An intelligence test sometimes shows a man how smart he would have been not to have taken it.
Laurence J. Peter
I think sometimes we put to much stock into really smart people. We think just because ‘they’ said it, they surely have considered all the options, weighed the pros and cons and we have no doubt they came up with the right answer or have the keenest insight. It’s human nature I guess. After all, these intelligent folks usually have degrees or accomplishments most of us don’t and this lends to the idea that they are almost beyond reproach. Unfortunately the hefty benefit of doubt we give to these astute people can many times lead us astray of common sense. What’s more we often defend that position we’ve now adopted for our own and actively criticize others who haven’t yielded their own thoughts to this superior mind.
We’re Off To See the Wizard
A recent case in point is the loud and clear claims on national TV from Dr. Mehmet Oz that we are being fed arsenic in our foods, specifically, apple & other drinking juices. Fans of the show know this man affectionately as Dr. Oz and when he speaks- it’s as good as gold for millions. People who have never met this man have given his opinion elevated status whether deserved or not. After-all, he’s on the tube and he’s a Dr. So when he said arsenic was in the juice our babies drink and we are in immediate and imminent danger, these people believed him. When he associated pesticides being made with arsenic the mental die was cast. When he told those watching that cancer was associated with this arsenic/pesticide cocktail, well that just sealed the deal and hey, that’s not that much of a stretch is it? We’ve been hearing this from many smart people over the years.
Just A Slight Problem
I don’t doubt Dr. Oz’s intelligence but I do his honesty and for that matter I question most people who use fear and misleading information to promote their cause. From what I understand about this latest assault and perpetuation of terror on pesticides is the good Dr. rightly stated that arsenic is indeed in the water that helped make these juices. It’s just that the arsenic in question was ‘organic’ and occurs naturally and is of no harm. Inorganic arsenic is the ingredient in pesticides and was not the type detected in the juice. (there’s more to it I’m sure but I ain’t got near the brain to understand it-you can foller the blue links to read bout it yerself) I could understand if there was a mistake but I thought ‘smart people’ didn’t make those. Besides, he was told before the show even aired by Nestle’ USA who makes some of the foods in question and even the FDA wrote a letter advising him of his error.
In a letter published on the Oz show’s website, Nestlé said it told the program’s producer in advance that the method the show’s lab used was intended for testing waste water, not fruit juice, and “therefore their results would be unreliable at best.”
The FDA also sent a letter in advance to the show and threatened to post its findings and the letters online if the program proceeded. Oz went ahead.
You Can’t Un-Ring That Bell
Now I’m not a fan of the show mainly because I spend my day out in the field and have never watched much more than a few minutes at different clients home. That said, one can barely escape the barrage of commercials touting the ‘big episodes with explosive topics and even though you may miss the entire show on the day it airs- the damage is already done in the form of snippets and buzzwords. Literally millions of people will base their opinions, ideas, fears and positions on pesticides ergo pest control and ultimately- YOU- based on a very smart man who speaks little or no truth in 10 second sound bites. Once that trail of thought is blazed in a brain it can be literally impossible to change ones mind and that person will spread the madness based on little or no facts or at most an anecdotal episode in someone’s life they heard about- you know, on that show they meant to watch. Sadly it’s not confined to celebrities, this man claims to have an IQ of 200 and been in pest control for 35 years. I almost hate to put this link up and give him any sort of boost in traffic but it’s just one more example of the smart people leading the way.
The Gift Of A Brain Comes With Responsibility
Now I’m not saying pesticides are something anyone would want to drink or have any ill effects from. I also acknowledge that the “cide” at the end of the word means “to kill.” Do we need to be judicious? Without doubt, but we also don’t need to just cart blanche take the word of a man Dr. or not. Just because a person spouts off a buzz word and quotes a study done here and there shouldn’t be your standard for truth. If there is harm or negative consequences, so be it. Let’s deal with it, adjust make it right and learn from it. By the way, I think as an industry we’ve done a damn good job of just that. But at no time should we/you impugn an entire industry that has literally helped keep us from becoming a 3rd world country just because some really smart people tell us to be afraid and ban what we know little about – Maybe it’s time to look behind the curtain and face these people who have put on such a good show.