I’ve previously written about how your environment and lifestyle, particularly your diet, has a direct influence on your genetic expression. For example, research using identical twins have shown that diet trumps genes in terms of the level of health you achieve.The science of epigenetics also challenges the conventional view of genetics, proving that the environment determines which traits a gene will express, and that your fate is in no way written in stone even if you have genetic predispositions.Findings such as these offer tremendous amounts of hope for every single one of us, as it removes us from the position of victims of our heredity, and makes us masters of our own health and well-being.Alas, as expressed in the featured article1 by Jonathan Latham, PhD, it has become increasingly clear that there’s collusion going on between our government, industry, and scientists, to hide the fact that everything from human health and intellectual capacity to various addictions are indeed caused by the environment in which we find ourselves.
Science Increasingly Used as a Tool for Social Control
Latham starts off by discussing a truly blatant example of this type of manufactured PR. A recent study2 found that 98 percent of all variation in educational attainment (i.e. whether you complete high school or college) is accounted for by factors other than your genetic makeup.“This implies that most of student success is a consequence of potentially alterable social or environmental factors,” Latham writes.“This is an important and perhaps surprising observation, of high interest to parents, teachers, and policymakers alike; but it did not make the headlines. The likely reason is that the authors of the study failed to mention the 98 percent figure in the title, or in the summary. Nor was it mentioned in the accompanying press release.Instead, their discussion and interest focused almost entirely on a different aspect of their findings: that three gene variants each contribute just 0.02% (one part in 5,000) to variation in educational attainment.Thus the final sentence of the summary concluded not with a plea to find effective ways to help all young people to reach their full potential but instead proposed that these three gene variants “provide promising candidate SNPs (DNA markers) for follow-up work.”This is as spectacular a misdescription of a scientific finding as is to be found anywhere in the scientific literature. But the question is why?”Why indeed. Well, the answer becomes rather obvious when you consider the factors at play. First of all, there’s the issue of pure ego and self preservation of geneticists. Study after study demonstrates that genes actually have precious little to do with anything that happens to you.It doesn’t seem to matter what’s under review, be it disease, behavior, or more nebulous areas such as your ability for “happiness”—the link to specific genetic variations remains stubbornly elusive. If gene variation is truly irrelevant, then the entire field of genetic research becomes superfluous…But as Latham points out, the full answer to this question is more “interesting” than mere conflict of interest on behalf of scientists trying to keep their field alive. Government and a number of industries also have a vested interest in genetics, as gene variation removes responsibility from their respective shoulders. According to Latham:“[O]ver the last 15 years, close to half the budget of the NIH has gone to genetic analysis of human populations. That is likely in excess of $100 billion dollars in the US alone.The tobacco industry also pioneered ‘behavioral genetics’. The idea that even addiction to cigarettes was a genetic phenomenon (and not a characteristic of cigarettes or tobacco) originated with the tobacco industry. The consistent aim behind promoting genetics, according to a memo written by Fred R. Panzer, Vice President of Public Relations for the Tobacco Institute, was to change the focus of attention “from one product to a type of person”.
Science of Human Health in the Grip of Hidden Political Forces
In his article, Latham makes a strong case for the idea that our health science is “in the grip of hidden political forces.” This is similar to what I discussed in my article, “Expert” Detractors on California Prop 37 are Shills for Big Biotech. In it, I reveal how for-profit corporations hire “third party experts” to bring their message to you, especially through the media.This, my friends, is a commonly used form of propaganda, perfected by the tobacco industry. It’s nothing but advertising masquerading as “information,” or worse, as “independently-verified evidence.” In essence, it’s a hidden form of social control, where the opinion of the masses is steered by industry- and/or government forces.If people can be made to believe that their genes are the primary drivers of disease, poor mental health, and even educational achievement, then those in control need not change a thing—toxins need not be removed from their products and the social control mechanism that is our US educational system can remain unaddressed, for example. It’s well worth noting that evidence for genetic causations of any kind remains stunningly absent. As researchers Claudia Chaufan and Jay Joseph wrote3: “[T]hese variants have not been found because they do not exist.”It’s quite clear that money and politics can and are dictating the conclusions of scientific research. I’ve discussed this in a number of articles that address how dramatically funding will skew a study’s findings. Using the featured study as an example, the funding for the genetic research into a person’s ability to attain a higher educational status was funded by a genetic epidemiology project called the Social Science Genetic Association Consortium (SSGAC), which obtains its money primarily from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the US government. The Consortium performs research under the founding premise that most outcomes in life stems from your genetic makeup. As Latham states:“Consequently, the aim of all its projects is to physically locate these specific genetic factors on human DNA. But the actual Rietveld result implies that such genetic predispositions are pretty much irrelevant, at least as far as educational attainment is concerned. Thus we can say that SSGACs’ founding premise is not in alignment with the data.But that just brings the question back one stage further: why is the US government funding excessively genetic determinist projects such as this in the first place? The probable answer is that the US education system has many problems, which are exemplified by its low rankings on international scales. There is a danger that blame for these problems might be laid at the door of the secretary for education, the administration, or the President. This possibility could be neatly sidestepped, however, if educational attainment was genetically fated.Essentially the same political logic applies to any human disease or disorder, or even any social complaint. If the disorder, for example autism, can be shown (or even just suggested) to have a partial genetic origin then a barn door is opened for any accused vaccine maker, or polluter, or policymaker, to evade the blame–both legally and in the perception of the public.”