Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Freedom of Choice?

The "editorial page" of the current (September) issue of Consumer Reports offers an interesting comment on the hazardous (if not deadly) risks associated with many dietary supplements discussed in their "Dangerous Supplements" story:

Every time Congress takes small steps toward strengthening supplement safety, the industry mobilizes high-pitched lobbying campaigns in the name of freedom of choice for consumers.

This made for interesting reading as the news has just come down that the Proposition 8 ban on same-sex marriage has been overturned as unconstitutional by a Federal judge. My guess is that many of the supporters of Proposition 8 would be only too happy to recognize the "freedom of choice for consumers" to purchase what they wish, whatever hazards that purchase may entail towards self (dangerous supplements) or others (firearms). Freedom to choose what you buy is apparently sacrosanct; freedom to choose whom you marry is an instrument of the devil. Yesterday I assumed that, if the nature of the choice was framed in a way that people would better understand it, they would be less susceptible to efforts to "engineer" their choice through vigorous propagandizing of the consciousness industry. Today I feel more as if that is an idealistic dream of one who still believes that there is value in the power of reason!

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