Both Parties Have Their Anti-Science Quacks

    The California Democratic Party recently endorsed Proposition 37, which requires all genetically engineered foods to be labeled except for specific products like meat and dairy. While a label is typically seen as a warning of something wrong, the National Academy of Sciences, the World Health Organization, the Environmental Protection Agency, the Federal Drug Administration and the U.S. Department of Agriculture all agree that genetically modified crops are not more dangerous than organic ones. Yet, if this proposition passes, we may expect higher food prices once companies decide to change their ingredients to more expensive organic ones. If genetically engineered food is a problem, one can buy USDA organic or continue to shop at more expensive grocery stores like Whole Foods or Trader Joe’s.

    Many prominent liberals have also falsely espoused a link between vaccines and autism. This list includes Robert Kennedy Jr., Jim Carey, Bill Maher and Jenny McCarthy. The controversy stems from a paper published by Lancet in 1998 claiming MMR vaccines could cause autism. Not only has the paper been retracted by Lancet, but the lead author of the study has been found guilty of professional misconduct and can no longer practice as a doctor. This negligence has a high cost on society. For example, San Diego suffered a measles outbreak in 2008, costing $10,736 per case. This could be attributed to the doubled rate of unvaccinated children since 1990. Another policy some liberals oppose is nuclear power. Greenpeace continues to vehemently oppose the expansion of nuclear power plants despite its ability to reduce carbon emissions compared to other energy choices. They overstate the risks and use deceitful science to explain that accidents like Chernobyl will be the norm if nuclear power becomes widespread. Nevertheless, President Barack Obama and many Democratic politicians do support nuclear power.

    It may seem like I am setting up an equivalence where both parties have an equal amount of anti-science hacks, but the truth is that the Republican Party has far more of them. Only 36 percent of registered Republicans believe that global warming is mainly caused by human activities compared to 65 percent of registered Democrats. Ignorance of science like this has real effects on human lives so it is important we continue to scold politicians for their mishandling of facts for ideological purposes.

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