So, to preface, I (17F) am an incoming freshman in college. I'm going to a UC (won't say which for obvious reasons), but I got into the school's semi-competitive engineering program and it was one of my top choices for college. I absolutely love the school. Unfortunately, the UC system just instituted a new rule that all students need to get a flu shot before they can attend. My mom (50F) has been incredibly upset about this for the past two days.
She called me up about an hour ago to talk about how I wanted to "deal" with the problem of having to get a flu shot.
She was asking me to reconsider going to another college halfway across the country because they don't require flu shots. The school is not nearly as good in terms of engineering, it's a long way away and it's expensive as hell for out of state students. I have zero desire to go there. I told her this wasn't the hill I wanted to die on, I don't think getting a flu shot is really that big of a deal and I certainly don't want it to be the reason I end up not going my top choice college.
She got kinda angry with me and basically implied that she wouldn't pay for me to attend college if I got the shot, I would be completely on my own.
Then she said, "Why don't you march your protester self (I organized a BLM march in our city back in June, so she's referencing that) down to city hall. I'm sure you can find people who will protest with you."
And I responded, "I'm not sure I want to associate with those people," which I know was super mean and sounds awful to me in hindsight. She started crying and hung up on me after I said that.
My mom and I seem to be at odds about everything right now. She was upset with me for organizing the BLM march, she doesn't like most of my political views, and she's even threatened to burn a book I was reading by Richard Dawkins about evolution because "he advocated for cannibalism" (???) and she seems to vaguely think evolution is a lie, despite not be religious so far as I can tell. I also had to get a series of vaccinations in ninth grade to attend my high school, which my dad took me to get and which my mom is still extremely upset about almost four years later. I feel like this whole disaster is going to be the final straw though.
I just really need some advice on how to deal with this before she comes home from work and gets super mad and starts yelling at me.
Edit: Okay, I just want to add because people keep suggesting this, I can't exactly go behind her back here and get the shot on my own. Like, physically yes I can walk to Walgreens and get it. But being allowed to go to college = got the flu shot. She will know, and therein lies the problem. Also, I know my mom sounds kinda bad on paper (or "on Reddit") but she really is a loving and caring person who is attempting to look out for me in her own way, so please stop with the name-calling. I came here asking for help, not asking you to shit on my mom. It's just not helpful or productive. Thanks.
Edit 2: Just want to let everyone know that I am reading every single one of your comments. I want to answer everyone's questions, but that might take a while as I'm still working out how to deal with this situation with my dad. Thanks to the people who have been helpful, supportive, and encouraging with their advice. I'll update soon.
I expect comments might say this is common knowledge. I will point out that a lot of people don't know about GMOs or science in general, including some of my own friends and family. This post is meant to address those people.
The only legitimate controversies over GMOs involve ethical or environmental concerns. One example is Belgian Blue, a breed of cattle that contains extra muscles. Critics say it is unethical to create that kind of cow. Note that the issue here is NOT human health. The cows themselves are perfectly safe to eat.
I will repeat what I said in the title: GMOs have no established health risks in humans. In some cases, they are actually beneficial to humans. Consider golden rice, a modified version of rice that contains added precursors for vitamin A. This was meant to combat vitamin A deficiency in Asia, which can lead to blindness. The public’s perception of GMOs prevented golden rice from succeeding, as was addressed in a letter from over 100 Nobel prize laureates (discussed here).
GMOs do not cause cancer. They are created by inserting a non-naturally occurring gene or mutation into an organism which is then consumed by humans. While it is established that genetic modification can cause cancer, that would occur in the original organism, not the consumer. Genetic modifications are not passed between organisms. If you find yourself questioning that statement, consider the fact that genetic diseases are not transmissible.
There is an article from a Harvard blog that reinforces a lot of what I have said. Check it out if you’re interested, and I encourage you to do your own research as well.
Edit: I'm seeing a lot of people address the bad business models (mainly Monsanto and overuse of pesticides). These are all valid complaints. I merely wanted to address the public illusion about the GMOs themselves.
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