The Tao of Politics

One of my main concerns is: how can I make a difference? There are thousands of political blogs out there. It’s easy to get lost in that ocean. So I may blog about politics on occasion, or I may blog about health issues, depending on where my interests lead me, and where I feel I can contribute something of significance.

Friday, March 17, 2006

Leave my strawberries alone Scientists say that strawberries may be effective in fighting cancer. Great. So with that information established, what do scientists do? They start tinkering with the strawberry. One article here says “Scientists create super-nutritious strawberries.” Another article is clearer in explaining that these strawberries are genetically engineered. Now you might say, what is the problem? Don’t you want more nutritious food? I mean, this is a good thing, and after all the scientists know what they’re doing.

First, there is nothing wrong nutritionally with the strawberry as it is, so I see no reason to change it. You say, well they’re not changing all the strawberries, just some of them. That may be true now, but I fear that some day the only strawberries (grapes, broccoli, tomatoes, etc.) that exist will be genetically engineered varieties. You say, that’s not going to happen. You want to bet?

Second, the food is already nutritious enough, if people would just eat it. The problem with nutrition is not with the food, it is with the people eating (or not eating) it. I have no problem with taking supplements, but I do object to changing our food supply, just as I would object to changing our air supply, or our water supply.

Third, do the scientists really know what they’re doing? I wish they did. (Did anyone read, Why Things Bite Back: Technology and the Revenge of Unintended Consequences, by Edward Tenner? It is full of instances where scientists were wrong.) Much of the time scientists don’t really know what they’re doing, and their actions often amount to experiments. Most of what I read says that we still don’t know the long term effects of eating genetically engineered food. Until we do, I’d rather not be part of an experiment.

I don’t always trust our leaders to tell us the truth, or to even know what the truth is. They said there were weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. They said there would have been mushroom clouds in American cities if we hadn’t toppled Saddam when we did. I don’t even trust our leaders to always act in the public’s best interest. I believe our leaders often do things to benefit corporations. I’m not a corporation. And I don't trust them to get it right with genetic engineering. So for now, at least, leave my strawberries alone.

The Consequences of War I’d like to believe the United States always has the moral high ground, but that belief is difficult to maintain when I think about what happened in Vietnam.

Bird Flu Update H5N1 reported in Israel

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