A Thumbs Up Book Review
Cancer Cause and Cure: A 20th Century Perspective
By Percy Weston
Review by Abby Eagle
Percy Weston, an Australian farmer, chronicles his experience with high-phosphate fertilizers and its effects on the health of humans, farm animals and crops. He shows how chemical farming leads to degenerative disease, and how by eating organic foods with the correct mineral balance it can be reversed. His story is fascinating, especially since he was born in 1903 and is still alive and kicking in 2004.
As a small boy, Weston (we like his last name!) suffered partial paralysis after inhaling the fumes from a phosphorous-impregnated match and later he experienced headache and nausea after inhaling the phosphorous fumes from rabbit bait. He also noticed that the rabbits became paralyzed before dying. Smoking Virginia leaf tobacco, grown with superphosphate to produce high yields, made him feel weak and giddy for hours whereas smoking standard brown leaf tobacco, which is grown without superphosphate, gave no ill effects.
Weston observed a student in a science class accidentally inhale phosphorous gas and within seconds collapse on the floor. In another school science incident a student carried a piece of flaming phosphorous around the class room. Within minutes most students were struggling on the floor and 17 were admitted to hospital. Workers in factories that made wax matches died from a disease known as phossey jaw which was linked to exposure to white phosphorous.
Superphosphate is a chemical fertilizer produced by the action of sulphuric acid on phosphate rock, making the phosphorous more soluble for faster release. As a farmer, Weston began to attribute many problems to the use of superphosphate.During a mouse plague on the wheat fields in 1932, Weston discovered many had cancer lesions on the ears, nose, tail and feet. A decade later he saw the same types of cancers in a plague of rats.
By 1930 the soils in Victoria, Australia were saturated with phosphorus and newspapers carried their first reports that cigarettes were to blame for lung cancer. Other adverse effects of the heavy application of superphosphate was a marked increase in insect activity; tobacco became stunted and suffered from mosaic virus and bunchy top, two diseases where the cell multiplication of the plant goes haywire (as in cancer); and gorgon-headed tomatoes and potatoes also began appearing.
In mid-1937, he observed a neighbor applying a 4 gallon tin of super to the family vegetable garden. A year later both boys in the family suffered polio (infantile paralysis) and one died. Weston notes that this was just one case amongst many in his farming community. Sheep and cows on pasture fertilized with superphosphate also suffered from cancer and disease. He observed that some sheep would rather starve than eat pasture fertilized with high levels of superphospate, and those that did eat it either became ill or died.
Weston believes that a contributing factor to sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) may be a diet high in phosphorous. Either the mother’s breast milk could be high in phosphorous, if the mother eats phosphorous-rich foods, or if bottle fed, the baby could get too much phosphorous from cow’s milk that has superphospate in the food chain.
One theme runs throughout the book: the theory that high levels of phosphorous may cause paralysis in one form or another–a paralysis of the immature breathing system of the baby as in SIDS, infantile paralysis (polio) in children, and a paralysis of the breathing system in children and adults as in asthma. Weston notes that cows die from bloat when they are unable to burp out the gas, once again a paralysis of the breathing system.
New rains, on soils recently fertilised with superphosphate, cause a flood of phosphates to be taken up by the plants and into the milk and food supply, which can then contribute to an outbreak of disease. Weston claims that phosphorous can stimulate germ activity and that this is a contributing factor in the outbreaks of mastitis, three-day fever and milk fever in dairy herds.
Weston condemns pasteurization along with the use of superphosphate. He and his family all thrived on fresh raw milk from pasture-fed cows for 60 years, often with no refrigeration. In over 30 years of feeding raw cows milk to orphaned lambs on his farm, there were few to no fatalities. However, when he was unable to procure raw milk, 29 out of a group of 30 lambs died when fed commercial pasteurised milk. Weston shows that there is a similarity between lamb deaths and the death of babies (SIDS) in the era of pasteurised milk and the use of superphospate.
Weston points out that the correct phosphorous and calcium balance in the soil is essential for the correct proportions to be in the food that we and the farm animals eat. (It is interesting to note that a high phosphorous-to-calcium ratio has been cited as one reason why the calcium in non-organic milk is not available to the body.)
Weston was able to heal his own cancer on two occasions by avoiding foods that had superphosphate and organophosphate pesticides in the food chain, and by supplementing with a formula of mineral salts that included sodium bicarbonate, magnesium sulphate, potassium sulphate, iron sulphate and potassium iodide.
The book contains a comprehensive appendix of tables and graphs that presents a convincing correlation between the use of phosphates with cancers in cattle and humans over the last century. It is a must read for anyone who has cancer, and for anyone who has any doubts about the reason for eating organic food.
Order the book here: http://www.health-search.com/cancercausecure.html
This article appeared in Wise Traditions in Food, Farming and the Healing Arts, the quarterly magazine of the Weston A. Price Foundation, Winter 2004.