There seems to be no bigger a disconnect than the opinions between the camps that are either for or against organic food. Virtually anything one reads on the topic sets its tone early on the purpose of the article so as to give you have a pretty good idea of what side they will be taking. There is always a sort of subjective vibe you get based on the author or the early wording. I often refer to science as a puzzle that needs all of the pieces included to get a full picture of what it is trying to tell us. A key piece to the puzzle that we often don’t have available to us is time. While it is true that fruit flies have given us the luxury of accelerated generations in a usable period of time in scientific discovery, in the field of GMO products, time is the one variable we need (and don’t have) in order to make a full discovery of how this new food affects humans. I am the first to agree that we are not getting slammed in the face with blatantly obvious effects of GMO foods, but we cannot hide the fact that studies to date are not completely one sided in declaring these foods safe yet. “Safe”: meaning long-term health effects.
So, to sum up, the pro GMO side says no evidence against so they are safe and/or they are safe because studies show no harm is caused (the null hypothesis pushes through), and the con GMO side says there is evidence suggesting harm and/or there hasn’t been enough time to determine an effect medically so we should err on the side of caution (much like the way we were told to eat back in the late 70’s and early 80’s regarding carbs and fat which has been shown to cause more than a generation of obese North Americans). The same species of beings reading the same studies can lead to different results, or maybe some read what they want and promote certain conclusions.
As there is always something new around the corner in science to cause quarrels because we find the need to have an answer immediately, enter e-cigarettes. If there ever was something out there that seemed like a bad idea from the start this could be it. But let’s look at the science before we jump to any conclusions. I recently read an article by Joanna Cohen, the director of the Institute for Global Tobacco Control at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg Schools of Public Health. She is and has been quite involved with tobacco policy research for quite some time. Even she cannot come to a conclusion based on the available science that e-cigarettes are good or bad. Despite the fact that nicotine, carcinogens and chemicals considered toxic to humans are found in these devices and the vapor, we still must wait on science to tell us whether there is harm or not; and until we find out how to teach fruit flies to use these devices, we are left testing slow breeding human beings and looking for the development (short and long term) of adverse medical effects. In fact we are already seeing a ban on use of these products sometimes in areas where traditional cigarettes are banned. Seems fair enough when you try to use logic before a scientific study (which seems like an oxymoron) given what little we know about e-cigarettes. In fact I almost hit the floor when visiting a pharmacy in the US when an employee was actually using an e-cigarette at work in the aisle! After all where does all of that material go when it is vaped into the air? Outer space? More likely it goes into someone else’s lungs eventually. Isn’t this how the widespread acceptance of tobacco smoking developed into last century?
So to sum up, the pro e-cigarette side says no evidence against so they are safe and/or they are safe because studies show no harm is caused (the null hypothesis pushes through), and the con-e-cigarette side says there is evidence suggesting harm based on what is in the vapor and/or there hasn’t been enough time to determine an effect (much like the way we were told to back in the late 40’s’s and early 50’s regarding smoking tobacco which has been shown to cause more than a generation of lung cancer stricken North Americans). The same species of beings reading the same studies can lead to different results, or maybe some read what they want and promote certain conclusions.
Does that last paragraph sound familiar? It should since it is almost word for word the same as the second paragraph written here.
So then why are you normal and logical when you think e-cigarettes should be restricted in whom they are sold and marketed to and where they are used as well as how your national health watchdog regulates them; however, you are a quack, fear monger and a charlatan when you even suggest a conclusion about GMO foods by using the same analytical thinking? While I am not suggesting the health effects, if any, are even remotely linked between these two things, the logic of how we argue for or against them and openly ridicule each other on our stances follows a different set of standards between them.
Countries that label GMO food as such and yet ban the use of e-cigarettes in enclosed spaces in truth are likely following the same thought process for both decisions.