Agreed that 5 days seems too short. But...
What bothers me is the (unstated) assumption in this kind of study that
the only thing which matters is pathogen reduction. This particular
blend of science and policy makes a monstrous hybrid, of which many
examples can be found. For example:
POLICY/POLITICS: decides to only consider pathogen reduction
SCIENCE: determines pathogen reduction under highly controlled
POLICY/POLITICS: allows the scientific result above to be extrapolated
to situations far less defined than the actual research, and labels it
"substantial equivalence" or some such rubbish. Calls it "objective"
and "scientific" and attempts to bully and belittle anyone who objects
to the policy decisions
To properly analyze a modeled system, I must ascertain the level of
certainty of the model. I view the small system described above as
Average level of certainty for policy/politics = 50%
Average level of certainty for properly defined primary scientific
research = 85%
Level of certainty for system modeled above: (.5)(.85)(.5) = 21.25%
That is, I might as well flip a coin to decide, if the actual decision
Thus is my level of confidence derived for any system in which there is
good reason to believe that many of the decisions are made for reasons
other than pure science.
Another brand of hogwash is the pretense that the groups broadly
described as scientists, citizens, parents, neighbors are non
overlapping. So naturally I am being a badly behaved scientist if I
dare question the policy decisions made at any step along the way.
Treading on sacred ground it appears.
Many of us who do research in the general fields of environmental
science and toxicology have independently arrived at the general
personal conclusion that it is a good idea to derive our diets from
rather low regions on the food chain, since it is clear that higher
trophic level organisms carry higher burdens of all manner of unwelcome
and unnecessary compounds and elements along with the macronutrients
than does an equivalent nutrient source derived from a lower trophic
level. A person who knows ruminant biology and does not know anything
about agricultural policy and practice might reasonably assume that lamb
and goat and beef are first level consumers. It is highly relevant to
this individual's decision making process that the animal which would,
under normal circumstances of it's natural history, be a strict
vegetarian, has been made into a carnovore and a detritivore. This
individual might very well make a different food choice if all the facts
of the production regime were known and were made knowable by the retail
The policy of "substantial equivalence" seems designed to ensure that
nobody can access the information needed to make that kind of choice.
Does anybody want to defend this strategy as "science" other than
"propaganda (marketing) science?"
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