Sunday, 17 April 2011

Coercion Through Dishonesty

Recently I've been seeing advertisements warning against using drugs by highlighting the chemicals that might be used in the product. The chemicals are no doubt toxic ones, but the question is whether such chemicals can actually have negative health effects in the quantities taken with the drug itself. If not, for all the best intentions, the campaign is relying on the same fallacious foundation that the anti-vaxxers and opponents of modern agriculture rest their arguments on.

When it comes to something like drug information, it's easy to turn a blind eye if the product helps people stop taking substances that can be dangerous in other ways. Cigarette ads that highlight all the different chemicals in cigarettes are guilty of the same thing. it's coercion through dishonesty, not through providing wrong information, but implicitly inferring false concerns.

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