DANCE WITH THE SUGAR MONSTER
An alert member sent us an article about Kellogg’s New York City Café, a five-thousand-square-foot store in Union Square where millennials can pay up to seven dollars fifty cents per bowl of cereal (containing a few cents worth of ingredients). “It would be hard to make up this sort of thing,” was her comment. Indeed, it would be difficult to think of a more disgusting way for young people to eat. The menu features highly sugared cereals—many dyed with coal tar dyes—plus toppings like marshmallows, pop tart crumbles, white chocolate chips and caramel sauce, moistened with “dairy options” (1%, skim, chocolate or whole), soy milk or almond milk. One dish, called the Unicorn, consists of pink and blue Cheerios, pink cotton candy and “cotton-candy flavored pop candy” (kelloggsnyc.com). Oh my, America! What future can we expect from a nation that sees nothing wrong about this dance with the Sugar Monster? What kind of tragedy lies ahead for young people who eat this way?
“Healthcare providers consider acetaminophen (Tylenol) the safest over-the-counter pain reliever and fever reducer to take when you’re pregnant,” says pharmacist Gerald Briggs at babycenter.com. “Acetaminophen has been widely used for decades, and extensive research shows that it’s safe to take during pregnancy.” Not so fast! Studies have shown that taking the pain killer acetaminophen (also called paracetamol) can inhibit the development of testosterone in male fetuses, thus increasing the risk of testicular malformation in infants. A recent animal study from the University of Copenhagen goes further. According to the researchers, “We have demonstrated that a reduced level of testosterone means that male characteristics do not develop as they should. This also affects sex drive. In a trial, mice exposed to paracetamol at the fetal stage were simply unable to copulate in the same way as our control animals. Male programming had not been properly established during fetal development and this could be seen long afterwards in their adult life.” In fact, with behaviors such as territorial marking, the males acted more like female mice. And mice exposed to acetaminophen had half as many neurons in the area of the brain that controls sex drive (Reproduction 2017 Aug;154(2):145-15). But instead of demanding an immediate black box warning on this commonly used painkiller, what do the researchers recommend? Pregnant women should continue to follow the guidelines given by their country’s health authorities. “If you are ill, you should naturally take the medicine you need. After all, having a sick mother is more harmful for the fetus” (EurekAlert! Science News, June 22, 2017).
THE HARD FOOD THEORY
In a recent post (January 27, 2018) dentist James R. Trexel expounds on the so-called “hard food” theory of dental palate development. The reason many modern people don’t have room for their wisdom teeth, he claims, is that they are no longer eating the “coarse food” of our ancestors. Because they ate coarse food, our ancestors “experienced an increase in tooth wear, or attrition. Attrition causes a reduction in the height of the crown, or top of the tooth. If this reduction progresses far enough, it actually creates more space in the dental arch, space that can allow for wisdom teeth to erupt normally. . .” In addition, he claims that the effort to chew coarse food “causes the bones of the jaw to become larger and more robust” (answersingenesis.org). This is sort of like arguing that stretching exercises for teenagers will cause them to grow taller! In fact, we can tell the moment a child is born his likelihood for having a wide face and large dental palate—long before he has eaten any food at all. And most foods consumed by primitive people were far from coarse—soaked porridges and organ meats come to mind. Except for the Eskimos, the native peoples with wide palates that Weston Price photographed did not have worn teeth. The hard food theory may seem silly but unfortunately it steers parents away from proper preparation for pregnancy, and vectors moms into fads like baby-led weaning, where babies without molars gum on hard foods like meat and raw carrots.
Those concerned about the use of genetically engineered crops (GMOs) have been called all sorts of names—old-fashioned, naïve, anti-science, to mention a few. But a recent article in The Washington Post ups the ante: people against GMOs are immoral! The author, Mitch Daniels, is the president of Purdue University, an educational institution that has sponsored many GMO initiatives. According to Daniels, as far as GMOs are concerned, “there are no credibly conflict ing studies, no arguments about the validity of computer models, no disruption of an economic system nor any adverse human health or even digestive problems, after five billion acres have been cultivated cumulatively and trillions of meals consumed.” Daniels sneers at those who buy organic food and non-fluoride toothpaste, claiming that “This is the kind of foolishness that rich societies can afford to indulge. But when they attempt to inflict their superstitions on the poor and hungry peoples of the planet, the cost shifts from affordable to dangerous and the debate from scientific to moral.” According to Daniels, in Africa “you won’t find the conversation dominated by anti-GMO protesters.” Consumers and farmers in Africa “are eager to share in the life-saving and life-enhancing advances that modern science alone can bring.” Yet the photo posted with the article shows a Kenyan woman protesting GMO food during a Kenya Biodiversity Coalition event in Nairobi (The Washington Post, December 28, 2017). Small farmers in developing countries are becoming increasingly aware that genetically engineered crops are no blessing, but lead to more debt, more dependence on world market prices, more toxic chemicals, more heartache and more suicide.
NO CREDIBLY CONFLICTING STUDIES?
In fact, several studies that Daniels should know about do in fact point to real damage from GMOs. All three took place in Egypt and compared the effects of a local species of corn with the genetically modified (GM) version of that species. Rats fed the GM compared to non-GM corn developed distorted and flattened intestinal villi—in one of the studies after only ninety days. Said the researchers, “Consumption of GM-corn profoundly alters the jejunal histological [microscopic] structure.” The other two studies found differences in organ and body weights, abnormalities and fatty degeneration of liver cells, congestion of blood vessels in the kidneys, and necrosis of the cells that create sperm (theinternationalreporter.org, January 4, 2017). So opposition to GMOs is not superstition, not the ravings of befuddled Luddites, but genuine concern based on careful science.
We can think of nothing more immoral than the pharmaceutical industry targeting infants in their lust for sales of psychiatric drugs. An article published in The New York Times (December 10, 2015) documents increasing use of antipsychotics (such as Risperdal and Seroquel) and antidepressants (such as Prozac) in children under the age of two—twenty thousand prescriptions for antipsychotics and eighty-three thousand prescriptions for Prozac in 2014. The report notes that legally, doctors are free to prescribe any medicine for any reason, so there is nothing to stop them from recommending that infants take these drugs—drugs that can profoundly influence infant brain growth and have side effects such as agitation, mania, aggressive or hostile behavior, seizures, hallucinations and even sudden death. Dr. Martin Drell, former president of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, said he was “hard pressed to figure out what the rationale would be” for the prescriptions—but we can. When children are off the wall with constant crying and temper tantrums, desperate parents will agree to almost anything. During the famine years in Europe, parents gave their babies opium to keep them from crying, and the current practice of medicating difficult youngsters is similar. These children are starving too—starving for vitamins, minerals and healthy fats that only real foods can give.
THE SLOW MARCH TO VICTORY
Progress often comes in small steps. The Fluoride Action Network (FAN) has sued the EPA to end the deliberate addition of fluoride to the public water supply, and on February 7, 2018, a ruling from federal Judge Edward M. Chen allowed FAN to submit evidence published after the date of their petition, November 2016. The study is an important one since it was funded by three U.S. agencies: the National Institutes of Health, the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences and the EPA. Researchers followed over three hundred mother-child pairs in Mexico City for a twelve-year period. They found a strong relationship between the mothers’ exposure to fluoride, as measured in their urine, and lowered IQ in their offspring at age four and again at six to twelve years of age. The urine levels of the pregnant women in the study were the same as those found in pregnant women in the U.S. At these levels, the authors reported a loss of six IQ points. To donate to FAN’s court case, visit fluoridealert.org.
HPV VACCINE AND INCREASED CERVICAL CANCER
In 2006, when the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine was introduced in the U.S., cervical cancer rates had been in steady decline over several decades. Trends were similar in Europe, including Scandinavia. Sweden stood out as having the lowest levels of cervical cancer. However, in 2017, Sweden’s Center for Cervical Cancer Prevention reported that the incidence of invasive cervical cancer was climbing, with a particularly steep increase between 2013 and 2015. In a study published in The Indian Journal of Medical Ethics (April 30, 2018), an independent Swedish researcher (publishing under a pseudonym) proposed that the HPV vaccine may be causing rather than preventing cervical cancer. The researcher noted that by 2012-2013, most young girls in Sweden had been vaccinated, and it is this age group most afflicted by the resurgence of cervical cancer. Said the researcher: “The increased incidence among young females, the possibility of virus reactivation after vaccination, the increase in premalignant cell changes shown by the FDA for women who were already exposed to oncogenic [tumor-inducing] HPV types and the time relationship between the start of vaccination and the increase in cervical cancer in Sweden could support the view that the HPV vaccine is caus[ing] an increase in invasive cervical cancer instead of preventing it among already infected females.” Studies have already noted that the HPV vaccine has an adverse event rate of one in fifteen, and a death rate among the vaccinated (fourteen per ten thousand) that far exceeds the risk of dying from cervical cancer. (worldmercuryproject.org, May 15, 2018.)
THE PROPAGANDA CONTINUES
According to Harvard scientists, “at least one-third of early deaths could be prevented if everyone moved to a vegetarian diet.” Dr. Neal Barnard, president of the Committee for [Ir] Responsible Medicine, claims that this is an underestimate. “I think people imagine that a healthy diet has only a modest effect and a vegetarian diet might help you lose a little bit of weight. But when these diets are properly constructed, I think they are enormously powerful. A lowfat vegan diet is better than any other diet I have ever seen for improving diabetes. With regards to inflammatory diseases like rheumatoid arthritis, we are seeing tremendous potential there too. Partly because of things we are avoiding like cholesterol, but also because of the magical things that are in vegetables and fruits.” These meat-demonizing folks never mention the 2014 study which found that vegetarians have more cancer, more allergies, more mental illness, need more health care, have a poorer quality of life and suffer from more tooth decay (PLOS One, February 7, 2014).
WE ARE NOT MAKING THIS UP
An article on soybean checkoff research in the February 27, 2018 issue of the Delmarva Farmer describes the following research project at Penn State University: “Enhancing Rumen By-Pass of Extruded Soybean Meal Protein: The research will evaluate the rumen by-pass value of soybean meal extruded at different temperatures. This project builds on previous research that demonstrated increased dry matter intake, and consequently increased milk yield, in dairy cows fed diets in which solvent-extracted soybean meal was substituted with extruded soybean meal.”