I shall end this working week, Friday the 13th and all, by warning you of the world’s biggest killer: Dihydrogen Monoxide. A chemical compound which takes thousands of lives each year, yet is used in industries and homes alike.
To quote from a petition circulated a few years ago:
“Dihydrogen monoxide… is the main component of acid rain… may cause severe burns, contributes to the erosion of our natural landscape”, yet it is used “as an industrial solvent and coolant… as a fire-retardant… as an additive in certain ‘junk-foods’ and other products”.
Scary? Read on.
Covering the food industry and related issues, I am daily inundated by various reports about health effects, or, more commonly, dangers caused by this-or-that substance. In some cases, fears may be well-founded, but the alerts are more often than not offset by counter-reports weeks, months or years later. Sometimes item x is good for you; next week another report claims it makes you ill. That is why I rarely, if ever, write on such reports, unless there is massive reason to do so. More often is it relevant to write about the effects on sales and public worries that such reports have caused.
Moreover… it is only too easy to fall for sloppy research, if you’re simply a journalist with no scientific knowledge. There is every reason to be cautious.
That’s one reason why the EU, and national authorities, try to examine all evidence for or against various food items before banning or recommending them. One such question currently underway is whether cloned food should be allowed for human consumption within the EU.
That’s an issue that worries a lot of people – but on the other hand, it’s technically all about copying an organism already proven safe. So, is it dangerous… or is it just our emotions that cause our gut reactions to avoid it?
So, still worried about the dangerous chemical Dihydrogen Monoxide, and prepared to sign up to call for its ban? Then read more here. This is a site I check regularly, and would like to recommend you to do, too.
I especially like the last paragraph about how a California muncipality almost passed a law banning the substance.