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Mandatory Labels on Food Containing DNA

dna-food-aisle
Just over 80% of Americans surveyed would agree with a government policy for mandatory labels on food containing DNA. That is almost the same as it is for mandatory labels on food produced using genetic engineering, which is just over 82%. This information is available in a food survey conducted by Oklahoma State University, available as a downloadable PDF file.

Here is a sample label proposed by Ilya Somin of the Washington Post. Tap this for his full article.

“WARNING: This product contains deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA). The Surgeon General has determined that DNA is linked to a variety of diseases in both animals and humans. In some configurations, it is a risk factor for cancer and heart disease. Pregnant women are at very high risk of passing on DNA to their children.”

Is this meant to mock the pervasive ubiquity of scientific ignorance? It could be. That would be so easy. There are many stories about the many people who think the Sun orbits Earth, for instance. It would seem that anyone who believed that would be likely to believe that DNA is a dangerous food additive. The problem is, about three times as many people appear to be ignorant about DNA than about the Solar System. This is bad because food labels have a much greater impact on people’s everyday lives than do celestial mechanics. If ignorance leads to putting this useless information on food labels, it would not only waste the precious time of people reading them, it would also undermine the labels’ usefulness.

USFDA - Public domain

USFDA – Public domain

We mustn’t mock or criticize the high levels of scientific ignorance among ordinary citizens. We could ameliorate it somewhat with a more rational and effective education system, but there is a more effective way to address the problem. If we could eliminate the ignorance among legislators and rule-makers, then this problem would disappear. If we could ensure that no one that foolish would ever be in a position to foist such a thing on ordinary citizens, then ordinary citizens wouldn’t have to worry about it.

Besides, everyone knows that it’s the dihydrogen monoxide that’s the real problem.

rjb

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Project Blue Book

Credit Travis Walton - Public domain

Credit Travis Walton – Public domain

The United States military has declassified Project Blue Book, and converted all the files from about 10,000 cases into 129,491 searchable PDF pages. If you ever wanted to know what they were hiding about UFOs, now is your chance to find out.

Credit USAF - Public domain

Credit USAF – Public domain

You can browse the website, Project Blue Book – Archive Powered by the Black Vault, by year, for the 1940s, 50s and 60s. The projects looking into the UFO phenomenon ran from 1947 to 1969, when it was determined that there was no threat to US national security. It may seem odd that possible visits to this world from another world would be scrutinized for only national interests, but the military isn’t employed to protect the world, only the nation employing it. You can also search the entire database, and freely download any or all of it.

Credit Jim Trottier - CC-BY-SA

Credit Jim Trottier – CC-BY-SA

So, will this silence the ufologists and conspiracy theorists who have long been accusing the government of hiding evidence of extraterrestrial aliens? Not likely. Any conspiracy theorist worth his salt will just know that if they’re releasing this stuff, then they must be hiding the really good stuff. Right?

Still, that’s a lot of data. I predict that some interesting hypotheses will come out of it.

rjb

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