Oh No! GMOs, Obamacare, and Weed

Oh No! GMOs, Obamacare, and Weed

Lauren PesinWednesday,25 November 2015

The list of issues and concepts “we” often talk about and don’t understand seems to grow every day.  Whether you listen to your neighbors, the geniuses of Facebook, or politicians, it’s obvious we like to hear ourselves talk, even if we don’t have a clue about the topic. The following are but a few additional issues that we just don’t understand but feel very strongly about.

 Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs)

From super crops to hairless cats, we’ve been modifying genes for decades with positive outcomes. Simplistic signs reading “No GMOs” weren’t stamped on thousands of labels or printed on protest signs in past years. You didn’t see those signs because people were either unaware of the possible bad results, didn’t care, or were smarter before when GMOs were known to feed people and reduce disease.

Just because we don’t understand the words, doesn’t mean it’s bad for us. Just because science intervenes instead of “nature” controlling the outcome doesn’t mean something is bad. Genetic modifications do in fact occur in nature without our intervention. Read Adrienne Boettinger’s post, “Hell No, GMO?” for another take on GMOs. In addition to the potential risks and questions, GMOs may also hold the answer to feeding the hungry, preventing disease, and helping the sick.

Positive GMO applications include:

– Assisting in the development of vaccines, hepatitis B virus (HBV), enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli (ETEC)
– Reducing instances of plant and animal viruses and bacteria
– Decreasing mad cow disease risk
– Countering drought and grow food in conditions inhospitable to plants or crops
– Growing more food, faster, helping to reduce world hunger
– Cultivating human tissue and transplant organs

We should change the “NO GMO” signs to reflect the things we don’t actually want, such as “No harmful pesticides, insecticides, and herbicides.” At least get the hate labels right.


Mass media would have you believe the Affordable Care Act (aka “Obamacare”) is a failed experiment that cost the American people billions of dollars with nothing to show for it. Regardless of what side of the party fence you fall on, Obamacare has been a passionately argued topic. I just wonder sometimes what both sides are actually arguing.

There remain challenges pertain to payment requirements and acceptable standards of health care. However, Obamacare has drastically cut the rate of uninsured Americans by a third (at least 16 million people). Specifically, children, young adults, and the impoverished now have access to healthcare. Consequently, Obamacare, regardless of the hype, has met its objective. There are bad decisions to blame President Obama for, but the Affordable Care Act shouldn’t be one of them. It’s simply the facts people.

Legalized Marijuana

Although arguably the most carefree issue of the day, the legalization of marijuana is still misunderstood. Those who are for legal herb typically are all in. All in includes pot plant tattoos, “Legalize Ganja” t-shirts, and even cannabis boxers. Those against it often think legalizing grass is a gateway to crack.

America won’t turn into a smoke-filled, drug-impaired, fish bowl of dope smokers. We aren’t going to start with allowing 2 ounces of bud today and legalize crack tomorrow. It’s true; marijuana is not just for old people with cataracts, hippies, college students, and experimental teens anymore. The nation is becoming a weed-friendly place (23 states and counting), but we aren’t going to suddenly have pot block parties and allow people to fire up the reefer on every corner. There are controls. Just as we don’t see people drinking in the streets (well, not usually), we won’t see people toking up a blunt everywhere, just because under certain conditions the law permits it.

These topics often cause an immediate emotional response based upon our conceptions of right and wrong. I admit, instinct occasionally points us in the right direction. I’m merely suggesting if we are going to yap about something, we should at least do some research.

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Image Credit: Rosalee Yagihara on Flickr

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