Imagine that a group of advocates tried to alert the public to a danger they perceived, only the evidence showed that the danger was not real and that by spreading their fears this group was causing people to behave in ways that put the wider public — and you — at risk.
What would you do? What should the government do?
The government of Australia has answered that question in a dramatic way. It has revoked the tax-exempt charity status of an anti-vaccination advocacy group on the basis that their fear-mongering misinformation about the danger of vaccines threatens public health, especially the health of children.
Resistance to biotechnology, especially genetically modified foods, is another example. Some applications could bring enormous net benefits to human health, but society is not enjoying those benefits, and people are suffering and dying as a result, because opponents reject all genetically modified applications due to fundamental dislike of large companies, commercial agriculture, or modern technologies generally.
We need to push back at public hearings about pending legislation, and not let the most passionate voices bully politicians and policy makers into choices that placate the loudest few, but that deny the greater community the most good. And, when the evidence is clear and the risk imminent, governments must push back, as Australia’s has done.
Read the full, original article: Bullies must not silence science