Measles, GMs and Science

February 18, 2015

Hello everybody out there in farm country. This radio commentary is brought to you by Monsanto, and John Deere. They are all friends, supporters, and allies of a healthy farm economy and prosperous rural America. Thank you.

And now for today’s commentary—

Who would have ever predicted that measles would have been in the headlines day after day? I didn’t think anyone got measles today. Not the case when I was a kid. Everyone had measles and whooping cough and mumps. No big deal. The most frightening health problem was polio. I had a friend that contracted polio. Once the polio vaccine was available, people flocked to get vaccinated.

It’s hard for me to understand the reasoning that would cause some parents to not get their children vaccinated. Science has proven how it can protect the children from all of the diseases. When I was young, we had no choice but to “grin and bear it.”

In 2009, a Pew study found that 68% of people felt that vaccination should be mandatory. However, 30% said – No. Parents should decide. If there are too many people unvaccinated, we can have a disease outbreak. That’s where we are today. Some mothers don’t want some doctor shooting chemicals into their children. That’s just not natural.

They don’t trust science. Those are some of the same people that don’t want to trust genetically modified foods. We have been eating GM foods for 20 years. No one got sick. Europeans have been the biggest obstacle to genetic engineering. You can be skeptical but, without evidence to justify your skepticism, you will eventually have to change your mind. That’s where we are headed. Genetic modification gives us plants more resistant to pests and drought. We get bigger yields. We will need those bigger yields to feed the world.

If we are to rely on science to give us the green light to be vaccinated and eat GM foods, then what about global warming? Perhaps I should say climate change. More than 80% of scientists think climate change is caused by human activity. Only about 50% of the public agree with the scientists. I must admit that I am a little skeptical, but I’ll keep an open mind. Climate change may be verified in time, but right now the public is just not ready.

If you would like to review my radio shows going back more than 20 years, just go on-line to Have a great weekend. Until next week, I am John Block in Washington, D.C.