Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Skeptics Live Forever

There are skeptics and deniers of strong scientific evidence located everywhere.  Supply Management ("SM") is no exception.

How long will supporters of Canada's
Supply Management stick their heads
in the sand to avoid hearing and seeing
the truth?
You don't have to be the first person to believe every rumor that comes your way.  That is the definition of being gullible and naive.

However, there comes a time when the evidence mounts and mounts to a point that continuing to deny borders on insanity.  That is what scientists call Cognitive Dissonance:
In psychology, cognitive dissonance is the mental stress or discomfort experienced by an individual who holds two or more contradictory beliefs, ideas, or values at the same time, or is confronted by new information that conflicts with existing beliefs, ideas, or values.
Leon Festinger's theory of cognitive dissonance focuses on how humans strive for internal consistency. When inconsistency (dissonance) is experienced, individuals tend to become psychologically uncomfortable and are motivated to attempt to reduce this dissonance, as well as actively avoiding situations and information which are likely to increase it.
 How does this apply to Canada's Supply Management System?  It appears that we have not yet reached a state of Cognitive Dissonance for Supply Management in Canada.

Go back to sleep, it's not yet time to wake up!

To prepare for the awakening (or to hasten its arrival), I have presented evidence suggesting there are 2.7 deaths per year of Canadians that are caused by SM chicken contaminated by salmonella that is regularly sold at retail stores in Canada (see SFPFC's Blog Posting 2.7 Canadians Die Each Year from SM's Contaminated Chicken   and discussions about this evidence on Better Farming.

Those 2.7 deaths/yr from Canadian SM chicken was based upon both US and Canadian data.  I have openly declared from the very beginning my use of US data due to the lack of Canadian data.  Not everything is identical in both US and Canada, but they are often similar.  Until we have the necessary data for Canada, the US data can help us estimate the likely effects and risks on a qualitative or approximate basis.

In spite of this, the skeptics have totally rejected all evidence against SM's questionable methods as useless. It appears that the skeptics feel that SM Canadian chicken is perfect, the best in the world, and are unwilling to consider any suggestion to the contrary.

I agree that there is some room for doubt in these food safety risk assessments; there always will be.  However, there is a concept called "Precautionary Principle", first developed in Germany in the 1980's.

As to application of the Precautionary Principle for ensuring the health of Canadians, Health Canada says:
 "The Health Canada Decision Making Framework treats the concept of precaution as pervasive. As such it does not require extremes in the actions taken. Instead, risk management strategies reflect the context and nature of the issue, including the urgency, scope and level of action required."
Shouldn't the Precautionary Principle also be applied to SM's practices?

There is also the principle of Occam's Razor, which says the best answer is usually the simplest answer with the fewest assumptions.

In spite of these two principles, there are those who still assume and believe in geocentrism (ie. the Earth is at the centre of our solar system, not the Sun).  This argument started around 2,000 BC and continues to today, over 4,000 years and counting.

Somehow, I don't think the SM debate will end any time soon.

There are also those skeptics who believe the Earth is flat (ie. not a globe, see Flat Earth Society)

DDT was seen as a wonderful pesticide for the first 14 years (1948 - 1962), but slowly the mounting scientific evidence suggested otherwise.

Other skeptics still insisted in sworn testimony before the US Congress in 1994 that the scientific proof was far from conclusive as to whether cigarette smoking caused lung cancer or addiction.  That was 38 years after Doll & Hill's study of British physicians in 1956 first offered scientific evidence of what was suspected for 400 years before that.

To be a skeptic is every individuals choice, to believe as they will.  Soon, SM Believers may be added to the deniers of other scientific evidence listed above.  We'll have to wait to see for sure.

Do you believe it is OK for the masses being doomed to suffer as long as there is at least one person left who chooses to deny the overwhelming body of evidence against SM?

I believe there is now sufficient scientific evidence to take action to improve SM chicken so as to reduce the risk and cost of this terrible system.

Further denial of the available scientific evidence delays the solution, and increases the risk and suffering for all.

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