Saturday, November 18, 2006

What did they know and When did they know it?

Entry for Monday, 01 August, 2005

I read with dismay this morning the article in the Wall Street Journal about the canned Tuna industry and the FDA's apparently inability to actually do its job. The issue is mercury and it's time people started asking "What did they know and when did they know it?"

Children have been poisoned by eating canned tuna frequently. This is a fact, regardless of what the tuna industry would like you to believe. The science is quite conclusive that mercury exposure is a neurotoxin. The science is also quite conclusive that even one can of albacore tuna can have dangerously high levels of mercury, and that consuming it regularly will increase the amount of mercury in your body to toxic levels. Children can tolerate far less toxicity in their environment than adults can, obviously. Put tuna and children together and you get the expected and obvious result.

So, question class: if tuna is known to be contaminated, why does the FDA let it stay on the market?

People in America have some sort of strange impression that consumer protection laws keep American companies from selling products that they know are dangerous. Americans think that government agencies like the FDA are run by impartial scientists who base their decisions on facts.

Americans are mistaken on both counts.

As this article clearly shows, the fact that the tuna has been unfit for children's (or even adults, perhaps) consumption for quite some time makes no difference whatsoever to the tuna industry. They don't care about the facts - they intend to stay in business at all costs. Did you hear that, class? All Costs. If your child becomes learning disabled or brain damaged, they don't care. They will deny it has anything to do with them no matter how many poisoned children are paraded in front of them whose only source of mercury is tuna and who make a miraculous recovery as soon as they stop eating it.

This is the reality of modern corporations. They are morally and ethically bankrupt.

And we should do our best to make them financially bankrupt.

Fortunately, my kids prefer salmon and tilapia. But even if they were tuna addicts, I personally will never buy another can of tuna - not until I see rock solid scientific evidence that they have come up with some way to remove the mercury that is effective and doesn't cause more problems than it prevents. Good luck, you'll need it.

I am very, very tired of finding out that some corporate CEO worships money to the point of pushing toxic products on children and their parents.

And it isn't just Chicken of the Sea and Starkist that are doing this. It has been made public recently that Dupont has known for decades that teflon was dangerous and leached into the food being cooked on teflon pans. It is widely acknowledged by students and researchers in the organic and health food fields that many chemical preservatives and additives of commercial food can and do cause problems with low-level, long-term exposure. Many household cleaning products are basically carcinogens. Make-up, lotions, bath beads, perfumes - all products we slather on ourselves every day not having the foggiest idea what all is in them.

We presume they are safe because the products are "legally required" not to kill us.

What you need to know is that they are legally required not to kill you immediately. If they kill you over time, well, apparently that's ok.

As an aside - we stopped using teflon several years ago. I don't own a single pot or skillet with a teflon coating, because I read several anectodal examples of people who also had a hyperactive child who achieved relief from their symptoms by eliminating several products from their home, and teflon pans was one of these products. For the record, my son has not been on any medication for hyperactivity for a few years now, and I believe it has to do with these changes we made.

Which reminds me - there was another article a week or so ago about how some scientists are starting to realize what parents of hyperactive kids found out a long time ago - even supposedly "safe" levels of many household and "food" substances can be damaging when combined with each other and used over long periods of time. When these substances are studied, they are studied in isolation. No one mixes the stuff with all of the other usually and customary household chemicals that people use and then feeds it to the rats. The toxicity studies done on elements in isolation are completely useless. We live in a veritable soup of chemicals and nobody knows how they all react with each other. A growing body of evidence suggests that ordinary chemicals mixed together can be just as toxic as substances known to be poisonous or carcinogenic.

There is one more thing that needs to be said about mercury, and that concerns immunizations. Many people believe that the mercury in immunizations is one of the causes of hyperactivity, autism, and learning disabilities. And there may be some truth to this - however, my research into hyperactivity has led me to believe that it is not so much the mercury that is the problem. Instead, I believe that inundating these kids systems with deadly viruses all at once every couple of months probably causes some sort of auto-immune malfunction.

In the old, old days, doctors would only give vaccines one at a time for fear of just this sort of problem. But the required list of immunizations started getting annoying, and parents wouldn't or couldn't pay to go to the doctor that often. So combinations of vaccines were made. They were declared "safe." And then doctors began giving multiple combinations of immunizations at the same office visit. As one anecdote read (this was years ago, but I remember it as if it was yesterday): a man took his granddaughter to her regularly scheduled pediatric visit and she received shots + liquid doses equaling 21 fatal, uncurable diseases. She went from a happy, normal child to an autistic zombie within a month. And there are uncountable families out there with the same story - shortly after their child received a whopping pile of fatal disease vaccines, their perfectly normal child became autistic or hyperactive or whatever. Yes, I firmly believe it was due to the vaccines. My son was the same way.

But by focusing on mercury as the culprit, these families of autistic children who have been in the news lately are setting themselves up for ridicule and will accomplish nothing for their children, because there just isn't any evidence that it is the preservative alone that causes autism. They are being dismissed by scientists and much of the public because of this focus. The real problem is much more scary and harder to deal with - challenging the very premise of giving vaccines the way they are given is sure to start one heck of a fight with the medical establishment and the government.

It will make the fight against contaminated canned tuna look like a walk in the park.

And I say, bring it on.

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