For decades, using rational arguments, scientists failed to convince European politicians of the importance of biotechnology, including gene editing. The reason is that Europe is convinced it is on the side of great virtue.
"Recency bias" states that more recent memories come to mind more quickly. But specific ideas and objects that have “stood the test of time” can overcome recency bias. How do we take longevity into account when making judgments? Are old conserved ideas better than the novel? In the attention economy novel wins, but what about in our day-to-day lives?
Belief in human overpopulation is not just factually incorrect. It also leads otherwise decent people to endorse policies that are pure evil. How the British responded to the Irish Potato Famine serves as a case-in-point.
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It's not often that a politician is openly pro-GMO, particularly in Europe. But the new Prime Minister of the United Kingdom just praised genetic modification in his first speech to Parliament.
A reader's comment led me to a very human picture of a scientist conflicted with the research he had done on GMOs. I ran across a whole different approach to debunking, specifically Netflix's "What the Health." And finally, an article describing how our foods have changed so dramatically. Not from "industrialization" but the gentle nudges of farmers for millennia who've domesticated our crops.
The FDA is supposed to regulate absence claims. But when it comes to GMO absence claims, the FDA has done absolutely nothing. That may be about to change.
In 2017, Amazon bought Whole Foods. Amazon's CEO, Jeff Bezos, built his billion-dollar empire on technology. Therefore, you might expect that Whole Foods would become a little friendlier to biotech. But if you did that, you would be wrong.
Only about 37% of American adults bothered to get a flu shot this past flu season. That's actually a decrease from the previous season, when about 43% got one. Partially as a result, 80,000 Americans died from the flu. On the flip side, we did buy more organic food than ever before.
European Court of Justice
Europeans, who overwhelmingly claim to accept the science consensus on climate change, deny a far stronger consensus on biotechnology and believe GMOs are a crime against nature because a gene has been precisely modified by scientists.
The myth that "natural is better" is widespread and pernicious. Though it can manifest in relatively harmless ways (e.g., consuming overpriced organic food), the relentless pursuit of all-things natural can be dangerous or even deadly. It is not an exaggeration to say that society's obsession with natural remedies is itself an illness. The latest weirdness comes from Germany, which according to New Scientist, is considering approval of parasite eggs as a food additive. After eating the eggs, little worms hatch, and people believe that these worms will cure them of their maladies. Most likely, they won't.
European researchers have created genetically engineered yeast that are capable of reducing various kinds of heavy metal pollution by 80%.