Tagged Science

Another Reason to Despise the Anti-Vaccination Movement

Would you like to be vaccinated against Lyme Disease? Sure you would; why would anyone want to put up with the complications that might arise from having a Lyme tick bite you–complications that “can lead to arthritis, neurologic problems like meningitis or nerve inflammation, and sometimes even heart problems”? Yes, a vaccine against Lyme Disease would be wonderful. But there is a snag, you see: You can’t get a vaccine against Lyme Disease, because the anti-vaccination movement won’t let you have one:

Chipotle’s Absolutely Worthless Stance against GMOs

Detailed here. Of course, it ought to go without saying that there is no scientific support whatsoever behind Chipotle’s move, but even if we put that to the side, we see that the company only serves to make itself look ridiculous with this latest publicity gambit:

Quote of the Day

Mohammed Rahman doesn’t know it yet, but his small farm in central Bangladesh is globally significant. Mr. Rahman, a smallholder farmer in Krishnapur, about 60 miles northwest of the capital, Dhaka, grows eggplant on his meager acre of waterlogged land. As we squatted in the muddy field, examining the lush green foliage and shiny purple fruits, he explained how, for the first time this season, he had been able to stop using pesticides. This was thanks to a new pest-resistant variety of eggplant supplied by the government-run Bangladesh Agricultural Research Institute. Despite a recent hailstorm, the weather had been kind,…

The Anti-Vaccine Movement Meets Reality

In the worst way, of course: In the ongoing skirmishes between public health officials and vaccine skeptics, I’m scoring this one for the pro-immunization forces. A Canadian woman who had declined to have her children immunized against pertussis, better known as whooping cough, has changed her position now that all seven of her children have come down with the disease. Yes, Tara Hills was stuck in isolation at her Ottawa home for more than a week with her sick children and her regrets about refusing to vaccinate them against the highly contagious respiratory disease. Whooping cough, a bacterial infection, causes violent,…

My Policy on Vaccines and Vaccinations

I’ll have something to say about individual politicians and their stances on vaccines and vaccination policy later. For now, here is where I stand: 1. Vaccinations should be mandatory. 2. Any religious objections to vaccinations should be found to fail even when strict scrutiny is applied as the standard of review. The state certainly can show that vaccinations are necessary to further a compelling state interest (maintaining herd immunity), and that there are no less restrictive means to achieving that interest. This is a no-brainer. 3. State legislatures should pass legislation, if necessary, to establish liability for parents who fail to…

Head, Meet Desk

Oh boy: A recent survey by the Oklahoma State University Department of Agricultural Economics finds that over 80 percent of Americans support “mandatory labels on foods containing DNA,” about the same number as support mandatory labeling of GMO foods “produced with genetic engineering.” We really do need better science education in this country. And incidentally, is it any surprise whatsoever that there is a Venn diagram intersection between people who support mandatory labeling of GMO foods and people who support “mandatory labels on foods containing DNA”?

How Very Horrifying

If you are going to oppose genetically modified organisms–even though such opposition would make no sense whatsoever from a scientific standpoint–it is incumbent upon you to actually know what genetically modified organisms are. You should certainly know what the acronym GMO stands for Unfortunately . . . well . . . look: (Via Bill Bradley, via InstaPundit.) And yes, ignorance is deadly.)  

Quote of the Day

We know what needs to be done. Last week, finally, the United States government organized the deployment of three thousand aid workers and began marshalling a wider international response. Inside our borders, the C.D.C. has fostered a cadre of thousands of public-health professionals at the local, state, and federal levels who are ready to respond and who have proved to be reliable and effective at getting this kind of work done. And, with the announcement of the Dallas case, hospitals across the country are now scrambling to get their procedures in place. Doctors’ offices should do so, too. They need…

Quote of the Day

Food has become a battleground, and one of the fiercest fights involves genetically modified organisms, or GMOs. With the aid of genetic engineering, we have created corn, soybeans, cotton and other crops with specific genes that help them resist pests, diseases and herbicides. Supporters trumpet the reduced costs and increased yields, especially in the developing world. They also point to the ability of GMOs to prevent diseases from ruining entire industries, such as Hawaiian papayas and Florida oranges. “When we put a gene in a plant, we know exactly where it goes, we know what it does and we actually…