by Bud Buck, 11/19/99
Dc: This is DCR, a news program not to be believed.
In Europe and increasingly around the world, new foods and products made from
interchangeable DNA are being attacked and boycotted.
The bioengineering industry finds itself under siege, and companies are mobilizing
to fight a public relations battle which could determine the future of an industry,
and the Earth.
New areas of conflict seem to open up every day. Recently, the FBA (Federal Baldness
Administration) approved a hair drug which environmentalists say could choke the
very life from our planet. But men who use it say they've never looked better,
and the trade off is worth it. Bud Buck reports!
(sfx: murmuring men)
Bud: Men without hair, reflecting the early morning light outside a supermarket,
waiting for it to open. The effect is not unlike looking at an array of rounded
solar panels, glistening in sun. Eerie, when you consider that solar collectors
aren't normally round, and men rarely wait outside a store.
Guy 1: (earnestly) I'm here because I am excited by this new product ... I think
it's gonna give me the hair I want and I'm ready to go.
Bud: Have you considered the risks?
Guy 1: What risks? From what I hear in the media, the people complaining are not
the bald people.
Bud: Right. The concern is for friends, loved ones, children.
Guy 1: I don't have any of those, so I'm going ahead with it.
Bud: (annc) These men believe their hair woes will be overcome by the latest treatment
to hit the market ... GroFirma. And yes, it is only sold at one grocery store.
Doctor Kyle: GroFirma is a pill that guarantees hair growth or your money back.
Bud: Dr. Larry Kyle is produce manager at Genway, a supermarket that has specialized
in genetically engineered foods, now branching out into medical science.
Dr. Kyle: We took the technology of the Chia Pet, and applied it to the science
of follicle stimulation. We mixed it with a little bit of the DNA coding that
makes peach fuzz work.
We took a lot of pathways to better and more aggressive hair and worked them into
Bud: Dr. Kyle and his patients seem happy. But not everyone is singing the praises
Lucy Norton: They took DNA from everywhere. If the hair trap in the kitchen sink
had DNA, they'd use it.
Bud: Lucy Norton is president of Spouses Hoping It Never Emerges, or S.H.I.N.E.
The "it" is GroFirma's abundant, but artificial, hair.
Lucy: They were totally irresponsible with the way they developed this. Dr. Kyle
gave "zero" thought to the effect of this drug on innocent bystanders.
Dr. Kyle: We had to make it aggressive! Normal hair is so wimpy. Left to itself,
it wouldn't wanna do anything.
GroFirma takes it's propagation strategy from the dandelion.
Each strand of hair sprouts a little puffball. When a wind comes along or you
run a comb through it, the tiny seeds come off and land elsewhere on the scalp.
You can imagine how quickly and effectively they cover.
Heh heh heh heh.
Bud: And it does seem to work. Within weeks, totally bald men grow a full head
of hair! But then come the side effects.
Guy 1: Every few days, the very top of my hair would turn a fluffy white.
Guy 2: Women used to beg for the chance to blow on my hair when it reached that
Bud: "Used to" because of what happened next.
The GroFirma hairs lived up to Genway's unbelievable claims.
Dr. Kyle: Growing hair on a bowling ball was a gimmick we used for a tv commercial.
We did that on purpose.
Of all the sports, bowling has got to have about the highest proportion of bald
guys playing it.
We did that in the lab. Who would have guessed it would happen in real life?
Bud: But it did, and suddenly, there were complaints. Bowling alleys began to
refuse admission to GroFirma users.
Lucy: The bowlers couldn't control their throws. They'd think it was going down
the middle and it would slide off into the gutter on a carpet of hair. The ball
return equipment got jammed. Very ugly.
Bud: So ugly that the Federal Baldness Administration forced Genway to scale back
on distribution of GroFirma until the side effects could be studied.
But the disappearance of the product from most markets doesn't stop men like these
from finding it, and using it.
Guy 1: It was the only time I really had hair, since about my 25th birthday. Given
the choice, it was easy. Bowling had to go. I couldn't stop with the GroFirma.
Guy 2: The women who thought it was so entertaining to scatter the puffball tops
of my hairdo started to develop facial hair themselves. Anywhere the little puffballs
might have landed on them. A woman I worked with for 12 years, a good friend,
hasn't talked to me since July, when she found some of my Genway hairs growing
out of her own ears.
Guy 1: They accused us of being selfish for wanting to keep using GroFirma.
Bud: (on site) And are you selfish?
Guy 2: (smug) No doubt about it.
Guy 1: That's a given. Why else would I be interested in this stuff?
Bud: Lucy Norton of S.H.I.N.E. not only thinks this is a big deal, she's determined
to stop GroFirma completely. And she's not afraid of ruffling a few feathers to
make it happen.
Lucy: The stuff is a menace. It shouldn't be sold at all.
It should be destroyed. You hear about a few hairy bowling balls and you think
that's the full extent of it, but it's not!
(sfx: letters rustling)
I've got letters from people with hair growing in their living room carpet! Hair
growing ON the china! Family heirlooms! Here's one from a mother who has to shave
her 2 year old!
Bud: (on site) Why do you think they left it on the market?
Lucy: Look at the management of the Federal Baldness Administration! Middle aged
Bud: I've seen them. They've got wonderfully full heads of hair.
Lucy: NOW they do! They want their personal pipeline open, so Genway stays in
business. It's shameful. Dr. Kyle should be in jail.
Bud: At Genway, Dr. Kyle has a different point of view.
Dr. Kyle: I don't think Genway or I should be punished for doing a public service.
We're keeping GroFirma under control.
Men who buy it are clearly instructed on how to trim the puffballs off the hair
tips as soon as they emerge. We go into detail about sealing them in a plastic
bag, encasing the bag in cement and tossing it into a river or other large body
And we haven't had any recent problems with renegade hairs.
Besides, I think the product is going to be an economic engine. There's already
Bud: In areas where GroFirma has been sold, barber shops are flourishing, and
electrolysis salons and depilatory creams report an amazing increase in business.
But none of this impresses Lucy Norton of "Spouses Hoping It Never Emerges."
Lucy: It's a typical pattern. When the men didn't have hair, it was whine, whine,
whine about not having hair. They didn't let you forget it. Now when they DO have
hair, it's brag, brag, brag. So you still don't hear the end of it, PLUS, everything
in the house has to be combed. Even the comb has to be combed. A friend of mine
has a couch with a cowlick.
Don't tell me that's normal.
Bud: And so the struggle goes on. As timeless as it is predictable. Man against
nature. And against woman.
Man gets hair. Man loses hair. Man gets hair back again. Woman tells man to grow
up. Add genetic engineering to the mix, and you the conflict grows and grows.
How will it turn out? Time will tell! This is Bud Buck!
Dale Connelly Reporting Home