Minnesota Farmer


It is really frustrating to me what people will believe on little or no evidence.  Perhaps it is because I come from a science background and many others do not, but I do not see the “evil” in a company that uses science being big and successful.

Now I admit that not every product that is made by modern science is 100 % safe.  That is the problem with advancing science, we learn after the fact the effects of what we make.  Sometimes they are bad, but most of the time they are good advances.  If it was not for the advances we have in science we would all still be using home-made lye soap, dying of measles and drinking unpasteurized milk.  The fact is that as science advances we find smaller and smaller things to be concerned about.  Today we find things that scare us that have a one in a million chance of making us sick much less killing us.

So what do you do when you are talking to an anti.  Really I do not know.  So many of them have what I consider unreasonable fears.  It seems we all must have someone to hate and fear, and those things we do not understand are easier to fear.  Science today is so complex that it is hard for anyone to understand it.  I’ve seen some really disturbing correlations placed before intelligent people, and they will believe.  So here’s an example.1506775_641400559257413_307214152_nDoes anyone believe this is true?  Why because organic food is considered to be good for you and is not brought to you by Monsanto. And yet information as crazy as this is used to show how large companies are bad.  If instead of organic food sales it said sales of GMO corn, many would say it is the truth and they would be just as wrong.  Today’s organic foods are just as much a product of science as are non-organic foods.

So here’s the thing, correlation is not causation.  Yes, things may move in a pattern that moves in the same way, but that does not make it the cause of the event.  Just as in the case shown above, if you are diagnosed with the flu after you trip over a toy, it does not mean the toy caused your flu.

So I ask you, before you become anti anything, have you done your homework?  Personally I have benefitted a lot on my farm by using products produced by modern science.  I do not believe sins of the past make products or companies of today bad.  And if you really dig into it, I think you might find that some of those “sins” do not have any correlation with the products you are attributing them to.



3 Comments so far
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I came across your comments on another blog in my fact finding on GM foods for a research paper and just wanted to tell you that I agree with your insights. The hype and hysteria surrounding GMOs is nothing short of ridiculous. I’ve seen claim after claim of GMOs causing everything from allergies, to auto immune disease, to cancer, without any substantiated facts to back those claims up. I’ve come to the conclusion that people view facts as boring, but hype is dramatic, interesting and worthy of gossip.

Comment by Jean

And we all love and will believe the most outrageous gossip.

Comment by Michael

Good post. I tell so many people the same thing, correlation is not causation. I also try and inform people that there is such a thing as “big organic” and that the organic industry prospers greatly from all the misinformation/labeling pushing. And I think you also highlighted another great point, our society is full of irrational fear mongering.

Comment by cdmiller07

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