I chanced upon this quick article on Discovery.com wherein Emily Sohn discusses recent findings that the plastic coating placed on fast food wrappers actually breaks down and enters our bloodstream. Worse still, it mutates into a carcinogen in the body, and is likely linked to cancer. The icing on the proverbial cake is the fact that these wrappers, through our poor waste management actually enters our waterways in such quantities that the very same carcinogens that are found in human blood over here in the “civilized world”, has also been found in similar concentrations in the blood of Polar Bears all the way across the earth. I mean, really? Really really?
Someone please tell me where the surprise is? Because I missed it. Manufacture only cares about protecting the public enough so that they are not vulnerable to lawsuit. R&D, or research and development is ultimately aimed at producing inexpensive technologies that seemingly add value to the goods being sold so that higher charges result in greater profits. The fact that the long term effects of these chemicals is unknown, just as its leeching potential was unexpected and unstudied only serves to reinforce my grim understanding of the production rationale that corporations abide by.
The last line of this article quotes a scientist who says he doesn’t know if we should be concerned yet…Tell me really, at what point does one try to put out a fire in ones home? Do you wait until the fire singes you to be sure that it is actually hot, or do you spring to action as soon as you smell smoke so as to prevent major losses.
Ah Science. If any one ever wonders why i chose environmental psychology, a social science that remains pretty uncorrupted / co-opted by industry, it is for this reason. In the physical sciences (and some of the social sciences) your funding determines just how much common sense and morality you can weave to your research. Being beholden to private interests for your wages means that you are immediately co-opted, despite your best intentions otherwise. That co-optation leads to short-sighted, fretful assertions like :