I am reading Risk: The Science and Politics of Fear. It is an excellent book, with proper research-backed psychological examinations and explanations attempting to answer one question: “Why are the safest and healthiest people in history living in a culture of fear?”. I was planning to review it here once I’m done, but I just started its 10th chapter and it contains the craziest thing I have heard in a long time. In a book of double-takes, this, from a discussion on the words ‘chemical’ and ‘natural’, made my brain pull a muscle:
It is this cultural re-definition of ‘chemical’ that has transformed organic produce from a niche market into a booming, multi-billion-dollar industry, and why the word natural has become the preferred adjective of corporate marketers, no matter what they’re selling. ‘The tobacco in most cigarettes contains additives drawn from a list of 409 chemicals commonly used in tobacco products’ reads an ad that appeared in American magazines in 2006. ‘Natural American Spirit is the only brand that features both cigarettes made with 100 percent organic tobacco as well as cigarettes made with 100 percent additive-free natural tobacco.’
Yes, heaven forbid you ingest any chemicals from your cigarettes. That would be really bad for you. And tobacco commonly contains additives commonly used in tobacco? What? And how could something be less than 100% additive-free? And does this advert imply that organic tobacco is not additive-free? And PEOPLE WANT TO BUY CIGARETTES WITHOUT CHEMICALS?! Ok I have to stop now in case I break.