Thursday, April 4, 2013

An Anti-Intellectual Attack Against Young Women

A petition has gone viral.   Spawned from an ambitious, maybe eight year old girl Alicia Serratos of Orange County, CA, a petition has been launched on Change.org to persuade the Girl Scouts of America to remove transgenic (GMO) ingredients from girl scout cookies.  Alicia claims (well, her parents claim) that "GMOs studies (sic) (in animals) have linked them to infertility, immune problems, accelerated aging, faulty insulin regulation, and changes in major organs and the gastrointestinal system."


The page from Alica's anti-GMO cookie petition.  It is hard to get a hunger for cookies when you have been fed full of deception. 



Of course, there is no real evidence to support her claims of health problems that is accepted by the scientific community.  Scientific consensus is that transgenic crops have an outstanding safety record and have no plausible mechanism of harm.

While her parents should be congratulated about raising a daughter that is inspired to take action and create change, they should be harshly criticized for perpetuating the mis-truths of activists that want to instill fear. Her parents provide a conduit to push the agenda of the deceptive.  It does not teach Alicia critical thinking, how to evaluate science, and how to identify real experts to help her address her concerns. THESE are the processes we should be teaching our daughters!

Instead, little Alicia will be taught to criticize good technology, demonize scientists, and parrot contrived messages of fear. She'll develop the credulity that leaves her vulnerable to those that wish to take advantage of her.  She won't question the reality of a claim, a dangerous place to be as a young woman getting ready to take on life.

Everyone agrees that we need to be teaching young women STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) subjects and developing their interest in these areas.  Here, Alicia is being taught that scientists are unreliable and that technology is dangerous.

It also potentially tarnishes the Girl Scouts of the USA brand, and affects fundraising for an organization that does good things for young women with the money.

To raise a generation of strong and competent women we need to teach them facts, not use them as pawns to reinforce a misguided parental agenda.