Truth to the conspiracy?
I’ve always been a fan of conspiracy theories – not always a believer, but I do find them entertaining. My favorites include things like the Denver Airport is the headquarters of the New World Order, global warming, and Glenn Beck is the anti-Christ. So, after reading about the conspiracy theory that Crake’s father uncovers in Oryx and Crake I began wondering if there was any substance to the idea.
Not surprisingly, there are tons of conspiracy theories on the internet pertaining to medicine and government agencies. I’m sure we’ve all heard of theories like: AIDS being an attempt by the CIA at racial genocide and fluoride in tap water poisoning our babies. Some new ones that I found that I thought were interesting include: obesity isn’t actually a health risk and Pizza Hut uses silicone instead of cheese (uh, gross!).
Now, I can’t testify to the validity of any of these claims (some seem a bit outrageous), but there are several websites that are dedicated to uncovering conspiracies concerning pharmaceutical companies and man-made diseases/cures. One of the most prominent theories that I found was the idea that because of its genetic make-up, swine flu could never have arisen naturally; thus, it had to be formed in the lab. I can definitely see how pharmaceutical companies (and corporations) would benefit from something like this. As students, we received the vaccination for free – finally – but for the general public the shot would cost upwards of $30. Throw in the chaos and fear mongering by doctors and news anchors and I can see how private investors would make a substantial amount of money.
Another expansive conspiracy theory deals with the idea that private companies and the government are making too much money from treating diseases, so why bother finding a cure? The most popular money-maker seems to be cancer. It makes sense though, doesn’t it? We’ve been curing cancer in every model organism for decades now, shouldn’t we see at least some improvement in our treatments? Oh wait, pharmaceutical companies, treatment machinery companies, and doctors are making billions (yes, billions) of dollars every year on this terrible illness. They would all be out of a job if scientists were to suddenly cure cancer. It makes you wonder how many people might have been thrown off an overpass trying to expose a cure. So, it would seem to me that there could be a modern version of HelthWyzer’s virus conspiracy, only the tables have been slightly turned. It would seem more likely that the cures for many “incurable” diseases do exist, but would be financially detrimental to too many private citizens.