It's an exciting new medical technology that has been tested in terms of immunizing people against the effects of nicotine, but now discussions are underway that would expand the program to other drugs such as cocaine and heroin and roll out national immunization programs for all children. This is being discussed in the UK right now, but chances are that it will soon merit discussion in the United States as well.
For my own comments on this technology, it's helpful to look at both the outrageous cost to society for drug addiction and drug use, and the potential dangers of national vaccination programs. In general, I'm against vaccination when it's required or forced upon the general public, because I believe that many vaccines are tainted with mercury and other toxins and that they can cause lifelong problems in many children. It is well known that vaccinations against polio and others diseases actually kill some children, and the public health benefit of forced vaccinations among U.S. schoolchildren is highly debatable.
But when it comes to hard drugs like cocaine and heroin, vaccinations start to look a lot more beneficial to society as a whole. For starters, if we could practically eliminate smoking in the United States within one generation, the nation would save countless dollars in terms of health care costs and improve productivity and quality of life of its citizens. This vaccination program has the potential to eradicate smoking altogether -- a move that would no doubt diminish the incidence of chronic diseases such as heart disease, lung cancer, nervous system disorders, and breast cancer. If we could immunize people against cocaine and heroin before they're at an age where they might start experimenting with such hard drugs, we could do tremendous good for the country as a whole by preventing drug addiction and all the lifelong problems associated with such addictions, including financial poverty, family hardships, and devastating health consequences.
In theory, then, I'm strongly in favor of exploring a vaccination technology that can immunize children against the effects of these hard drugs and nicotine, because I think it would save untold numbers of lives and an extraordinary amount of money in health care costs alone. But to firmly stand behind such technology, I would need to be convinced that it is inherently safe and has no other negative side effects, and when it comes to vaccinations, that's a pretty tall order. Because many vaccinations do indeed have rather alarming side effects, and we should not force a population to undergo a medical technology unless it has been proven safe and effective -- and even then, I much prefer it being a choice of the parents, rather than being mandated by the federal government.
Ideally, such a vaccination program, if proven completely safe, would be offered free of charge, paid for by taxpayer dollars, and publicized through public schools. Of course, I wouldn't want my own children to be the first batch of experimental human guinea pigs to receive such a vaccination, and I firmly believe that the best way to avoid hard drug addictions with our children is to give them a better education and strong family environments, where they don't need to turn to hard drugs in order to feel fulfilled in the first place.
Now, as long as we're talking about vaccinations, there's an interesting idea of a far more useful vaccination that could aid in weight-loss efforts by the American public. What if we could be vaccinated against the sweet taste of sugar? If so, we could end our addictions to high-carbohydrate foods, and more easily choose healthful foods that don't contain so many refined carbohydrates. If human beings were born without the taste sensation for sweetness, and without the associated brain chemistry effects that automatically follow the consumption of carbohydrates, we wouldn't be so addicted to carbohydrates as a nation. Soft drink sales would be virtually non-existent. The grocery store shelves wouldn't be lined with candy masquerading as food -- like you'll find in granola bars or pizza sauce, both of which are made with refined sugar.
The idea that we could all be vaccinated against the taste and brain chemistry effects of sugar consumption is, of course, pure fantasy at the moment, but it is not fantasy to suppose that with advanced genetic engineering technology we could someday produce offspring who are not so closely wired to the consumption of sugar. In fact, there's something you can do about that right now: research shows that when expectant mothers avoid eating refined sugars, their babies are born with less of a craving for sugars. And that, in my book, is one of the greatest gifts a mother can give her unborn child: a foundation for living a healthy life, free of refined sugars, soft drinks, cake, cookies, and other foods and beverages that promote obesity and chronic disease.