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posted by martyb on Friday January 23 2015, @01:29PM   Printer-friendly

The Washington Post contains an article on a recent survey by Oklahoma State University where over 80 percent of Americans support “mandatory labels on foods containing DNA,”

The Oklahoma State survey result is probably an example of the intersection between scientific ignorance and political ignorance, both of which are widespread.The most obvious explanation for the data is that most of these people don’t really understand what DNA is, and don’t realize that it is contained in almost all food. When they read that a strange substance called “DNA” might be included in their food, they might suspect that this is some dangerous chemical inserted by greedy corporations for their own nefarious purposes.

The article discusses the wider issue of scientific ignorance driving policy decisions, and there is some further comment at io9. A summary of the full survey results is available (PDF).

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  • (Score: 1) by g2 In The Desert on Friday January 23 2015, @03:10PM

    by g2 In The Desert (3773) on Friday January 23 2015, @03:10PM (#137257)
    Yup. Boy are you right. Simple minded. But right. Only those "backward retarded states in america" (sp) do things like that! []
  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 23 2015, @04:53PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 23 2015, @04:53PM (#137310)

    He never said that California wasn't a backward, retarded state. That is where the absurdity of silicon valley, hollywood, and the whole of L.A. are after all.

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 23 2015, @06:39PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 23 2015, @06:39PM (#137365)

    While I'll admit that poking fun at 'red' states (which I think is the original poster's intent) is not particularly accurate when it comes to general public ignorance. The ignorance really is everywhere.

    I do feel compelled to point out that according to your link the town that was fooled for a short time over the long staning H2O joke, Aliso Viejo, is a suburb of Orange County. For all practical purposes, Orange County follows basically the same neo-liberal, pro-super rich (anti everyone else, including amusingly enough, themselves), pro-ignorance culture that 'red' states are believed to follow. In other words, I think the GP's inherent point was not refuted ;)

  • (Score: 2) by DeathMonkey on Friday January 23 2015, @07:00PM

    by DeathMonkey (1380) on Friday January 23 2015, @07:00PM (#137379) Journal

    Local officials nearly fall for H2O hoax.

    • (Score: 2) by frojack on Friday January 23 2015, @07:49PM

      by frojack (1554) Subscriber Badge on Friday January 23 2015, @07:49PM (#137395) Journal

      World plus dog fell for the DHMO hoax when it first appeared many years ago.
      New Zealand [], Denmark [], etc.

      Its a common tactic for these hoaxers to ambush people on the street corner with some question like

      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.

      The big scary chemical name is as far as most people read, because 1) they don't care, 2) they don't appreciate the interruption in their business, but don't want to be rude, 3) the survey is probably done by special interest kooks, because most of these surveys are.

      If the question is read to them, rather than or in addition to it being written, they are even more likely to stop listening at the big chemical name.

      No, you are mistaken. I've always had this sig.