Seat Belts, Tobacco, and GMO’s.
By William Olkowski, PhD, 8.20.12
How does one form their opinions? It’s a puzzle of how most people form their opinions, but for me most of the time, but I study myself and mine my experiences to aid my discoveries. The three issues above are an example, as I will explain.
Most people don’t have the time to fully understand any issue and pick up details here and there, from TV, magazines and newspapers, friends, and personal experiences. And to these usual sources the internet must be added. As an example, I have connected the dots from what I knew about car seat belts, the tobacco industry, and now about genetically modified crops and foods. This is how I connect the dots.
It was back in the 70s and 80s when we had a project funded by the Mott Foundation to implement a least toxic pest control for the Flint Michigan school district. The Mott Foundation was created by profits from the General Motors industry and was based in Flint. It was at that time the largest foundation in the US. The industry dominated the city as most people there derived their income from that industry. At that time there was a big “ta do” in Washington politics about what to do with the company as it was suffering from Japanese in-roads to the car market. A government bail out was arranged and because General Motors was “too big to fail”, public money was used to save the industry. At that time, there was a vocal but minor voice saying in real capitalism, whatever that is, an industry which fails deserves to do so and we as a society should let it fail. The other side said think about all those lost jobs and how the people who rely on that income will suffer. So the bail out was passed.
About that time we were flying between our base in Berkeley to DC, almost every month. We wanted to keep our EPA funds coming so would go to DC and hustle up grant projects. So in my expansive state I thought: “hey, we fly across the country every month, why not go for a project in the middle somewhere and the Mott Foundation was a logical source as they were interested in children and education. So we pitched a project to the foundation and were invited to visit the foundation and make our ideas known. That’s how we came to Flint, MI, and saw the effects of what then was a massive slow down in the car industry.
There was widespread poverty and one week when in Flint we saw what one of the consequences of the slow down were: no garbage pickup. We were sensitive to this aspect because of the connection between rats and garbage any good pest control person knows. Pest control from my viewpoint was a ride behind the scenes. The scene may look clean but with a little focus one can detect the rat holes and rat behavior. In DC at night, not even very late, I could see many rats running around the big dumpsters at 9 pm, for example. The garbage-rat connection is universal.
Now to the Seat Belt Connection.
Oh, by the way, I attributed the poor performance of the General Motors car industry to poor management. The Japanese had usurped the market because they produced a better car. That’s when the Honda was really something new and efficient compared to the same old junk which we produced.
So at night we head off to the local theater and see a movie with Sally Field, who portrays a prostitute. I’ve never met a prostitute and don’t want to, but the portrayal was like most such efforts, rather poorly designed. That being an aside, in between the two movies was a short film about seat belts. It was the common practice in movie theaters in those days to show a short between the double bill, which was what we called two movies back to back. The short was about using seat belts and it had been shown for 20 years or so as we could see how worn the film was by the missing spots projected onto the big screen.
The short described people who had been using seat belts survive head on collisions without even a scratch. And they showed the mess after the two vehicles collided. The stunned and surprised to be alive people were also interviewed. The context is important here. The car industry headed by GM managers had been stalling the government who wanted to have seat belts installed on every car. Studies had shown that seat belts could save lives, then estimated at 50,000 deaths per year and 200,000 people damaged severely, Per YEAR! The car companies, headed by GM countered that adding seat belts would wreck their economies at a time when they were fighting the Japanese car invasion.
So that was lie Number 1 in my argument. It’s a lie as we can see now that with every car having a seat belt we are having difficulty keeping emergency rooms open from lack of car crash victims.
Box A. Seat Belt Facts.
Seat Belts Fact Sheet
On this Page
Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death among those age 5-34 in the U.S.1 More than 2.3 million adult drivers and passengers were treated in emergency departments as the result of being injured in motor vehicle crashes in 2009. Adult seat belt use is the most effective way to save lives and reduce injuries in crashes. Yet millions of adults do not wear their seat belts on every trip.
How big is the problem of crash-related injuries and death?
Motor vehicle crashes are a major public health problem.
- More than 2.3 million adult drivers and passengers were treated in emergency departments as the result of being injured in motor vehicle crashes in 2009.
- The lifetime costs of crash-related deaths and injuries among drivers and passengers were $70 billion in 2005.
- Young adults (18-24) have the highest crash-related injury rates of all adults.
Seat Belts Have Saved an Estimated 255,000 Lives Since 1975.
In one year alone, crash deaths and injuries to drivers and passengers cost $70 billion in medical and lost work costs.
Nineteen States Still Lack a Primary Enforcement Seat Belt Law
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety maintains current information about state laws, who they cover, and fines.
That death rate even exceeded the rate experienced in war times, except for WWII (see Box A), and the atrocity proneVietnam war.
Box B. Total Deaths from WW2 and Vietnam. (from Wikipedia).
World War II fatality statistics vary, with estimates of total dead ranging from 50 million to over 70 million. The sources cited in this article document an estimated death toll in World War II of 62 to 78 million, making it the deadliest war in world history in absolute terms of total dead but not in terms of deaths relative to the world population. Using a rough figure of 10 years thats about 7 million per year without considering damaged people.
When scholarly sources differ on the number of deaths in a country, a range of war losses is given, in order to inform readers that the death toll is disputed. Civilians killed totaled from 40 to 52 million, including 13 to 20 million from war-related disease and famine. Total military dead: from 22 to 25 million, including deaths in captivity of about 5 million prisoners of war.
Total Deaths from Vietnam. Ibid.
U.S.military involvement ended on 15 August 1973 as a result of the Case–Church Amendment passed by the U.S. Congress. The capture of Saigon by the Vietnam People’s Army in April 1975 marked the end of the war, and North and South Vietnam were reunified the following year. The war exacted a huge human cost in terms of fatalities. Estimates of the number of Vietnamese soldiers and civilians killed vary from fewer than one million to more than three million. Some 200,000 to 300,000 Cambodians,20,000–200,000 Laotians, and 58,220 U.S. service members also died in the conflict.[A 2]
end box B.
Tobacco, a Carcinogen is Still Being Sold.
Until independent lawyers banned together to sue tobacco companies they were free to dispense their poisons. The law suits only slowed down their murderous addicting products. They are still free to sell their poisons. Their defenses were based on distorting scientific evidence. Freedom now services companies that kill.
Smoking is the #1 cause of preventable death in the U.S., causing over 393,000 deaths per year. » Learn more
Secondhand smoke is a serious health hazard for people of all ages, and is estimated to cause close to 50,000 deaths each year. » Learn more.
Genetically Modified Food
Now, we have the main caloric sources of food, corn, wheat, rice and soybeans, contaminated with various poisonous proteins and even herbicides. Plans are afoot to introduce many other engineered crops. This is an unbelievable happening and the potential health and ecological effects have only recently been conceptualized (see J. Smith – 2007, Genetic Roulette).
Connecting the Dots
It’s been all lies right from the beginning. Our regulators have abandoned rational thought. It’s an example of a belief system overriding rational thought, a practice common to religious belief. We have had rulers who commonly lie and cannot reason.
We have got used to hearing lies from government and business. The seat belt defense was lies as history has proved. Tobacco companies continue to sell under the idea that freedom to pollute human bodies is their right. Now it’s Genetically Modified Food being pushed under our noses without even a label designating the food is genetically modified.
So, its lies all around and there is widespread concern that our government is continuing and expanding the practice of lying and defending itself with its police powers. Our founding fathers must be turning in their graves. All they feared is coming true. We have the largest military by far in the world. We are killing people all over the world with drones which also kill US citizens. This is done by secret actions without trials nor public available evidence. We are stamping on our constitution, and hoping the most right wing power monger even raised to such a level doesn’t get elected President. It’s a new low for the US, even lower than after the Vietnam war which was a massive waste all around. And we lost that ill conceived war.
Let’s fight back and work together to stop GM foods by having them labeled. Then it’s up to the consumer to understand the threat these foods pose.