Tuesday, September 26, 2006

E. Coli: Something Doesn't Smell Right

It occurs to me that the media have been straining a bit too hard to squeeze hysteria out of the recent E. Coli flap. We must not be tempted to try this case in the press, or to tell Mr. Coli to accept responsibility for what he has done. That's a matter for his conscience and for the courts.

But let's take a calm, rational look at the trade-offs here. True, modern "miracle" pesticides such as those sold by Mr. Coli's company may pose unknown and terrifying health risks. Sperm counts are down and, anecdotally, for many, impotence and other urinary issues seem to grow more troubling every year. Ahem.

Nevertheless. Compare our lives today, thanks to the pesticide industry and its fine products, to the savagery of a medieval, pre-technological scenario in which your kids would be reduced to eating human waste. If they could get it.

Stop and think about that for a minute. Don't you want that sort of product to be available for your children? Are the wealthy Mr. Coli and Big Spinach — however callous and negligent — are they the villains here? Or are they getting a crappy deal?


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