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Fall Exam Review Questions + Notes.docx
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Department
Social Science
Course
SOSC 1801
Professor
Jon Johnson
Semester
Fall

Description
1) what is a controversy? a) a dispute or debate on an issue b) four kinds i) public debate among different groups over a health issue ii) scientific/scholarly debate concerning a health issue iii) betrayal of public trust leading to sickness iv) a group benefits at the expense of the health of others c) example: is abortion good or bad? people could argue for both sides of the issue 2) what is the veil of secrecy and how is it controversial? (related to PR tactic) a) it is essentially a curtain that separates the truth from the public b) we only see what the company lets us c) many organizations that claim to be ‘non profit’ actually receive large amount of money from other companies/the industry - they just care about getting more profits d) example: labels of foods do not say MSG because companies know that less people will buy it, but there are still other forms of MSG that are used and it is alright to put those on the label. people think they aren’t eating MSG, but they technically are 3) what is the MMR vaccine and how is it controversial? a) vaccine that was created to prevent people from getting measles, mumps or rubella b) a few days after children were vaccinated, they started having negative reactions c) meningitis, bowel disorders, seizures d) there was a theory that it caused autism e) vaccine damages gut → brain exposed to harmful metabolites → autism f) there were many lawsuits that were filed 4) what is BSE and how is it controversial? a) bovine spongiform encephalitis aka ‘mad cow disease’ b) thousands of cows were killed in Britain, in attempt for the disease not to spread c) people stopped eating beef because of this but that did not last for long d) it left people wondering if it was safe to eat meat 5) who was Andrew Wakefield and was it his connection to the matter? a) he created the theory that the MMR vaccine caused autism b) he was in favour of taking single vaccines, instead of MMR vaccine c) he did studies to see the results of the vaccine i) he published the results without consent and he even made up some results that helped his case 6) what was the aftermath of the investigations? a) his published article was retracted because of his accusations b) the media reported on his fraud c) MMR vaccine rates dropped a lot i) the cases of MMR actually increased 7) what is scientific hegemony? a) the dominance of one social group over others to the extent that the cultural/symbolic values of the dominant group become naturalized within society as ‘common sense’ 8) what is the PR tactic and how is it controversial? a) it is the public relations tactic b) companies have certain techniques that make people want to buy/consume their product c) it is also used to deflect any negative attention/media away from their company d) companies hire outside sources to make it seem like there is nothing wrong with their products - they can say there is ‘scientific evidence’ e) example: Monsanto claimed they would improve by decreasing the amount of pollution they let out of the factories but that isn’t the real problem with that company. they just used all the media attention and claimed to be doing something good, but actually, it just hid the real issue 9) what is Monsanto? a) it is a company that creates GMOs b) people have many problems with it because GMOs are very controversial - some people think they are bad and there could be unknown risks that come with their consumption 10)what is industrial food production and how is it controversial? a) it is the process of modern farming for the mass-production of crops and livestock i) uses lots of chemicals, pesticides, antibiotics, hormones b) the methods are highly technical, scientific and economic - goal is to increase efficiency c) it is essentially factory farming - instead of farming things, they are made in factories d) there are many ethical issues with this, the foods created usually have less nutrients because of the way they are grown/prepared, there is a large amount of emissions that are produced e) example: the chickens in Food Inc. are given large doses of hormones to make them grow bigger and faster, so the companies can have more product available. these chickens are raised in inhumane conditions, which lowers the cost of each. they are also less nutritious and can make people sick because the meat could be contaminated 11)how is food regulated/not regulated and how is that controversial? a) food in the USA is regulated by the FDA (food and drug administration) i) involves safety testing and approvals of products, inspection and quality enforcement, bans/recalls of products, enforcing proper labelling/marketing b) in reality, there is insufficient regulation i) not enough funding to have regular quality inspections ii) not enough authority to enforce rules iii) there is a certain degree of harm that is passable c) people should feel safe because they think that the food they eat is safe, but how can they be so sure.. some products have passed tests even though they were not safe 12)how are processed/packaged foods bad for your health? a) there are high amounts of fat, salt and sugar b) there could be GMOs that are not listed in the ingredients c) increased food additives with questionable safety (colourings, preservatives) d) higher chance of cross-contamination - can’t ensure high quality e) inaccurate or misleading labelling 13)what are artificial sweeteners and how are they controversial? (aspartame) a) they are chemical replacements for sugars b) people think they are healthier than having real sugar c) most of them have controversial histories of safety regulation +approval d) example: aspartame; it is a low calorie substitute and it even has a sweeter taste that sugar (less = more sweet). it is very controversial because studies have shown it to cause neurotoxicity. it considered safe by most scientists and regulatory agencies (FDA). it is considered unsafe by most independently funded studies and environmentalists 14)what is MSG and how is it controversial? a) monosodium glutamate i) it is a naturally occurring substance that has been manufactured in many processed foods since 1909 ii) classified as a excitotoxin - makes foods taste stronger/better (brings out flavour) iii) FDA and other agencies classify it as Generally Recognized As Safe (GRAS) iv) it may be hidden in other ingredients, which makes labelling misleading v) there are many other forms of MSG (so even though the label says that the product as no MSG, it could still have one of its other forms) b) in some studies, it has been shown to have some negative effects i) short term - headaches, numbness, tingling, weakness, pain, nausea ii) long term - Alzheimer’s. nerve cell death, seizures, strokes, obesity, learning disabilities, tachycardia (resting heart rate >100 beats/minute) 15)example: a product may say ‘MSG free’ and people will buy it because they think it is better for them, but if you look in the ingredient listing, you’ll see that there is probably something in there that is essentially the same as MSG, like soy protein or glutamate 16)how is bottled water controversial? a) bottled water companies use different terms for the types of water that are sold i) purified, natural source, mineral, etc. b) most of the time all the water is the same, it can just be marketed as more expensive because it claims to come from a special source c) example: from the article about bottled water, it mentioned how if a bottle says ‘purified water’, it is simply tap water that has been filtered. this shows how misleading companies can be and how far they will go just to make some money 17)how is food labelling controversial? a) there may be hidden ingredients in products that are not listed i) could be because there is such a small amount or it is indirectly used in the creation of the product, so it was not necessary to mention it b) companies need to list all the ingredients in their common name i) this is important for people with allergies or restricted diets c) manufacturers cannot always be trusted for accuracy d) example: in lecture, it was mentioned how to create flavoured coffee beans - companies use propylene glycol (an alcohol that is used in many chemical applications) to make the beans flavoured. however, it is not mentioned in the ingredient list because it is not technically part of the final product 18)what is a GMO and how is it controversial? a) genetically modified organism i) the scientific creation of a product, using genetic engineering (1) selective manipulation of genetic material at the molecular level (2) able to transfer genes between organisms of completely different species ii) different compound from what is made through traditional plant breeding iii) they have cheaper production, longer shelf life, insect resistance, herbicide tolerance, increased yields, added nutrients b) their safety is questionable i) genetic modification is imprecise and unpredictable (1) insertion site is not controlled ii) uncontrolled nature of genes can lead to unintentional things (1) allergic reactions, toxicity, transfer of antibiotic resistant genes or other genetically modified genes iii) government and the industry think they are perfectly fine for consumption iv) independent researcher think they are problematic c) example: starlink corn is a version of corn that was created, but it was unsafe for human consumption, so it was only meant for livestock. somehow it was found in human products and there were 28 cases of allergic reactions to it 19)what is risk assessment and how is it controversial? a) the standard protocol of evaluating food safety for GMOs i) calculates the amount of risk considered acceptable for a given product ii) risk is acceptable if its measurement falls below a pre-determined level iii) assumes that some risk is unavoidable and therefore, acceptable b) safety is determined by measuring their substantial equivalence to non-GMO varieties i) looks for potential toxins/allergens ii) if a product is ‘substantially equivalent’, it is considered safe iii) there is no standard for how similar a product has to be c) there are a few problems with it i) based on animal studies or limited human trials ii) requires proof of harm, not proof of safety - action is taken when there’s harm iii) manufacturers are responsible for testing their own products, so they can change the results and make it seem like their product is safe, even if it’s not 20)what is the precautionary principle? a) alternate
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