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Sunday, July 16, 2006

Comments

While I agree that nutrition and synthetics are very likely culprits in the worsening health of our country, I fear that the biggest cause of increased illness in our lives is the omnipotence of the pharmacutical industry. Maybe seconded by elementary school teachers struggling with 30-plus kids in a 20x20 space for 6-8 hours a day.

I agree with Pete. Many kids are overmedicated nowadays. Got a 6-13 year old boy who won't sit still, has trouble focusing, and bounces off the walls? Ritalin time! It couldn't possibly be that, you know...that's how little boys *are*, could it?

I agree with Pete and Mark, that was my first reaction when I read that article. Big Pharma has been pouring millions and millions in to marketing, into convincing people that they need to take these drugs, that their kids need to take these drugs.

I do think that in the case of allergies the numbers may actually be higher because of chemicals and hormones, etc., but I think there too there's a huge profit incentive on the part of Big Pharma to push and push and push.

This seems to be a good reason to limit or even outlaw advertising of drugs, as it used to be before "deregulation." Either that, or put pharmaceutical development and production into the hands of nonprofit foundations or independent government agencies. Because the profit motive is way distorting when we start talking about health.

I agree that big pharma is a big, big problem. It is the most obvious target.

I also think that we underestimate what is happening in the food industry. There was a study done a while ago that showed that if you remove food dyes from kids' food, that hyperactivity may decline. The study is mentioned in the Hundred Year Lie I mention above, and I posted on it here.

When you study the dangers of chemicals such as aspartame, nitrates, msg and other synthetics that we never were meant to eat, it becomes apparent that big food is just as responsible for our kids health problems as big pharma.

In fact, big pharma benefits from big food. And the chemical industry benefits from both of these companies. It's a profitable circle that needs to be broken.

You also should be aware that the food industry goees to great pains to distract you from what you are really consuming. Take msg, which causes headaches in many people. You would think that if (unbound) msg was in food, than the label would simply say that.

But the industry uses a number of names to trick you into thinking you are eating something safe. Here are some other names for msg you might see on the ingredient list:

Sodium glutamate
L-glutamic acid
monosodium salt
Hydrolyzed vegetable protein (I always wondered what that meant.)
Autolyzed yeast
Whey protein

It's perfectly legal of course, because the msg is derived from different sources, but as you can see here, the chemical structure is the same. In other words, you will still get the nasty headache if any of these ingredients are on the package label.

And this is jut a small part of what goes on in the food industry. I can't emphasize enough that the food industry's use of synthetic chemicals will eventually emerge as one of the bigger scandals revealed in the next few years or decades.

God this scares me: Big Pharma, synthetic food, and deteriorating environment.

We'll become so reliant on artificial means to survive that we'll all be living like Neo in the Matrix before Morpheus busted him out: in an amneotic sac with an umbellical feeding tube.

Let's also not forget about the way we are developing residential land: housing tracts, further and further away from places of employment, guaranteeing dependency on the automobile and oil. It's kind of hard to be healthy when you spend a good portion of your day in a coffin with wheels, a/c, and and an exhaust pipe.

Where's the leadership?

Pat, very well said.

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