpoint reigned amongst a certain scientific community (like medicine), that's the viewpoint that prevailed. We know of scientists who have died or gone insane or been imprisoned because they had to fight against an entrenched scientific orthodoxy (Ignaz Semmelweiss and the saga of hand washing being one example). We know of scientists who have performed terrible and cruel experimentation to get to the facts ( take Marion Sims for example, and his gynecological experimentation on African slaves). So let's get things straight - for as much as a "scientific method" may exist, the people who are supposed to practice it are bound to be flawed and may not execute it very well or very ethically for whatever reason.
But scarily enough, the vernacular has started to change. And the idea of what science is has started to change also, almost imperceptibly. P People utter statements like "I love science!" when they've just witnessed a solar eclipse. No dear, "science" didn't do that: nature did. Science is an attempt to explain it.
Just like a manmade GOD did not create the world, (another attempt by humans to recreate the world in their image), more and more, science is conflated with the phenomena it was created to explain. But an attempt to explain, is also an attempt to control, and to mimic, and to CREATE
Given the varied history of scientific discovery and the known foibles of humanity, we should be able to treat scientific discoveries and "advancements" with some skepticism. And we should not be chastised or punished for doing it.
We also should be allowed and able to know what sort of scientific progress is being foisted on us. And yes, stuff like Soylent is being foisted on us, because items of "progress" like these always end up the easiest, the most cost effective path, and the path of least resistance, (like the ubiquitous cellphones that most of us now can't live without), and no, a reliable, independent authority has not established that GMO's are safe.
A large portion of the processed food in the United States is created with genetically modified corn and soy products. This has been introduced into our food supply without our consent, and with very little study as to their long term effects. It's been done in the interest of making money and expediency ( I would say that was a textbook definition of "foisted"). My critics may say that there have been plenty of studies to prove they are safe, but the positive ones have all been performed or funded by industry, meaning biotech companies like Monsanto. I thought this was an obvious ploy, but even people who see themselves as progressive have surprisngly missed the boat on this one.
I say surprisingly because as someone who has been critical of corporations and the profit motive for a long time, MY first conclusions regarding GMO's have been that they are unnecessary, hurtful, damaging to the environment, and can only serve to benefit biotech companies financially. So it is odd to me that people I would think would be progressive across the spectrum of issues are amazingly obtuse when it comes to this food technology.
And it's all because they "believe in science"; the buck stops with science.
As if it was an ideology, which is what proponents of GMO's (and other dubious scientific advances like vaccines ) purport to be the issue with skeptics of these technologies.
I'm not a scientist. I don't want to be one, I don't care for them, and I think anyone is allowed to observe and analyze nature, for whatever reason. I also believe you don't have to be a scientist to be able to decipher and resist scientific (corporate) propaganda ; you just need some common sense and a spine.
Food companies have been messing with the public's food for a really long time; it's been happening since Roman times. In the United States, the Pure Food and Drug Act was enacted in 1906 inspired by Upton Sinclair's novel The Jungle which chronicled the lives of people working in the horrible conditions of meat processing plants (conditions that exist to this day in the form of CAFO's, or Concentrated Animal Feeding Operation).
With advances in organic chemistry and petroleum -based synthetics in the last century, food products became altered to increase shelf life and increase profits. Cheaper, lower quality substitutes are used more than ever to pad profits (like using inferior vegetable oils in lieu of cocoa butter to produce chocolate-LIKE products called "Compound Chocolate".) High fructose corn syrup replaces sugar in scores of processed packaged food stuffs, and soybean oil abounds in others ( wow, soybean and corn, the two most genetically modified crops in this country coincidentally). Hydrogenation of vegetable oils results in stable fats that preserve foods like chips and cakes and cookies, and inject trans fatty acids into the body, fatty acids that the body has trouble metabolizing and are linked to heart issues ( and probably obesity, given that this country is so fat).
The food industry, has also been the tobacco industry, and we know what the tobacco industry did...right? You know, right?
They sold and continue to sell a product that everyone knows causes illness, but for many decades they persuaded the public that their product was safe and healthy and was even recommended by physicians. Tobacco executives knew their product was suspect and held back this information for years.
Why would the food companies they are associated with be any different? Especially when they are touched by the capitalist wand, and they all desire to make a profit at the lowest cost possible?
And were they not scientists too?
So this leads us to a company like Monsanto, and its ambition to control our food supply with plants that are genetically engineered to already contain pesticides (seriously, you want me to eat pesticides?), that don't produce seeds for farmers to be able to collect for the next year's harvest, that contaminate the non GMO crops of other farmers who are then sued for the cross pollination that is out of their control, and that reside in fields where farmers have to enter with hazmat suits.
Do I really have to be a scientist to work this problem out?
I don't need studies to tell me this is wrong. I have only to observe how the industry and its' sycophants act and the substance (or lack of) of their arguments.
I cannot rely on "studies" because they really can, oh yes REALLY, can be manipulated by scientists who are in the game for a major payday. And it puts "laypeople" at a striking disadvantage, because the "scientists" wield an obscure and sometimes very difficult body of knowledge for average people to navigate, and then average people have to trust that "the authorities" know what they're doing and have their best interest at heart.
Kinda like the middle ages when poor people couldn't read Latin mass and had to trust the priests and the pictures on the cathedral ceiling to give them the scoop on the 'ol Bible.
There are also think tanks and regulatory agencies like the FDA that provide back up, in case people don't buy the industry studies and propaganda (these people go back and forth between the public and private sector, but THERE IS NO CONFLICT OF INTEREST). And the excerpt I showcase here may come from a book about fashion history, but there are tons of books out there describing the role of seemingly independent agencies that exist to skew public perception in favor of industry.
You would think the USDA is a careful guardian over meat and dairy plants in this country, but they really can't be bothered. Instead they have a system that provides for meat companies to monitor themselves. It's called HACCP (Hazard Analysis Critical Control Points), and I learned all about it in nutrition school; companies monitor themselves and then report to the USDA.
My professor thought it was great so it must be good!!!!!
I had another nutrition professor who was doing research into whether cigarette smoking prevented Parkinson's and it was funded by a tobacco company. She didn't appreciate my very mild insinuation that she might be influenced by their financial contribution.
(Did I mention I went to nutrition school? And learned absolutely nothing? And not for being dumb?)
What really clinched this for me is the fact that it is LITERALLY BEING SHOVED DOWN OUR THROATS.
Just like other food technologies that were later revealed to be unhealthful ( the aforementioned high fructose corn syrup and trans fatty acids for examples, but gosh, what, what, what what was up with THEIR original health and safety studies?????)
They refuse to label a product they are supposedly SO PROUD OF (and if it were anything like "low fat" or "sugar free", they would be labeling the HELL OUT OF IT).
But they don't.
They sneak around, and play games, they use scare tactics, and they get shills to do their dirty work. They hurl insults of "you're an ideologue", or "you're just scared", "you don't believe in science", and the old "people are afraid of what they don't understand."
And then there's the (OH MY GOD) organic foods are a scam, so ergo, GMO is good. Corporations might be exploiting the idea of organic food, no doubt about it, but organic food is more nutritious and tastes better. I know, I've tasted it and made comparisons; and organics "use pesticides", but the person who made this argument doesn't tell you what those are ( they also don't mention that organic standards in the United States are so lax that even irradiated produce can be considered organic and you can grow your produce with foul sewage waste as fertilizer and it will still qualify your produce as "organic".)
Even if organic food were all the way a scam, it doesn't absolve GMO's of being one too.
But genetic engineering is just an extension of the food hybridization we have lived with FOR YEARS!!!! (THIS NEVER ENDS!!!! Oh my god end this already!) A major leap, would be the more correct statement. And who said that our tampering with nature up until now has necessarily been for the best???
There is so much food in circulation, especially in this country, that public service announcements are made to get people to stop wasting food; but GMO's will somehow solve "the food shortage" too, and we are depriving MILLIONS and MILLIONS of people of precious nourishment (and all that corn that goes to feed cows and the farmers who get paid to NOT grow food to prop up prices and all the economic and logistical factors that go into why there might be an uneven distribution of food in this world).
No no no
These people never address the legitimate concerns of skeptics. Because if they had to, they would be revealed as the fraudulent and morally bankrupt losers that they TRULY ARE.
But remember, they also have the dogma of SCIENCE on their side, because in Science, well, you're not allowed to question. You're not allowed to explore. You're not allowed to be critical. And nobody has to prove anything to you.
Reynolda de la Rue Forcee has done JUST THAT - forced la Rue