If you’re a typical American adult consumer, you’re bombarded with a slew of commercial messages each and every day.
Anyone care to guess how many?
According to a marketing study—one completed several years ago, by the way—from the Harvard University School of Business, the number exceeds 3,000.
That’s right. Three thousand times a day we’re exposed to advertisements, signage, slogans, jingles, songs, commercials, PSAs, billboards, sales pitches, pop-ups, website links, email offers, online messaging and PR “news”—not to mention all the traditional ads on radio, TV and in print.
We tell ourselves that as efficient, modern denizens of the Digital World (or the post-Information Age or however you want to label the 21st century) that we know how to filter out the chaff and respond only to the wheat. That we can navigate skillfully across the sea of information upon which we daily travel, that we’re not merely treading water, so to speak.
But a critical by-product of this relentless and unprecedented bombardment of information is the increasing difficulty we all have have in separating “good” data from “bad.” Legitimate, factual information from its evil twin misinformation.
Here’s a typical example. Skim through any of the activist posting and papers condemning agricultural applications of biotechnology and you’ll notice a disturbing trend: Most of the non-scientific types posting the propaganda are beginning to refer to “GMOs” as if they were actual microorganisms, like bacteria.
From the Environmental Working Group: “GMOs are ﬁnding their way into 70% of popular processed food, like breakfast cereal, cookies, chips, soda and frozen meals.”
What, they’re like enemy agents infiltrating our food supply?
Or from Natural News.com: “GMOs turn pig stomach into mush!” This non-story suggests that “feeding pigs GMO corn and soy caused a 26% increase in stomach inflammation,” as if the effect is caused by pathogenic “bugs” attacking the poor animals.
Or how about the tagline for a new group called GMO-Free Canada: “Say no to GMOs!” Which makes it seem as if GMOs are some sort of contaminant.
Solving the problem
Granted, the acronym GMO stands for “genetically modified organisms.” But that appellation has been cleverly twisted by activists and their media apologists to emphasize “organism,” rather than “genetic modification.”