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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: 2) by MichaelDavidCrawford on Saturday January 24 2015, @08:06AM

    by MichaelDavidCrawford (2339) Subscriber Badge <> on Saturday January 24 2015, @08:06AM (#137574) Homepage Journal

    A little girl recently died because she accidentally ate a cookie that had peanut butter in it. She knew what was going to happen, begged her parents to save her life. Her parents were prepared with three Epipens - spring-loaded, automatic Epinephrine syringes - but just three injections failed to save her.

    In less than twenty minutes, she perished in horrible agony right in front of her stricken parents.

    You know how little children can be. I really have no idea but speculate that it was no accident that she was given that particular cookie.

    Yes I Have No Bananas. []
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  • (Score: 2) by maxwell demon on Saturday January 24 2015, @09:21AM

    by maxwell demon (1608) Subscriber Badge on Saturday January 24 2015, @09:21AM (#137584) Journal

    The label "can contain traces of nuts" could be helpful to allergic people if it were only put on food which has a non-negligible chance to contain traces of nuts.

    The Tao of math: The numbers you can count are not the real numbers.