I haven’t mentioned it before, but I’m kind of a science freak. I read several science blogs everyday when I’m not writing poetry.

Yesterday the news was full of panic because a chemical used to give cola drinks their brown color has been found to be a carcinogen. Such stories should always be taken with a grain of salt, and anything from the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI), is ALWAYS suspect. We’ve known since Paracelsus in the 1500’s that the poison is in the dose, and as a former police detective, I enjoy researching things that grab my attention. A little digging led to the fun of writing a rather offbeat poem. It was written quick and dirty, and needs serious editing, but it isn’t destined to become a classic, so I think I’ll let it ride.

by Mike Patrick

Flickr image by Jose L. Pedroso

A startling thing I read today:
Coca Cola should be feared.
Cancer causing chemicals
Have suddenly appeared.

But when one reads the fine print
It seems not all is lost.
Only rodents are in danger
In the many lives it’s cost.

Massive doses the rats were fed
Of chemicals quite rare.
The truth is not in the news release.
Why must they always scare?

150,000 cans a day
A man would have to drink
To equal what the rat just took
To put it on the brink.

Everything causes cancer
Yet the cancer rate still drops.
It’s time to be a skeptic
Until all this lying stops.

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19 Responses to OF CANCER AND COLA

  1. Sounds pretty cool and straight to the point! I don’t think it needs editing, but, I am not a grammatical wizard,lol.

  2. Fun. I have a science background, too, and these is so much bunk out there. You’re probably old enough to remember the hoopla about saccharin. Same kind of irresponsible hype. And the impact on the economy is unthinkable. Good poem, Mike.

    • Mike Patrick says:

      Heck, I’m old enough to remember when we invented dirt. Saccharin came much later. There has been a chain of those news releases, going back to DDT, and whatever the chemical was that wiped out bedbugs in the thirties or forties. Most of later ones are being done through data mining from old studies. Often the same study proves something is harmful and benign at the same time; depends on which interpretation they want to use. The news release depends on which interpretation gets them the most money or causes the most disruption. Don’t even get me started on global warming.

  3. vivinfrance says:

    Well said. If we belived all the scare stories in the news these days we’d never eat or drink anything!

  4. Bodhirose says:

    My sentiments exactly. How many times have we seen this sensationalism in the media regarding all kinds of studies that paint a doom and gloom picture for our health? I question a lot of these. What a waste of money, time and energy.

    I love your poem!

  5. That is fantastic. I have a smile from ear to ear. So much sensationalism – so silly.

  6. Aleza says:

    Stuck in the rat race,
    chasing the cheese …
    If I drink a coke
    will I face disease?!

  7. frayedges says:

    Love the tempo of the poem, well done! I would have agreed with the sentiment once upon a time-until I got cancer. Now I only do organic. At the very least it gives me peace of mind.

  8. bendedspoon says:

    I enjoyed your poem!
    There are so many things that can cause cancer which are not taken by the mouth but by the heart — that’s what we must conquer.

    • Mike Patrick says:

      That is so true. I believe that depression, at the very least, can aggravate a condition by reducing the effectiveness of the immune system. Humm, pretty big words from someone with no more medical training than putting on a bandage. I’ll shut up now.

  9. Kudos! Well written and well conceived. It may not become a classic, but it should be in some sort of category that such poems would belong to. Thanks for the smile … and the wisdom.

  10. honeyhaiku says:

    Well put, We must strive to cut the “crap”!

  11. ladynimue says:

    Its good that people like you dig in deeper and let us be aware of bigger picture ! And yes, this poem was well crafted .. no change needed as per me 🙂

  12. I really liked this. Statistics are often twisted to suit the “study”. Not to mention, people rarely understand the %’s and statistics these studies claim. A 50% increase scares many, bit it the original % was only 1%, that isn’t a big deal. Oh boy, don’t get me started.

    Again, I thought your poem was fun and I admire the rhyming – something I struggle with.

  13. Pingback: OF CANCER AND COLA (via The Poet’s Quill) | Woo In Wonderland

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