Historically scientists have had a hallowed status in society. From Toth in ancient Egypt to metallurgist in the Benin Kingdom and native doctors in villages all over Nigeria, They have pushed humanity forward through their ability to address society’s problems through the ages even at risk to their own well being.
Scientist earned their status in society through their uncompromising search for truth, tirelessly and independently at risk to their personal health. They did this While questioning the status-quo and at risk to persecution. Their selfless work was done in a bid to share this knowledge with the layman helping us understand our world better while helping humanity advance. Science has indeed been the vehicle in which mankind has “advanced”.
Modern Science for the most part carried on this tradition. Nobel Prize winner Marie Curie whose selfless,pioneering work on radioactivity led to her untimely death as well as so many others. It is in this unshaken determination and quest for truth that scientist gained their hallowed status in society.
The short video below shows 10 scientists who lost their lives in the quest for knowledge.
Modern science has lead to amazing strides that have shaped the world we live in today. Such discoveries include penicillin by Alexander Fleming, electromagnetic induction by Michael Faraday and last but not the least, the discovery of the double-helix structure of DNA by James Watson and Francis Crick which laid the foundation for modern day genetics.
A factor that also helped scientist on their quest for truth was funding; Their research usually funded by themselves or grants from the state allowed a neutrality in their quest for truth.
As with all good things, science and scientist were eventually corrupted. This corruption happened for two reasons.
1) TO QUELL PEOPLE’S QUERIES ON ACTIVITIES THAT YIELDED ECONOMICAL BENEFITS BUT WERE MORALLY UNJUST.
This was first seen during slavery. During which merchants and states engaged several scientist to assuage moral opposition to the Atlantic slave trade. Scientist such as Alexander Thomas and Samuell Sillen described black men as uniquely fitted for bondage, because of their “primitive psychological organization. Adding that they were little higher than animals. Samuel A. Cartwright (1793–1863), considered slave escape attempts as “drapetomania“, a treatable mental illness, that “with proper medical advice, strictly followed, this troublesome practice that many Negroes have of running away can be almost entirely prevented”.
Early anthropologists, such as Josiah Clark Nott, Robert Knox, and Samuel George Morton, aimed to scientifically prove that Negroes were a human species different from the white people species; that the rulers of Ancient Egypt were not African. Darwins theory of Natural selection was a forerunner to these works.
In such instances, Scientist were engaged and funded not to investigate, but to discover a conclusion already pre-determined by their patron.
2) THE RISING COST OF CONDUCTING SCIENTIFIC RESEARCH
The advancement in scientific research came with its challenges such as higher cost of Lab machinery and experiments. This reshaped the dynamics of science research. Research institutes, schools and even governmental organizations could no longer afford to fund research independently. Independent research was replaced by collaborations with the private sector and special interest groups. The advancement in modern technology owes its credence to this model.
The problems started when the lines of “public good” and “commercial opportunity” started to clash. It clashed because the people that were to be looking out for the public good were the same people being funded by companies being investigated. The first main example was the tobacco industry and its link with cancer. For forty years, whistle blowers within the industry as well as Independent researchers alerted the world to the links between smoking and cancer. In a bid to continue making their profits at the expense of consumers’ health, tobacco companies relied on bullying, manipulation and lies. Scientist that sought to expose the truth were ridiculed, fired from the place of employment and bullied by tobacco industry funded scientist in a bid to undermine scientific evidence. It took forty years for the industry to finally admit what it had known all along. They knew the truth but they hired scientist to go as far as convincing doctors that smoking is good for the health.
Now the question is how society should deal with these scientists that sell their conscience to push a lie based on their revered status as scientist. Personally I think once it can be proved scientist knowingly deceived the public, they should be tried for treason and sentenced as such.
Presently the same manipulation can be seen with the Bio-tech industry. Every top scientist that THEY APPROACH to do a study on their product which happens to yield a result that differs from what the likes of Monsanto and Sygenta have pre-determined , these scientist are immediately ostracized and made the victim of a scientific Pr witch hunt.
Furthermore the FDA and other health organizations which are tasked with looking out for the health of citizens, turn a blind eye to health warnings even from their own scientist. These details can be seen in declassified documents made available from court proceedings.
It is a FACT that the FDA (food and drug administration) of America decided that genetically modified organisms (GMOs) are the functional equivalent of conventional foods. They arrived at this decision without testing GMOs for allergenicity, toxicity, anti-biotic resistance and functional characteristics. This is nothing new, scientist have been used all over the world to further Corroborate lies in exchange for funding, grants etc.
“Monsanto should not have to vouchsafe the safety of biotech food. Our interest is in selling as much of it as possible. Assuring its safety is the FDA’s job.”
– Philip Angell, Monsanto’s director of corporate communications (the FDA is the US government’s Food and Drug Administration, responsible for food safety)
“Ultimately, it is the food producer who is responsible for assuring safety.”
– US Food and Drug Administration (FDA)
Historically, Monsanto and other Bio-tech firms have had a long history of knowingly lying and covering up the negative impacts their products have on human beings as well as the environment.
DDT – For years Monsanto produced this product and for years claimed it was safe. After years of independent research, the product was proved to cause cancer and linked to several other diseases. It was eventually ban in America.
Monsanto’s Round-up herbicide spray – For years Monsanto said this product was bio-degradable and caused no harm to the environment until independent research showed that less than 5percent of its toxic herbicide degrades in the soil, thus forcing them to remove the Bio-degradable tag from their products.
You can read more here
Monsanto is not alone, Sygenta’s Atrazine herbicide spray – Has been proved to be an endocrine disruptor that de-masculinizes and feminizes male frogs causing both male and female frogs to become hermaphrodites. Investigation showed frogs exposed to this chemical in their water supply had both testes and ovaries. Atrazine is banned by the European Union, due to studies indicating potential human reproductive problems. Sygenta agreed to pay $105 million to settle a class-action lawsuit in which water utilities in the U.S. Midwest claimed that Sygenta’s atrazine contaminated water supplies. Citing independent research done by Tyrone B. Hayes a Harvard graduate and a professor of Integrative Biology at University of California, Berkeley. ( Despite Sygenta’s sustained efforts at making his life hell with constant attempts at discrediting his work and his reputation.).
I have always wondered why no one seems to question the thinking behind Herbicide resistant technology. Monsanto and Sygenta produce a chemical that kills all plant life including the one they are supposed to be protecting. Rather than produce a less toxic chemical or seek alternative ways of killing the weeds, they instead change the plant by inserting genes from bacteria. No one seems to question the thinking behind exposing human beings to these kinds of toxic chemicals.
The most telling display of Monsanto’s disregard for human health and the environment was the PCB scandal. During which Monsanto dumped 45 tons of PCBs (conveniently it was dumped in AFRICAN AMERICAN neighborhoods, I mean they had choices of dump-sites it just happened to be the BLACK neighborhood) poisoning the black Neighborhoods drinking water. In August 2003, Solutia and Monsanto agreed to pay plaintiffs $700 million to settle claims by over 20,000 Anniston residents related to PCB contamination. Documents from the case files show that Monsanto knew the damage they were causing and concealed it.
Bovine growth hormone another Monsanto product was banned In Canada and Europe after the bribery scandal between Health Canada and Monsanto. It was alleged that Monsanto offered Health Canada one to two million dollars to approve BGH without any further studies. During which three of the leading scientist testified in court about the negative effects the product had on cows. These effects included causing mastitis (meaning there is Pus in the milk you drink from that cow), birth defects as well as increased anti-biotic in the cows system to treat its infected mammary glands and thus subsequently in your system. What this means is when people actually fall sick and take antibiotics, it would not work because the body has already been inundated with antibiotics. Yet another example in which the company puts the sale of its product first without a care in the world about the effects on the consumer or livestock.
The list goes on and on in regards to the corruption of science and in turn what we believe to be safe or the words regurgitated constantly by Monsanto agents such as NABDA and the Minister of Agriculture.
Dr. Árpád Pusztai a very prestigious scientist at the Rowett Research Institute in Aberdeen, Scotland and a world leader in the study of lectins authoring 270 papers and three books on the subject. Was approached by Monsanto to study GM potatoes in order to get the GMO products approved to be grown in Europe.
He publicly announced that the results of his research showed feeding genetically modified potatoes to rats had negative effects on their stomach lining and immune system. This led to scientific criticism and Pusztai being suspended and his annual contract was not renewed.
Within a few days, he was ridiculed, had lost his job, and was forced into retirement, but several dozen scientists around the world came to his support, studied his research and said that he was correct, that these genetically engineered potatoes were dangerous. Earlier this year, he testified at the House of Commons in London, where they are now doing a major inquiry.
So there is nothing new about what NABDA (lucy obudu) and the Minister of Agriculture (Dr Adesina) are doing, it just a shame Nigeria keeps getting sold in to slavery by its own people.
Ministries and Agencies that are to cater to the safety and well being of the Nigerian people have been corrupted. They seek to push western predatory relationships, whose main concern is to create an annex of consumption of their goods and a monopolized market for their goods regardless of the many dangers and harm it causes to the citizenry.
They will only succeed if we fold our arms and do nothing… The senate recently passed the Bio-safety Bill…. Monsanto is grinning at their Nigerian office preparing to start full operations this month..Has this virus come to stay?