GM eggs and ham, Sam-I-am?
By Tracy Sayler
Perhaps you’ve heard that an alliance of biotech companies has launched
a multi-million dollar ad campaign to better explain genetically-modified
technology to U.S. consumers.
The Council for Biotechnology Information (CBI) includes Dupont and Monsanto
among its membership. The campaign was launched in the U.S., and may be expanded
to Europe, where the gene scene, as you know, has been even more controversial.
The CBI’s campaign is multi-media, including TV commercials, print
advertising, and a web site, www.whybiotech.com.
How should this complex issue be explained to the masses? To stand out and be
understood, I think the message should be simple. Genetically engineered or
genetically enhanced? How about DNA fortified? Genetically Modified Organism
(GMO) or genetically modified (GM)? Heck, we don’t even know what to call
the technology yet, let alone explain it.
Perhaps the educational effort should employ a bit of pop culture, such as a
literary tweak to the Dr. Seuss classic, "Green Eggs and Ham."
Do you like GM eggs and ham?
I do not like them, Sam-I-am. I do not like GM eggs and ham.
Would you like them here or there?
I would not like them here or there. I would not like them anywhere. I do not
like GM eggs and ham. I do not like them, Sam-I-am!
What if the president ate them in the White House? What if they didn’t
harm a lab mouse?
I do not care if the president eats them in the White House. I do not care if
they don’t harm a lab mouse. I do not like GM eggs and ham, I do not like
What if they came in a microwaveable box? Or endorsed by celebrity Michael J.
Not in a box, not with Michael J. Fox. Not in the White House, not with a lab
mouse. I would not eat them here or there, I would not eat them anywhere. I
would not eat GM eggs and ham, I do not like them, Sam-I-am!
Would you? Could you? In a car? Eat them! Eat them! Here they are.
I would not, could not, in a car. Get away from me. Go real far!
You may like them, you will see. You may like them watching TV!
I would not, could not with TV. And not in a car. Now let me be!
A train! A train! Could you, would you, on a train?
Not on a train! Not with TV! Not in a car. Sam! Let me be!
In the dark? Here in the dark! Would you, could you, in the dark?
I would not, could not, in the dark. I do not like GM eggs and ham. I do not
like them, Sam-I-am!
With catsup served by my pretty niece? And a bottle of beer to wash down a
Not with catsup served by your niece. Maybe the beer but no other piece. I do
not like GM eggs and ham, I do not like them, Sam-I-am!
If you were paid by Bill Gates? With money in lots of crates? Or bought them
off the Internet, at tax-free discount rates?
Not if paid by Bill Gates, with money in lots of crates. Not even off the
Internet, at tax-free discount rates. I do not like GM eggs and ham, I do not
like them, Sam-I-am!
You do not like them, so you say. Try them! Try them! And you may! Try them
and you may, I say!
Sam. If you will let me be, I will try them, you will see… Say! I like
GM eggs and ham! They taste no different than before, they taste so good
I’ll have some more! I did not turn green by eating them here, Europe and
Frito-Lay should have no fear! So they’re safe for me, the kids and wife,
Greenpeace really should get a life! I will eat them here and there, I will eat
them anywhere! I do so like GM eggs and ham! Thank you, thank you, Sam-I-am!
(The author encourages suggestions and input from readers, which may be
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