McCarrison Society Newsletter 46/2 Autumn 2013




Pro-GMO Industries Increase Spending and Launch Attack to Discredit World-Famous Environmentalist in an Effort to Thwart GMO Labeling in the US

September 16, 2014 | 205,117 views

suicide medical report

Story at-a-glance+

By Dr. Mercola

Between 2012 and mid-2014, Monsanto and the Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA) successfully blocked GMO labeling legislation in over 30 states, at a price tag of more than $100 million. 

These funds were received from the 300+ members of the GMA, which include chemical/pesticide, GE seed, and processed food industries.

Together, these industries are working in a symbiotic fashion to grow, subsidize, and manufacture foods that have been clearly linked to growing obesity and chronic disease epidemics.

According to the most recent analysis, opponents of GMO labeling spent more than $27 million on lobbying in the first six months of this year alone. This is about three times more than they spent during all of 2013, when they shelled out $9.3 million.

"The Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA) and major food makers such as Coca-Cola Co and PepsiCo Inc and top biotech seed makers Monsanto Co and DuPont were among heavy spenders on GMO labeling-related lobbying, among other food issues, according to a report issued by the Environmental Working Group," Reuters1 reports.

Chemical Technology Industry Running Scared

Such a dramatic rise in expenditure to keep genetically engineered (GE) foods and genetically modified organisms (GMOs) hidden is probably understandable in light of the fact that one state—Vermont—successfully signed into law a mandatory labeling bill in May.

The law will require food manufacturers to label genetically engineered (GE) foods sold in Vermont, and prohibits them from labeling foods with GE ingredients as "natural" or "all natural."

In response, the Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA) along with the Snack Food Association, International Dairy Foods Association, and the National Association of Manufacturers, sued Vermont in federal court2 the following month (June).

The GMA also sued the state of Washington last year after getting caught in a money laundering scheme during the state's GMO labeling campaign.3 Caught red handed, the GMA was forced to reveal the donors to their aggressive anti-labeling campaign.4

But rather than admitting its wrongdoing, the GMA sued Washington State, arguing the association should be allowed to hide their donors—which is a direct violation of state campaign disclosure laws—in order to "speak with one voice" for the interests of the food industry.5

As noted by Reuters,6 more than 20 other states are presently considering GMO labeling laws. Both Colorado and Oregon have GMO labeling on their November ballots. Two counties in Oregon have already voted to ban the growing of GE crops.

This escalating trend undoubtedly has the industry running scared that their jig might soon be up...

Clearly, as more states move forward on their labeling bills, keeping up the lawsuit strategy could turn into a major headache for the GMA, which is why it's pushing a Congressional bill called "The Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act of 20147," (dubbed "DARK"—Denying Americans the Right to Know Act) that would simply preempt all states from passing GMO labeling laws.8

To help Vermont defend its GMO labeling law against these multi-national giants, consider making a donation to the Organic Consumers Fund, which has been set up to raise funds for this purpose. The fund has also pledged $500,000 to help Oregon pass a GMO labeling initiative in November.

Coordinated Attack to Discredit Vandana Shiva

It's also quite clear that the pro-GMO cartel, which includes the GMA, Monsanto and other leading chemical technology companies, along with leading processed food companies, have begun a massive coordinated attack against Vandana Shiva.

She is perhaps one of the most vocal and most well-respected environmentalists and anti-GMO activists in the world. As recently noted by Counter Punch9 in an article titled "Gunning for Vandana Shiva:"

"Perhaps nothing symbolizes the decline of The New Yorker magazine more than the hatchet job on Vandana Shiva that appears in the latest issue.10

Written by Michael Specter, the author of 'Denialism: How Irrational Thinking Hinders Scientific Progress,' the article is a meretricious defense of genetically modified organisms (GMO) relying on one dodgy source after another.

This is the same magazine whose reputation was at its apex when Rachel Carson's groundbreaking articles on DDT appeared in 1962. If DDT was once a symbol of the destructive power of chemicals on the environment, GMO amounts to one of the biggest threats to food production today.

It threatens to enrich powerful multinational corporations while turning farmers into indentured servants through the use of patented seeds. Furthermore, it threatens to unleash potentially calamitous results in farmlands through unintended mutations."

Not surprisingly, Michael Specter turns to two well-oiled propaganda mouthpieces: Pamela Ronaldand Mark Lynas, to defend GE crops and refute Shiva's warnings. I've discussed both in previous articles. For example, Ronald, a GMO advocate and scientist, recently had two of her scientific papers retracted due to sizeable scientific errors that rendered her findings null and void.

Vandana Responds to Her Critics

Vandana Shiva issued a response11 to Specter's article stating that "Specter's piece starts with inaccurate information, by design." She notes several of the discrepancies in his reporting, including his attempt to discredit her by claiming he could not find any evidence of her education. She writes:

"Specter has reduced my M.Sc. Honors in Physics to a B.Sc. for convenience. Mr. Specter and the Biotech Industry (and The New Yorker, by association) would like to identify the millions of people opposing GMOs as unscientific, romantic, outliers. My education is obviously a thorn in their side.

'When I asked if she had ever worked as a physicist, she suggested that I search for the answer on Google. I found nothing, and she doesn't list any such position in her biography.' Specter has twisted my words, to make it seem like I was avoiding his question. I had directed him to my official website... The Wikipedia page about me has been altered to make it look like I have never studied science. The Biotech Industry would like to erase my academic credentials...

Quantum theory taught me the four principles that have guided my work: everything is interconnected, everything is potential, everything is indeterminate, and there is no excluded middle. Every intellectual breakthrough I have made over the last 40 years has been to move from a mechanistic paradigm to an ecological one..."

Why Do So Many Indian Farmers Commit Suicide?

The introduction of genetically engineered seeds, and the coercion of Indian farmers to use them, has led to the largest wave of recorded suicides in human history. In India, it's been estimated that a farmer commits suicide every 30 minutes, typically by ingesting pesticide. But why? The short answer is crop failures, which leaves them in financial ruin.

What many fail to realize is that it's the genetically engineered (GE) seeds that fail (especially Bt cotton), and GE seeds must be repurchased every year. You're not allowed to save patented GE seeds, as has been done since the beginnings of agriculture. Bt cotton is much more expensive than traditional cotton seed, requires more water and pesticides, and has failed to produce the increased crop yields promised by Monsanto. A single failed crop combined with lack of financing options can therefore bankrupt a farmer. Others keep going, taking out more and more loans, until they simply cannot ever pay them back.

Michael Specter tries to make light of such statistics stating that the Indian suicide trend is similar to that in France. In my view, we should be horrified to realize that the business of growing food has gotten so financially challenging that even in a country like France a farmer commits suicide every two days12—again due to being financially ruined, just like the farmers in India. Interestingly, poisoning by pesticide has actually become the leading method of suicide around the world, according to the World Health Organization.13

GMO Promises Fall Flat Because They're Not Rooted in Truth

David Friedberg is the latest poster boy for Monsanto, as it tries to clean up its image. According to the St. Louis Business Journal:14  "Friedberg, a 34-year-old lifelong vegetarian, is emerging as 'an unlikely champion' of Monsanto and its genetically modified products... Friedberg, who formerly was a Google Inc. executive, oversees Monsanto's precision agriculture services... The Wall Street Journal reports that Friedberg's 'Silicon Valley pedigree' is helping open doors for him to advocate for Monsanto in a region that has been anti-GMO... Friedberg said he believes Monsanto's products help sustain food production for the world's growing population."

The claim that GE crops are "necessary" to feed a growing population is a popular mantra among those who do not have an understanding of the whole picture. It's actually 180 degrees from the truth, as what we really need is to focus on strategies that will promote soil health, and GE cropsdecimate soil fertility.

Also, besides killing critical soil microbes needed for plant health and nutrition, what many fail to take into account is that GE plants typically require more water, not less, and while many varieties are designed to produce their own internal pesticides, which was meant to reduce pesticide requirements, these plants actually require more pesticides too—just to keep up with the proliferation of resistant pests and weeds!

For example, earlier this summer Bloomberg15 reported that "BASF, the world's biggest chemical maker, plans to produce 50 percent more dicamba weedkiller in Texas to keep pace with anticipated demand from a new generation of genetically modified crops." 

Dicamba is a weed killer linked to non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, a type of blood cancer. And Texas is gearing up to dump 50 percent more of it on its crops in the near future. How is this benefiting anyone's health and well-being? How are GE crops "saving the world" when they are poisoning the environment and the people eating the food? This is NOT a sensible solution to world hunger. The fact is that 30-50 percent of the four billion tons of food produced around the world each year never reaches a human mouth. Cutting food waste is a critical aspect of preventing hunger as the population grows.16

The list of failed GMO promises goes on and on... And countries that recognize these facts and risks are even being more or less blackmailed into accepting GE crops, especially if they're in need of aid. El Salvador is one such example.17 If saving the world was really that high on the list of priorities, the chemical technology industry, led by Monsanto, would hardly engage in the kind of mafia tactics they've become famous for...

GMOs Have Labeling Requirements in More Than 60 Countries, Why Not in the US?

The words, "Contain GMOs," are required on labels in 64 other countries around the world. It is truthful information, and just like added flavors must be labeled "natural or artificial," and juice must state if it is from concentrate, whether or not an ingredient is genetically engineered falls under truth in labeling. To take it a step further, it prevents fraud.  

Free market principles require certain understandings. If you label a product "salmon," a buyer and seller understand what salmon is. If you splice eel genes into salmon, it is no longer plain, regular old salmon. If you continue to mislabel this eel-spliced fish as salmon, the seller is committing fraud. Labeling GMOs—transgenic plants and animals—is a truthful right of the consumer. We consider non-labeled transgenic products to be fraud that the federal government has allowed based on "substantial equivalence"—a term invented to monopolize and patent life between a few gigantic corporate interests.




I recently named the GMA “the most evil corporation on the planet,” considering the fact that it consists primarily of pesticide producers and junk food manufacturers who are going to great lengths to violate some of your most basic rights—just to ensure that subsidized, genetically engineered and chemical-dependent, highly processed junk food remains the status quo.

The insanity has gone far enough. It’s time to unite and fight back, which is why I encourage you to boycott every single product owned by members of the GMA, including natural and organic brands. To learn more about this boycott, and the traitor brands that are included, please I also encourage you to donate to the Organic Consumers Fund. Your donation will help fight the GMA lawsuit in Vermont, and also help win the GMO labeling ballot initiative in Oregon in November.

Donate Today!

Voting with your pocketbook, at every meal, matters. It makes a huge difference. By boycotting GMA Member Traitor Brands, you can help level the playing field, and help take back control of our food supply. And as always, continue educating yourself about genetically engineered foods, and share what you’ve learned with family and friends.


[+] Sources and References

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Food Democracy Now
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Alliance for Natural Health USA
American Holistic Veterinary Medical Foundation
The Rabies Challenge Fund
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Why the Use of Glyphosate in Wheat Has Radically Increased Celiac Disease

September 14, 2014 | 45,736 views


Story at-a-glance+

By Dr. Mercola

The use of glyphosate, the active ingredient in the broad-spectrum herbicide Roundup, has dramatically risen over the past 15 years, right in step with the use of GE crops.

According to Dr. Stephanie Seneff, a senior research scientist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), glyphosate appears to be strongly correlated with the rise in celiac disease.

Dr. Anthony Samsel and Dr. Seneff produced some phenomenal research1 on this connection, which was published in December last year. Previously, she has investigated the relationship between glyphosate and the development of a wide array of modern diseases, including autism.

She believes that glyphosate may in fact act as a transporter for aluminum (a common vaccine adjuvant) into the brain. It also appears to transport arsenic into the kidneys. For more in-depth information on this glyphosate-autism link, please listen to the full version of Dr. Seneff's interview.

Use of Roundup Matches Increased Use of GE Crops, and Rise in Chronic Diseases

Her initial findings were published in the journal Entropy2 last year, which was followed by a second paper,3 again co-authored with Dr. Samsel, which links glyphosate to celiac disease specifically.

"There's an extremely strong correlation between the use of Roundup on corn and soy over time and the increase in all these different diseases, and celiac disease is one of them," she says.

"We certainly have seen an explosive appearance of celiac disease almost overnight in the last five to 10 years... Now you have a growing section of gluten-free choices of various food products...

Lots of people are intolerant to gluten, of course. But people aren't thinking, 'Why is this now true? This didn't use to be true'... I was really puzzled because wheat is not a GE product... GMO wheat is not a product that's on the market."

So what's going on? Dr. Seneff's research reveals that when it comes to gluten intolerance and celiac disease, the problem actually doesn't stem from genetically modified organisms (GMOs).

Rather it’s related to the use of glyphosate just before the harvesting of many of the non-organic wheat crops, in order to reduce the amount of residue that needs to be cleared and to get a head start on next year’s weeds.

Glyphosate-Treated Wheat Promotes Celiac Disease

Celiac disease is a severe reaction to gluten that primarily affects your gastrointestinal system. Glyphosate has been shown to severely damage your gut flora and cause chronic diseases rooted in gut dysfunction.

The use of glyphosate on wheat crops has risen in tandem with the rise in celiac disease. In fact, it correlates to a greater degree than glyphosate usage on corn and soy.

According to Dr. Seneff, desiccating4 non-organic wheat crops with glyphosate just before harvest came in vogue about 15 years ago. Interestingly enough, when you expose wheat to a toxic chemical like glyphosate, it actually releases more seeds. “It ‘goes to seed’ as it dies,” Dr. Seneff explains. “At its last gasp, it releases the seed.”

This results in slightly greater yield, and the glyphosate also kills rye grass, a major weed problem for wheat growers that is resistant to many other herbicides. What they're not taking into consideration is the fact that rye grass helps rebalance the soil, and from that perspective is a beneficial plant.

So, most of the non-organic wheat supply is now contaminated with glyphosate. A large percentage of processed foods are made from wheat, and this helps explain the explosion of celiac disease and other gut dysfunction.

What happens is that the villi in your gut get destroyed by the glyphosate, which reduces your ability to absorb vitamins and minerals. Also, wheat contains gliadin, which is difficult to break down. Normally, a reaction takes place that builds connections between different proteins in the wheat.

But glyphosate gets right in the middle of that process too, resulting in wheat that is highly indigestible. Dr. Seneff and her co-researcher Dr. Anthony Samsel believe the glyphosate may attach to the gliadin as a consequence of a chemical reaction. The end result is that your body develops an immune reaction. As noted in their study:5

"[G]ut dysbiosis, brought on by exposure to glyphosate, plays a crucial role in the development of celiac disease. Many CYP enzymes are impaired in association with celiac disease, and we show that glyphosate's known suppression of CYP enzyme activity in plants and animals plausibly explains this effect in humans."

Glyphosate Disrupts Important Sulfate Pathway Implicated in Celiac Disease

Glyphosate causes gut dysbiosis (a condition of microbial imbalance in your intestines that can lead to gut inflammation and leaky gut) and an overgrowth of pathogens. Sulfur, and the sulfur pathway, plays in important part in optimal health, and when your gut is inflamed, your body’s ability to transport sulfate is impaired. 

This is in part why Dr. Seneff recommends soaking in magnesium sulfate (Epsom salt) baths rather than taking a sulfur supplement (such as chondroitin sulfate, for example.) 
This way, it can bypass your gut mucosa. The sulfur pathway is also implicated in celiac disease, and this is the connection between glyphosate exposure and celiac:

"There are two classes of molecules that transport sulfate. One is the sterols: cholesterol, vitamin D, and all sex hormones – estrogen, testosterone, and DHEA. On the other side, you have all the neurotransmitters. This is the dopamine, melatonin, serotonin, and the adrenaline. All of those transport sulfate. They're all derived from this pathway that glyphosate disrupts,"  Dr. Seneff explains.

Glyphosate disrupts the shikimate pathway, which is a biological pathway in plants and in microbes. That pathway produces the precursors to all those neurotransmitters. When you can't produce those precursors... because of the glyphosate, you become deficient.

This links directly to celiac disease because serotonin is very strongly implicated in celiac disease. In fact, you have an overproduction of serotonin whenever you have dietary tryptophan. In celiac, these cells are hypersensitized. They take in the tryptophan and make serotonin out of it [editor's note: the majority of serotonin is produced in your gut, not your brain]. 

Tryptophan is one of the products of this pathway that glyphosate disrupts. 
Your body is really eager to grab every bit of tryptophan it can find in the diet and immediately turn it into serotonin... But too much serotonin causes diarrhea. That's how you get a connection to the celiac disease behavior."

To summarize, most of the serotonin that's produced in your body is produced in your gut in response to tryptophan. Wheat is a good source of tryptophan, but when the wheat is contaminated with glyphosate, your gut cells go into overdrive and begin producing too muchserotonin, which in turn produces many of the common symptoms of celiac disease, such as diarrhea.

Celiac Disease Comorbidities

According to Dr. Seneff, there are a number of comorbidities of celiac disease: diseases or conditions that are more common in people with celiac disease compared to the normal population. For example, they have a higher risk of producing children with disabilities and various birth defects. One example is anencephaly or microcephaly, which is a missing brain or small brain.

She notes that this exceptionally rare disorder, anencephaly, has become increasingly common in babies born in certain regions of Washington State. While this serious birth defect normally affects only one in the entire US population each year, there have been about 20 cases born in Washington State over the course of just two or three years.

"They looked at everything except at glyphosate," she notes. "They didn't look at glyphosate because they consider it to be harmless. They are using tons of it around the waterway...There have been papers written that have shown that glyphosate causes anencephaly in frogs—a clear connection there. I even know why. It's because of the excess retinoic acid, which is well-known to cause anencephaly... glyphosate also disrupts cytochrome p450 enzymes in the liver; it's a CYP enzyme that breaks down retinoic acid.

When you can't break it down... the retinoic acid builds up and becomes toxic to the embryo. It's very clear to me, that connection. And then, of course, the celiac disease is an indicator of glyphosate exposure. Celiac patients also have a very high risk of cancer. That's probably why they die prematurely. They typically live a shorter life. I think their life is reduced by three to five years."

Gastrointestinal (GI) cancer and non-Hodgkin's lymphoma are among the most common comorbidities among those with celiac disease. Here Dr. Seneff goes into a number of details relating to glyphosate's influence on cancer and its link to non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. For those details, please listen to the full version Dr. Seneff's interview, or read through the transcript. It seems clear that if you have cancer or non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, you'd be wise to switch to an all-organic diet in order to avoid any further exposure to glyphosate.

Dr. Seneff believes it's important to address sulfate deficiency whenever you're suffering with a chronic disease, including cancer and lymphoma. In her opinion, eating sulfur-rich foods is part and parcel of the solution. Garlic is a very good source of sulfur. Raw garlic is the most potent. According to Dr. Seneff, you don't need to concern yourself with the issue of sulfate transport because the garlic form of sulfur is very easy to transport. Your red blood cells oxidize it to sulfate, and it gets into your blood as sulforaphane.

Glyphosate Chelates Minerals and Promotes Deficiencies

Making sure you're getting enough trace minerals is also important, as glyphosate disrupts a wide variety of them, including manganese, iron, cobalt (cobalamin) and molybdenum, and copper, just to name a few. All of these minerals are affected because the glyphosate causes your body to mismanage them. It chelates the minerals in your gut, so the gut bacteria can't get to them. And your gut bacteria need minerals to work properly. For example, Lactobacillus depends on manganese. According to Dr. Seneff, these bacteria have an unusual mechanism to protect themselves from oxidative damage, which involves manganese. But they can't get at it because the manganese hides inside the glyphosate molecule...

The human body depends on minerals for a wide variety of functions, but it's important to get minerals in a bioavailable form. You can't take a mineral supplement. You need to get them through your diet so that your body can utilize them properly. Hence, an organic diet devoid of glyphosate is again the answer. Natural salt, such as sea salt or Himalayan salt is also a good addition to eating lots of vegetables.

Is There Hope for the Future?

The chemical technology industry controls most of our government agencies from the inside these days, which can easily make one despondent. Is there any hope for the future?

"There is hope," Dr. Seneff says. "I have hope through China and Russia, interestingly enough. Russia has made a pretty strong stand against GMO. Putin has been saying, 'You can go ahead and eat your GMO foods, but we don't want them.' The guy knows, which I love. And I just came back from a conference in Beijing put on by Professor Gu.

She brought in people from around the world... who are sounding the alarm about GMOs and Roundup. Don Huber was there, and Mae-Wan Ho... Jeffrey Smith... and from Australia, there was Judy Carman, who studied the pigs...China will really have an impact if they simply refuse to import GMO soy. They're finding, by the way, that in step with the increased imports of GMO Roundup-Ready soy… they're finding tremendous increases in autism, Parkinson's disease, infertility, and all the same things we're seeing here.

...I just do not understand how the US government refuses to acknowledge that we're basically slowly poisoning and killing our population. We're going to have a huge autism problem in 10 or 15 years. Mothers rising up and saying 'I'm going to feed my child organic food only'—that's the only way we're going to stop it. We have to push the organic movement... In fact, one of the people at this conference was Zen Honeycutt, founder of Moms Across America, which is an organization of moms. Her son had autism. She fixed his autism by putting him on an organic diet."

Can You Detox Glyphosate?

It's important to understand that you cannot wash glyphosate off genetically engineered foods, as it is then incorporated into each cell of the plant. And when you're consuming processed foods, clearly you cannot rinse off any contamination—it's already been processed into the final product. So truly, the only way to eliminate it from your diet is to avoid conventionally grown foods and processed foods, and to eat as many organic foods as possible. Organic standards do not permit glyphosate. Do not confuse this with labels that say "natural" or "all-natural." These are notregulated, and are often GMO!

This is equally if not more important when it comes to meat and other animal products, as factory-farmed animals are typically raised on a GMO diet, and glyphosate bioaccumulates in the tissues. So what about detoxing? According to Dr. Seneff, they've had some success detoxing animals of glyphosate by feeding them charcoal and humus (the dark organic material in soils). The problem, again, is that glyphosate bioaccumulates throughout your body, and it can be difficult to get out. It's also unclear just how effective taking charcoal might be for humans.

In short, it's much harder to reverse the damage once it's done, so the answer is to avoid glyphosate from the start—especially in your child's diet. The only way to do that right now is to buy certified organic food, or food from a local farmer you know is not using glyphosate or other synthetic chemicals. Perhaps the best alternative is to grow your own. "I think there's going to be a run on organic once everybody wakes up," Dr. Seneff says. "If you're not growing your own, you won't have access. It would be very difficult."

Take Control of Your Health—Choose Your Foods Wisely

According to Dr. Seneff, a number of frightening revelations concerning GE foods themselves came out during the Beijing conference, which we did not have time to go over in this interview. But clearly, besides the potential hazards associated with GE foods—which includes heightened allergenicity—the issue of glyphosate contamination is a very important one. It appears to play an instrumental role not only in celiac disease, but also in autism, Alzheimer's, and cancer. In fact, Dr. Seneff's work suggests it may play a role in most chronic diseases.

"There are many, many reasons to avoid these processed foods that our government is encouraging us to eat," she says. "Taking complete ownership of your food by growing your own is the most special thing you can do, not just for yourself but for humanity and for the earth itself. Everyone who pitches in to contribute their piece of healthy grown food with developing healthy soil is so important to our future salvation because if we don't move fast with this, we're going to end up with a country that's so sick... we're going to spend all of our time and all of our money taking care of the sick and needy. We won't be able to do anything else.

We need to move quickly, and individually make ourselves healthy by eating healthy foods and by putting in the effort to cook and the effort to grow the food ourselves. Buy organic. Support the organic farmers. Don't worry about the fact that it's costing you a little more in food because it's going to save you a huge amount on healthcare down the road. It's going to totally pay for itself. If people can get into that mindset, we can make it happen as individuals. We don't need the government [to act]."





Epigenetics: In Defense of Lamarck

Jean-Baptiste Lamarck has long been debunked. Or so the story goes. Lamarck formulated the theory that the environment shapes genes, and that these changes are passed on to your children; on other hand, Darwin argued that genes are not changed by the environment and formulated natural selection. Lamarckian evolution theories on environmentally acquired characteristics are often referenced and contrasted with Darwinian evolution, but mainly for the sake of showing just how right Darwin was. It is true that Darwin’s theories have stood the test of time and rightly so, as his ideas of natural selection have shaped how we view biology and evolution. Yet, Darwin became engrossed with Lamarck’s ideas later in life and is said to have died “almost a Lamarckian” [1]. He went so far as to begin to formulate his own theory of acquired characteristics, which he called the “conditions of existence” [1].  Darwin’s later theories agreed with Lamarck on the importance of environmental inputs.

Both of these giants seemed to be in agreement, but how these acquired characteristics translated into genetic code remained unclear.  The solution that emerged was epigenetics.  Epigenetics is a phenomenon with many complex implications, but thankfully, one that can be easily summarized. DNA is modified though methylation or acetylation, which turns gene expression on or off through the activation or inhibition of transcription. Methylation is generally associated with inhibition while acetylation is associated with activation, and both are common epigenetic phenomena.

These epigenetic changes are transferred in the somatic cell line as a part of normal DNA replication.  This is generally temporary since only changes in the germ line gametes affect the next generation, but recent research has shown that some epigenetic modifications can be passed down [1]. The geneticist Marcus Pembrey goes so far as to say that even factors such as nutrition or stress can affect your descendants [1]. The implications of this assertion are astounding: the choices you make right now, in this minute, have a chance of affecting your children. What you eat will eventually change your genes and those genes might just get passed down to your children. This is a sobering thought, more so because we are not aware of all the details of the underlying mechanism.  The environment and how you react to it are important after all.  This is an expansion of Darwinian thought, the synthesis of Darwin and Lamarck.

We now know a great deal about mammalian epigenetics, including its important role in early development [2].  DNA methylation is especially important in the germ line.  These epigenetic markers often supplement transcription factors, which are proteins which enter the nucleus to modify the expression of genes that code the program for normal development.

This mystery of what triggers the initial methylation events will no doubt confound scientists for years to come, but it is still remarkable that so much is known about epigenetic pathways.  Epigenetic tags are often removed in a newly fertilized egg, especially because the sperm is often hypermethylated, but some tags remain [2, 3].  While the mechanism by which these tags are not removed is not certain, research points to hydroxymethylation as the candidate for transgenerational inheritance [2].

If this is the case, this will change how we look at genetic diseases.  Epigenetics has added a new layer of complexity to how we look at inheritance.  The study of diseases will expand from direct examination of genes transferred from parent to offspring to include examination of the epigenetic tags on those genes and those associated with diseases.  There already exist several ways to look at epigenetic markers in the cell and the methylome, the collection of all the methyl markers in a cell, will soon take its place next to the transcriptome and proteome in importance [2].

One new way in which epigenetics affects everyday life is the development of allergies. New evidence has shown that allergies originate in the early phases of development [3].  A maternal diet rich in methyl donors has been associated with the development of allergies in the offspring. This methylation in the maternal genome, once present in germ line cells, could potentially affect T-cell differentiation in the offspring, which might have consequences for the occurrence of allergies [3].  This indicates that diet, especially during the crucial development window, can have long-term effects.

Epigenetics has wide-reaching implications on human disease and human development.  Lamarck turned out to be right, though his theories did not capture the full complexities of genetics; for that matter, neither did Darwin’s. Only by accepting the theories of both major figures and by synthesizing them do we arrive at the next breakthrough in genetics.


1. Marsh, David.  Darwin’s passionate environmentalism or the dangerous fallacy of the ‘All-sufficiency of natural selection’ theory. Nutrition and Health January 2012 21: 76-90.
2. Smith, Z. D. and Meissner, Alexander.  DNA methylation: roles in mammalian development.  Nature Reviews  Genetics 14, 204-220 (March 2013).
3.  North, M. L. et al.  The role of epigenetics in the developmental origins of allergic disease Annals of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology, Volume 106, Issue 5, May 2011, Pages 355–361.

 Victor Macrinici is a writer at Yale University. Follow The Triple Helix Online on Twitter and join us on Facebook


Let’s Let Charles Darwin Sort-Out A Modern Debate In Biology



An immense federal project that involved 440 scientists from 32 laboratories from around the world, a project known as ENCODE, concluded that 80% of the library of human genes (known as the human genome) is biologically functional.  The results of ENCODE were reported in September of 2012 and strong criticism of its “extremely loose definition of ‘biologically functional’ soon followed.”  [Proceedings National Academy Sciences April 2, 2013;Time Magazine Sept 6, 2012]

ENCODE stunned the world of human genetics at that time as it was believed that only a small fraction (~3%) of genes actually produce proteins.

Yet in another a scientific reversal, just 22-months later scientists at Oxford University report only 8.2% of our DNA is biologically active.  Oxford researchers say the rest of the genome is leftover evolutionary material that has undergone mutational losses or gains in the DNA code.  [Science Daily July 24, 2014; PLoS Genetics July 24, 2014]

Moreover, these researchers claim only a little more than 1% of human DNA accounts for the proteins that carry out most biological processes in the body.

Seemingly good news

This is seemingly good news.  The human genome is comprised of about 21,000 genes, meaning only a couple hundred genes need to be influenced to produce a beneficial effect.  Researchers have found only 295 genes are robustly associated with human aging.  [Aging Cell Oct 2011]  There are natural or synthetic molecules known to activate or deactivate hundreds of genes at a time. [Current Drug Targets Dec 2011]  This suggests an anti-aging pill is within reach.

Gene mutations and junk DNA


Nonfunctional or “junk DNA” develops from DNA mutations.  Over time mutations arise in DNA.  Mutations occur on the DNA ladder.  The steps of the DNA ladder called nucleotides (adenine, guanine, cytosine, thymine) may be substituted or be out of sequence, producing a mutation.  [Genetics Generation]

Various studies estimate humans sustain 2.1-10.0 deleterious mutations per generation.  This suggests, over time, that 90% of the human genome has mutated and is non-functional, as the Oxford University scientists claim. [PLoS Genetics May 2014]

Oxford University researchers say these mutations have rendered most of the human library of genes, a copy which is stored in the nucleus of every living cell in the human body, as nonfunctional.

But let’s not overlook a convincing experiment where a segment of so-called junk DNA was deleted from laboratory mice.  These animals experienced increased weight gain and mortality on a high-fat diet.  [Clinical Chemistry July 16, 2010; Nature March 18, 2010]

Genetic versus epigenetic

Inherited gene mutations represent only about 2% of all human disease.  [Knowledge of Health April 25, 2014]  Inherited diseases involve changes in the steps (nucleotides) of the DNA ladder.  Gene mutations involves DNA structure.

However, genes are not static.  Genes can make proteins, a process called gene expression (gene is switched “on”) or gene silencing (gene is switched “off”). Modifications in protein-making of genes that occur without changes in DNA sequence is called epigenetics.  Most chronic disease is now believed to be epigenetic, that is, derived from gene protein making. [The Journals Of Gerontology: Series A: Biological Sciences & Medical Sciences June 2014]

Genome purification by natural selection

In between the lines of print readers find the scientific community is attempting to make the science fit an evolutionary model that makes little or no sense.

The Oxford University scientists write that most of the human genome has been “purified” by a theoretical biological mechanism called natural selection.  The unfit genes become mutated and the fit genes remain intact.  The largest part of the genome “can be deleted without impacting fitness” of the species, they say.

Genetic purification questioned

The proposed idea of genetic purification by natural selection is on very shaky ground.  As researchers at the University of Washington note, mutations rarely turn out to be beneficial.  [PLoS Genetics May 8, 2014]  Yet mutations are considered the driving force of progressive evolution.

Another long unexplained phenomenon is that the genome size of the most advanced species, Homo sapiens, is 40 times smaller than a lungfish.  An onion has a genome that is 5 times larger than a human.  [Genomicron April 25, 2007]  One would think greater complexity would require more genes, not less.  [PLoS Genetics May 8, 2014]

Nature versus nurture

The behind-the-scenes battle going on is whether evolutionary forces are at work (genetic mutations over a long time) or whether relatively rapid epigenetic changes control the functionality of genes.  Can biological function be explained without the dogma of random natural selection? [Genome Biology & Evolution 2013]

The debate here is nature versus nurture, inherited biological destiny versus environmentally/molecularly alterable biology.  The evolutionists cannot tolerate a departure from the evolutionary model.  Oxford University researchers say the 440 scientists who authored the $123 million ENCODE project are dead wrong!  It just can’t be.

Yet we know that most human disease is not inherited and involves aging which can be slowed or even reversed via epigenetics.

The epigenome is not only “imprinted” in early human development but can be altered molecularly later in life.  [Seminars Nephrology July 2013]

Let Charles Darwin sort it out

With arguments for mutational/random natural selection/ evolutionary biology on the one hand and epigenetic/ environmental/alterable epigenetics on the other, it may be time to let the words of Charles Darwin sort out this argument.

David Marsh of the McCarrison Society For Nutrition & Health in London, England notes that Darwin spent a great deal of his time on his two 6-month trips to the Galapagos Islands searching for possible mechanisms which communicate information from the environment to the human body.

Darwin’s eloquent drawings showing changes in bird beaks over a short period of time (not millions of years as evolutionists claim) strongly points to environmental factors rather than inborn inherited factors that drive biological adaptation.

Marsh notes that “in each of his (Darwin’s) six editions of the ‘Origin Of Species’ he stated there were two forces in evolution – “natural selection” and “conditions of existence,” or “struggle for existence” which is the title of the third chapter of Darwin’s book. Darwin claimed the latter is more powerful, says Marsh.

Marsh points out that natural selection has weak predictive power because of its dependence upon random events.  Marsh says recent changes in human height and shape over the past century strongly point to Darwin’s “conditions of existence.”  [Nutrition & Health Jan 2012]  The same goes for the modern epidemic of diabesity.

Discover Magazine said it in 2006: “DNA is not our biological destiny.” [Discover Nov 22, 2006] In 2010 Time Magazine’s headline cover story said: “Why DNA Isn’t Your Destiny.”  [Time Magazine Jan 6, 2010]

Does epigenetics explain instinct?

In chapter seven of Charles Darwin’s book Origin Of Species he wrote about generational or inherited animal instincts, which he described as habitual action.  For example, Darwin noted the organized instincts of bees in the hive.

Randy Jirtle, director of the Laboratory of Epigenetics and Imprinting at Duke University, says it is possible that at critical times during early development the brain is epigenetically programmed by environmental conditions and adulthood behavior, such as salmon swimming upstream in a specific river to spawn, which might be an example of epigenetic memory (imprinting).  [NOVA August 2, 2007]

Transgenerational epigenetics is believed to be real. [Episona Jan 21, 2014]  The good news about epigenetics is that undesirable inherited marks in genes can be reversed in adulthood. [International Journal Life Science & Pharma Journal Jan-March 2012] Your genes can be reprogrammed. [Cell Jan 2012]  This has already been demonstrated in humans. [Molecular Medicine Ophthalmic Care Dec 2009; Investigative Ophthalmology2012]

Epigenetics explains more about our biological destiny than evolution.   Humans don’t need to be resigned to thinking the diseases that plagued their forefathers will inevitably affect them.  Even existing diseases can be reversed mid-course.  There is a lot researchers in biology aren’t telling you about epigenetics.  [ April 25, 2014]

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Electromagnetic radiation and health: evidence, diagnosis and management.

Conference organised by the British Society of Ecological Medicine – 7th March 2014

A full day’s conference organised for the British Society for Ecological Medicine by medical researcher, Rachel Nicoll.

• Power frequency and electromagnetic fields – Professor Dennis Henshaw of the University of Bristol and Children with Cancer UK.

• Electromagnetic energy – affecting the processes of life. Alasdair Phillips of Powerwatch. 

• The political and legal scene. Michael Bevington, Chair of Trustees of ES-UK 

• Animal Studies: Finding a way through contradictory results – Rachel Nicoll

• Human studies – a critique of the evidence. Alasdair Phillips

• EMF, including Microwave action via Voltage-Gated Calcium Channels (VGCCs): Widespread health concerns. Professor Martin Pall, Washington State University

• Current concepts in diagnosis and management of EHS. Dr Erica Mallery Blythe

• John Kelsey on Saferwave

• EMF Detection and prevention – Alasdair Phillips

• Biochemistry of Electrosensitivity – John McLaren-Howard of Acumen Medical Ltd

• EMS: nutritional management – Dr Jean Monro, Breakspear Medical Group

• Earthing. John Kelsey and John McLaren Howard

• Glossary of common EMF/RF terms – Alasdair Philips

• Typical symptoms of electromagnetic sensitivity – Michael Bevington



Power frequency and electromagnetic fields – Professor Dennis Henshaw of the University of Bristol and Children with Cancer UK

Professor Henshaw opened his talk by describing how all animals, including humans) have, for millions of years, been sensitive to electromagnetic radiation, in the guise of geomagnetic storms. Such storms can affect both animal migration patterns and human health.

Animal navigation depends on magnetite particles lodged in the brain which vibrate and respond to magnetic fields; these allow the animals to align themselves with the magnetic north. This alignment can be disrupted by electromagnetic radiation so that, for example, a cow’s ability to align itself with the magnetic north will be disrupted by a power line running though its field.

The human brain also contains magnetite particles which allow us to align ourselves with the magnetic north although we may not be conscious of it. However, this may explain why some people sleep much better when lying in a north/south alignment.

Very low intensity magnetic fields can increase the lifetime of ‘radical pairs’ setting off chemical reactions which form the basis of a chemical magnetic compass. However, these reactions may also create free radicals leading to biological damage. These changes also affect the chryptochromes in the eye (animal and human) responsible for controlling our circadian rhythms.

Professor Henshaw quoted a number of studies by Ritz et al. showing how behaviour patterns in robins, chickens, zebra finches and American cockroaches had all been affected by exposure to magnetic frequencies.

He then went on to show how disrupting circadian rhythms (via the magnetosensitive cryptochromes) disrupts the production of melatonin, a powerful antioxidant produced in the pineal gland when the body believes that it is night/sleep time.

Finally he suggested that there could be a link between magnetic fields and cancer via:

  1. Magnetic particles – mechanical stress or free radical damage via the Radical Pair Mechanism
  2. Cryptochromes in the eye – circadian rhythm disruption
  3. Cryptochromes in peripheral blood cells ­ – free radical damage via the Radical Pair Mechanism
  4. Genomic instability – leads to the accumulation of mutations required for cancer formation.


Electromagnetic energy – affecting the processes of life. Alasdair Phillips of Powerwatch 

Alasdair Phillips sees electromagnetic energy as an environmental hazard with a long latency eg its effects may not be seen for many years – which gives ample opportunity for nay-sayers to deny any hazard. He cited an alarming catalogue of ‘previously denied hazards’: 
• Radium creams which 100 years ago were recommended to ‘give a healthy glow to the skin’ – which indeed they did!
• X-rays in pregnancy, regularly  used on pregnant women in the 1950s and estimated to have doubled the chances of the foetus going on to develop childhood leukemia
• Smoking – first flagged as potentially hazardous in 1918
• Thalidomide – a wonder drug for morning sickness
• Asbestos – death from asbestos ‘poisoning’ are predicted to peak in 2021 even though its use has been heavily restricted for over 30 years.
• Radioactive fall out from nuclear bomb tests – no protection at all against ‘internal radiation’ or radioactive particles breathed into the lungs.
• BSE in cows leading to CJD in humans
• Lead in petrol

He went on to describe the millionfold increase in the electromagnetic and radio frequencies in the 21st century environment and the results from the Bamberg Report of 2005 which showed a strong correlation between compared symptoms of illness experienced and levels of radio frequency exposure in the home.

He also showed graphs comparing the exposure from a mobile phone mast at 100metres and a wifi laptop – the latter dramatically higher.
Finally he showed a very useful table of exposure sources both in and out of the home or office.


The political and legal scene. Michael Bevington, Chair of Trustees of ES-UK and author of Electromagnetic Sensitivity and Electromagnetic Hypersensitivity

Michael Bevington gave a detailed overview of the very confusing and self-contradictory approaches to the legal status of electrosensitivity and its connections with electromagnetic radiation. Such connections are often sidestepped by planning ‘peculiarities’ – such as the decision that the possible health effects of mobile phone masts should not be taken into consideration when applications to erect them were made. 
Although no successful prosecutions have yet been brought in the UK there are several pending at EU level and Michael Bevington sees hope for the future, citing, in particular, a ‘game changing legal tribunal ruling by the United Nations Economic Commission Europe by which the UK government was deemed to have acted illegally by denying the public decision making powers and ‘necessary information’ over the benefits or adverse effects of wind farms.  The UK broke Article 7 of the Aarhus convention (1998) which requires full and effective public participation on all environmental issues and demands that citizens are given the right to participate in the process.’


Animal Studies: Finding a way through contradictory results – Rachel Nicoll

The literature on animal studies is vast (10s of thousands) but they are totally inconclusive, often contradictory and the effects are not reproducible. But, while there are too many studies showing an adverse effect for them to be dismissed as chance, there are not enough to provide conclusive evidence.

Rachel Nicholl suggests some of the following as reasons/explanations for the contradictory results:

• The effect of whole body radiation is often only tested in one organ (the heart for example) but the effect may be manifest somewhere entirely different (such as the liver).
• Some studies show an initial effect which declines with time; others show a delayed effect which may not be apparent at all in studies with short time lapses.

• Except when cancer occurs, studies show that tissue damage eventually recovers but the recovery time differs according to the source, the dose, the time and the organ of the body affected.

• Low doses exposure can have effects which are absent in high doses so these are deemed to be no effect – but are they just a different effect?

• Age appears to affect response to radiation exposure: young more vulnerable, elderly more resistant.

• Males are more susceptible to Blood/Brain barrier leakage and to cancer but not all studies are analysed by gender.

• Studies expect a linear response but cancer studies show a U-shaped dose/response – so are studies looking for the wrong thing?

• Different animals appear to be affected in different degrees and different ways – so if there was no effect evident were they studying the wrong species?

• An adaptive response is usually understood to mean that a low dose exposure will inhibit a pathological response to a higher dose (ie the subject will be able to tolerate the higher dose without ill effects). Is this relevant with ionising and non-ionising radiation? Or is the adaptive response effectively changing some other mechanism in the individual who has been exposed which allows/him or her to withstand the exposure better?

All of this suggests that the individual’s response to radiation exposure may depend far more on the characteristics of the individual being exposed than on the radiation exposure itself.

Rachel Nicholl suggests that the two characteristics which may be of particular importance are:

• Oxidant/anti-oxidant status. 
Most studies that investigate oxidative status show altered status in those with ES and most studies testing the benefits of dietary antioxidants show a benefit – but in both cases this is personal to each individual.

• DNA and histone methylation
Most studies show low DNA and histone methylation (the process by which genes in the DNA are turned ‘on’ and ‘off’). Efficient operation of both require ‘methyl donors’ which are heavily influenced by diet.

She therefore suggest the following hypothesis:

• Radiation may have both a direct and an indirect effect on living tissue but to date studies have only investigated the direct effect.
• The indirect effect will depend on, amongst other things, the oxidant/anti-oxidant and methylation status of the individual effected.
• The adaptive response may simply be the upregulation (more efficient operation) of antioxidant enzymes and methylation.

Finally, based on recent research, some lifestyle measures to combat radiation:

• Eat anti-oxidant foods - fish, fruit, vegetables, garlic, curcumin, ginger, rosemary
• Supplements shown to reduce EMR damage: Vitamin C, selenium, mixed tocopherols/tototrienols (Vitamin E), zinc, genistein, SOD, aloe vera, melatonin, beta-glucan, L-carnitine, quercetin, rhodiola, ginko biloba, bee propolis, glycyrrhizic acid, flavanoids, polyphenols
• Supplements shown to reduce activity of calcium binding proteins or increase calcium ATPase: ginseng, resveratrol, green tea, N-acteyl cysteine
• Methyl donors: trimethylglycine, folic acid, vitamin B12, vitamin B6

• Avoid pro-oxidant activities/foods: smoking, sugars, transfats


Human studies – a critique of the evidence. Alasdair Philips ofPowerwatch

The official view of electromagnetic sensitivity is that it is ‘all in the mind’ – the nocebo effect. However, existing studies often paint a different picture.

The ECOLOG Report – 2000
A good scientific study funded by the telecoms industry to assess the risk of mobile telecommunications with respect to precautionary health protection.
• Cancer. Levels of radiation that you would get walking in the street of the City of London were sufficient to trigger effects.
• Immune system. Stress level hormones were affected at similar levels of radiation.
• Cognitive function. Physiological changes and impairments of cognitive function were found at exposure levels well below the current guidelines.
• Base stations: the precautionary level should be rigorously limited, especially near places where humans are present for more than 4 hours, to a level lower than you would currently get walking the streets in the City of London.
• Mobile phone use. The SAR guidelines should be lowered – urgently – especially for use by children/adolescents.

Dutch TNO report. 2004.
Small but significant adverse effect was noted on the well being of subjects exposed to a base station signal significantly lower than street level.

Bamberg Report 2005. (357 General Practice patients)
Significant symptoms were noted amongst all patients exposed to radiation, the symptoms increasing in type and severity the longer and the higher the exposure.

Essex MTHR ES study 2007
Despite the study results suggesting the opposite, it was claimed that the subjects were unable to detect the presence of electro magnetic radiation under double blind conditions. There were, however, many design flaws in the trial – see below.

EU/EC funded REFLEX project 2005
The object was to discover whether low levels of ELF/RF fields could influence cell lines. The study found that in some cell cultures both ELF magnetic fields and RF exposure may affect the expression of genes and proteins involved in activities such as cell division, proliferation and differentiation thus leading to genetic instability and/or DNA damage.

Bioinitative Report  2007 & 2012
Report from 29 senior independent scientist and health experts from around the world on the possible risks from EMFs and wireless technology.
Risks identified include DNA damage, loss of DNA repair mechanisms and genetic instability, neurotoxicity and carcinogenicity in humans, serious impacts on human and animal sperm and function, effects on offspring behaviour and on cranial and bone development in animals exposed during pregnancy.

Problems with most EHS studies:

• Subjects are not tested for ‘real’ sensitivity so many subjects are accepted who merely ‘think’ their symptoms are due to ES.
• Most studies are carried out in environments where the background levels of electromagnetic radiation are so high that they are above the threshold at which an ES person would react (eg they are already reacting to the background radiation before they are subjected to the ‘test’ radiation).
• Most studies do not allow enough time between travelling and the study for the subjects to be reaction free before the start of the study. Nor do they allow time for delayed reactions to kick in.


EMF, including Microwave action via Voltage-Gated Calcium Channels (VGCCs): Widespread health concerns. 
Professor Martin Pall, Washington State University

US and international standards for safety for microwave radiation are based on the assumption that only the thermal effects need to be considered. However, it has been known for over 30 years that pulsed electromagnetic fields are far more biologically active than non-pulsed fields, but the mechanism of action has been unclear.

However, it appears that electromagnetic fields (EMFs) can influence the voltage across the plasma membranes of individual cells, thus activating the voltage-gate calcium channels. This leads to an increase in both intracellular calciuml. This excess calcium results in the symptoms of electromagnetic hypersensitivity. These symptoms are, therefore, not the result of the EMFs themselves but of the biological changes brought about by the EMFs.

The increase of intracellular calcium in turn increases the synthesis of Nitric Oxide (NO). This can have a therapeutic effect but, when converted into superoxide and then into peroxynitrite, causes oxidative stress and thereby, harm. ‘Harm’ can include:
• oxidative stress and chronic inflammation
• single and double strand breaks in DNA
• cancer
• breakdown of blood brain barrier
• male and female infertility
• melatonin depletion and sleep deprivation

This is of concern because of the enormous increase in exposure to microwave radiation in recent years.

For more details on Professor Pall’s work in this area see Electromagnetic fields act via activation of voltage-gated calcium channels to produce beneficial or adverse effects. J Cell Mol Med. Aug 2013; 17(8): 958–965.

The professor then went on to look in more detail at what he calls two modern ‘epidemics’ – autism and Timothy syndrome (autism sufferers who also have very serious heart problems and rarely live more than 10 years).

The mutation that causes Timothy syndrome is a mutation in the gene that encodes the calcium channel and causes it to be very slow in closing. As result it become hyperactive and produces excessive amounts of intracellular calcium. This suggests that the increase in calcium could cause both autism and Timothy Syndrome – and therefore that the current epidemics of both conditions could be caused by the huge increase in microwave exposure over the last 35 years. Professor Pall then quoted various studies that would appear to support his hypothesis.

He went on to look at autism in more detail pointing out that it is well accepted that what is unique about autism is its effect on the early development of synaptic connections linking neurons together. However, aberrant calcium signalling can disrupt the correct linking of synapses and therefore neurons, so there is no question that excessive VGCC activity (eg excessive calcium generated by microwave exposure) could cause autism by disrupting this process. He then cited further epidemiological data to support this theory – although he made clear that there remained other causes of autism, such as chemical exposure and perinatal infections.

None the less, Professor Pall posed the question as to whether the great autism epidemic of the last 35 years has been caused primarily by the great parallel increase in microwave exposure. He suggests that the argument is strong, but not yet conclusive.


Current concepts in diagnosis and management of EHS. Dr Erica Mallery Blythe, Medical Advisor, ES-UK

Dr Mallery Blythe started by stressing that electromagnetic hypersensitivity was a physiological, not a psychological problem. She also pointed out that humans are ‘electrical’ beings and that we are excellent EMF conductors. So, is electromagnetic hypersensitivity a sickness or is it just super-sensitivity?

Having listed the cell damage that can occur (altered gene and protein expression, membrane disruption, blood brain barrier disruption, DNA damage etc) she went on to list the whole body/systemic results  (including reduced melatonin production, immune system suppression, reproductive impairment, breakdown of blood brain barrier, oxidative stress and chronic inflammation). She then quoted the research of Drs Orjan Hallberg and Gerd Oberfeld in 2006 which estimated that by 2017 50% of the developed world’s population will suffer from some degree of EHS.

Dr Mallery Blythe listed EHS symptoms as:

• Insomnia/sleep disturbance
• Headaches of various types
• Sensations of electric shock
• Dizziness
• Tinnitus
• Visual and hearing disturbances
• Short term memory loss
• Thought block
• Tremor, vibration, seizure
• Behavioural change
• Cardiac dysrhythmia
• Blood pressure anomalies
• Joint dysfunction
• Insatiable thirst/dehydration
• Urinary/bowel urgency
• Altered energy levels
• Increased chemical/food sensitivity
• General sensory up-regulation

However, she stressed the vital importance of a detailed patient history in diagnosing EHS. It is particularly important to notice if the symptoms disappear when the suspected source is removed and whether the patient gets relief with shielding or when in the bath or shower. She noted that blood tests and other diagnostic tests could be useful but were very individual. She then went on to give her A to Hs suggestions fro those who are electrosensitive – although, as she pointed out, the suggestions would be of benefit to everyone!

  • Avoid electromagnetic radiation where ever possible. Unplug all devices when not in use – do not use standby; shield against unavoidable radiation but take advice on shielding; only use mobile phones in emergency and switch off when not in use; ensure electrically clean sleeping space; use wired connections, not wifi.
  • Breathe fresh negative-ion enriched air whenever possible.
  • Use Cognitive Behavioural Therapy to help you cope with EHS. However, beware. CBT should not be used to encourage EHS people to continue their exposure.
  • Dental care. Remove mercury amalgams.
  • Exercise – regular, sweat inducing, aerobic and in a low EMR environment.
  • Food. Fresh, organic, balanced with lots of bioavailable antioxidants, anti inflammatory compounds, omega 3 fatty acids and not much sugar!
  • Take glutathione and Superoxide dismutase (SOD)
  • Hydration – drink plenty of ‘good’ water – ideally glass bottled spring water or filtered water.
  • Sleep. Make sure you sleep well. Sleep deprivation symptoms are very similar to those of EHS. Make sure you sleep in a really dark room with no electrical equipment; avoid bright lights and screens for two hours before bed; sleep in a wooden bed and organic fabric bedclothes.
  • Sunlight. Get as much natural daylight and sunlight as you can.           
  • Sauna. Increases metabolic rate, increases circulation to extremities and increases toxin excretion.

Other treatments which may be helpful:
• Nutritional supplements – but get advice
• Chelation – but only on professional advice
• Low dose immunotherapy
• Acupuncture or almost any other complementary therapy
• Some drugs such as antihistamines – but only after the above treatments have been tried.

Dr Mallery Blythe suggests that a full reversal of the symptoms of EHS can be achieved with these protocols but she does warn that a return to the adverse environment is likely to cause a relapse.


John Kelsey on Saferwave

John Kelsey discussed different methods of testing cell health by measuring conductivity in the body, and explained how the sharp peaks on the waveforms created by mobile phone signals could be evened out thus reducing their biological effect. For more on devices designed to do this see Saferwave..


EMF Detection and prevention – Alasdair Philips of Powerwatch

Alasdair described various devices for measuring radio frequency and microwave exposure and suggested the following ways of reducing it:
• Assess using a good measuring device (eg ACOM2)
• Remove and/or relocate all RF devices including wifi, DECT cordless phones, games consoles etc and avoid tablet PCs.
• Minimise use of mobile phone – text or use speakerphone or air-tube hands free.
• If RF coming from outside, screen – especially in bedroom and resting areas

For details of equipment, screening materials and advice contact EMFields.

Remember that when dealing with electrical power you are dealing with both electric fields and magnetic fields. 
Electric fields within a building are almost entirely due to wiring and the devices plugged into it. The only effective way to reduce them is to re-wire using screened cable.
Magnetic fields within a building are due to appliances and small (usually lighting) transformers, wiring faults, especially in ring mains and net and stray currents from outside sources.


Biochemistry of Electrosensitivity – John McLaren-Howard of Acumen Medical Ltd

Cell biochemistry is electrochemistry as our bodies are, in effect, electrical organisms.  So the fact that the cells in our bodies react to external electro stimuli should not come as a surprise. However – every individual’s body is different so every individual reacts differently.

The cell membrane is made up of sodium, potassium and magnesium. Levels of intracellular calcium play an important role: large increases in intra-cellular calcium will cause apoptosis or cell death but smaller changes in levels play a vital role in signaling for a range of cell activities. If external electrical frequencies interfere with this signaling by interfering with the ‘voltage-gated calcium channels’ then the smooth operation of the cell functions can be disrupted. This can lead to all kinds of malfunctions including vascular control, sensory cell performance (including hormone receptors), cell development and division etc etc.

Although earlier tests have shown that there is an increase in intra-cellular calcium in people with chemical sensitivity, intracellular calcium does not appear to increase when white cells are exposed to an electric field.

However, if you takes cells from a person who is chemically sensitive to, for example, benzoate, and expose them to an electrical field, then there is a massive increase in intracellular calcium.  So, is electrosensitivity ‘piggy backing’ on chemical sensitivity?

It would appear that exposure to electromagnetic fields may amplify a chemical sensitivity. A large increase in intracellular calcium should result in cell death but the presence of calcium binding proteins may prevent this. Instead it may block the ‘ATP treadmill’ (ATP is what provides energy to the body) and can displace essential magnesium, significantly disrupting th cell's signaling ability – both of which could lead to serious illness.


EMS: nutritional management – Dr Jean Monro, Breakspear Medical Group

Dr Monro describes Breakspear's approach to the treatment of EMS via a very detailed patient history covering family, social background, occupational history, history of chemical and drug pollution (they regard drugs, medical and other, as a primary pollutant) plus a range of investigations including genomic tests.

Treatment includes individualised diets (gluten free, rotation, detox and specific foods), chelation therapy, nutritional support to improve the gut flora and thereby melatonin production, and low does immunotherapy.


Earthing. John Kelsey and John McLaren Howard

John Kelsey described how connecting your body directly with the negatively charged free electrons which are freely available in the earth enables the cells in our body to re-balance the positive charges with which they are continually bombarded by electron-deficient free radicals. 

For more on the principle and practices of earthing see the Groundology site.

John McLaren Howard described  a study on five ES patients using earthing sheets over a five month period. Two had a significant improvement in symptoms, two had some improvement. In terms of intracellular calcium, it was reduced in two patients, somewhat reduced in one and there was no change in the other two.


• Glossary of common EMF/RF terms – Alasdair Philips

• Typical symptoms of electromagnetic sensitivity – Michael Bevington


March 2014

More articles on electro sensitivityn

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Lobbyists say taxing added sugar can achieve results, but international bodies haven’t jumped on the bandwagon yet

CHARLIE COOPER Author Biography



The Independent

Thursday 06 March 2014

Not very long ago, the question would have seemed absurd. Now it is on the lips of respected scientists; MPs are beginning to talk of “a war on sugar”, and this week even England’s chief medical officer – one of the most esteemed voices in the public debate on health – has said sugar may have to be, like the old enemy tobacco, taxed in order to protect the nation’s health.

There came a time in the evolution of public attitudes to smoking, when the doctors had been shouting for long enough that the public was broadly aware of the risks and the only question left for Government was: what do we about it?

Some believe we are now at the same point in our attitudes to sugar. Others – largely but not exclusively representatives of the food and drink industry – say the entire debate has been skewed by scaremongering.

More or less everyone agrees that eating too much sugar is bad for you. There is also no doubt obesity is a growing problem which is putting a significant, avoidable burden on the NHS by increasing the rates of diabetes, heart disease and other long-term conditions.

But to what extent is sugar – rather than saturated fats, or salt, carbohydrates or proteins, or any of the other bogey-men of modern diets – the cause of obesity and how much should we worry about it?

Yesterday, hopes of achieving anything resembling clarity from health authorities were confounded once again. The World Health Organisation (WHO), widely expected to halve the recommended sugar intake in new draft guidance, instead said it would continue to recommend that sugar make up no more than 10 per cent of the energy we consume (or about 50g daily), while adding that cutting this to five per cent would have “additional benefits”. The decision will now go out to public consultation.

Simon Capewell, professor of clinical epidemiology at the University of Liverpool and the man who made headlines by comparing sugar to tobacco earlier this year, said that he suspected “dirty work” on the part of food and drinks companies might lie behind the WHO’s less than resounding message.

Professor Capewell, a leading figure in the new medical pressure group Action on Sugar said that, while it was not known exactly how much of our current obesity epidemic – a third of children and two thirds of UK adults overweight or obese – was caused by sugar, there was now no doubt the white stuff makes an “important contribution” and one that could be easily prevented.

Public Health England (PHE) figures show that 11.6 per cent of the calories consumed by an average adult in the UK, and 15.2 per cent of those consumed by children, come from sugar – that can be from sugar added to food, but also from sugars naturally occurring in things like fruit juices and honey.

It’s the added sugar, or refined sugars, in everything from cooking sauces to ready meals, to canned soup that Action against Sugar has a problem with – these and the huge amounts of sugar encountered in many popular soft drinks.

They say that added sugar is, like tobacco, “completely unnecessary” and, like tobacco, has to go.

“[Sugar] is of equal importance to tobacco in terms of representing a cause of major disease and death which is completely preventable,” Professor Capewell told The Independent. “In the same way tobacco was around for decades and people slowly came to understand the harms, we’re probably now with sugar where we were with tobacco in the 1980s – we know it’s a bad thing, we know we ought to do something.”

“Refined sugars represent empty calories, they have zero nutritional value. Until about 200 years ago sugar simply didn’t exist in the UK food market. Going further back, our forebears were hunter-gatherers. That’s what our bodies are built for – wandering round eating nuts and berries and the occasional antelope. Sugar? Maybe raiding a bees nest once a year perhaps. Our bodies are not used to it, and it’s not natural.”

The food industry contends that singling out sugar is scientifically unsound and will harm wider health messages about achieving a balanced diet.

Responding to the chief medical officer Dame Sally Davies’ suggestion that the UK may have to consider a sugar tax in the future, the Food and Drink Federation (FDF) said earlier this week that “there is no single or simple solution” to the obesity problem, adding that, through the Government’s voluntary Responsibility Deals, they are already working to cut sugar, just as they have done with salt and saturated fats.

The FDF added that “any additional taxation of food will hit the poorest families hardest at a time they can least afford it.”

Changing advice on diets has certainly created a hugely complicated web of sometimes conflicting advice. This week alone academics at the University of Southern California have suggested that eating too much animal protein – from things like meat and eggs – can be as bad for us as smoking, while US cardiovascular scientist claims today [Thursday] that carbohydrates, not saturated fats are responsible for the obesity epidemic in his country.

Action on Sugar that focusing on added sugar, while not being a silver bullet, would bring achievable reductions in obesity without confusing consumers.

They claim that if major manufacturers committed to gradually reduce the amount of sugar in their products, adding up to a 20 to 30 per cent decrease in sugar content within three to five years, the obesity epidemic could be “halted or reversed”.

“The food industry say Government has no business interfering in families, we must protect personal choice,” Professor Capewell said. “We say there is no personal choice. At the moment, a mother can walk into a supermarket with a choice of four tomato soups – with three, or four, or five teaspoons of sugar in them. She has a choice of thousands of ready meals – with five, or six, or even nine teaspoons of sugar in.

“We think the Government should stand up and protect children, we think that responsible companies should stand up and protect children.”

Killer foods: The current hitlist


While chefs may champion its cause, Britain’s salt intake has been dramatically reduced in recent years. Its links to high blood pressure are well documented and the WHO has said salt reduction is of equal importance to stopping smoking. Anchovies, bacon, cheese and chicken nuggets are among the worst salt offenders.

Saturated fats

They raise cholesterol in the blood, increasing the risk of heart disease. The NHS says that most Britons eat too much of the fats – found in butter, lard, pies, cakes, meats, cheese and cream. Doctors recommend eating oily fish, nuts seeds, fruit and vegetables as a source of unsaturated fats.


They provide the majority of calories consumed in a day (between 45 and 65 per cent) but when consumed in large amounts can have health impacts. Yesterday, a US expert argued that carbohydrates were to blame for a surge in diabetes and obesity.


A new study revealed that middle-aged people who eat protein-rich food were four times more likely to die of cancer than someone who only eats a little. Researchers said proteins derived from animals were “nearly as bad as smoking”. A high-protein diet was defined as one in which 20 per cent of calories came from protein. They recommended 0.8g of protein per kilogram of body weight.



West must not starve Afghanistan's children of the help they need

laiba Hazrat, a six-year-old Afghan refugee in Islamabad, Pakistan.
Detail of Muhammed Muheisen's portrait of laiba Hazrat, a six-year-old Afghan refugee living in a slum outside Islamabad, Pakistan. Photograph: Muhammed Muheisen/AP

While the international community has spent billions of pounds inAfghanistan since the US-led military intervention in 2001, the majority has been spent on the war effort and a much smaller proportion on repairing the damage caused by that war and developing the country (Half of Afghan children suffer irreversible harm from malnutrition, 27 January).

The British charity Afghanaid has been working alongside Afghan men, women and children for the past 30 years. With the support of Britain's Department for International Development and generous individual donors, we are building wells, micro-reservoirs and pipe systems to give people access to clean drinking water; installing toilets; to improve sanitation and educating children and adults in good hygiene. We are also helping rural communities to improve agriculture and livestock, developing micro-enterprises and strengthening their food security – so that households do not live in hunger or the fear of hunger.

Programmes such as Afghanaid's help families keep their children healthy. However, it is critical that when British and other international troops withdraw from Afghanistan, the international community remains committed to providing the money that will enable agencies such as Afghanaid to respond to the frequent humanitarian emergencies and support the long-term sustainable development that will allow children to survive and thrive.
Charles Davy
Managing director, Afghanaid, Kabul

Half of Afghan children suffer irreversible harm from malnutrition
Poor nutrition in first two years has permanent effect on growth and development, and could spell disaster for country

Emma Graham-Harrison in Samangan
The Guardian, Sunday 26 January 2014 14.52 GMT
Afghan children
Afghan children eat a meal of rice in Jalalabad. More than half are believed to be stunted because of inadequate food. Photograph: AFP/Getty Images
Afghanistan is raising a stunted generation whose hobbled development could spell disaster for the country's feeble economy and undermine the impact of billions of dollars in aid poured into health, education and other areas.

More than half of Afghan girls and boys suffer damage to their minds and bodies that cannot be undone because they are poorly nourished in the crucial first two years of life, doctors and other experts say. The finding raises serious questions about the legacy of more than 10 years of western involvement in Afghanistan.

"After the age of two years, stunting is largely irreversible, and has an impact on growth and development and cognitive function," says Carrie Morrison from the World Food Programme. "Over the longer term, it can have a very damaging effect on the national economy. Young people are not able to attain what they should be able to attain. Women who marry young and are stunted themselves give birth to a small infant and the cycle goes on."

Children who are not getting enough nutrients from their food suffer from what is known as chronic malnutrition. The problem afflicts poor countries worldwide, but in Afghanistan it is particularly widespread and persistent.

A decade after the fall of the Taliban government, 55% of the country's children are stunted because of inadequate food, Afghan government and UN data shows.

The statistic is a damning one for western powers that have poured billions into Afghanistan to fund development and reconstruction. The US alone has spent $90bn (£54bn). Such funding aimed to modernise Afghanistan, but return on the spending seems to have been low.

As foreign troops prepare to head home, violence is spreading and Afghanistan remains one of the world's poorest countries, with low life expectancy and poor healthcare for mothers and young children. The malnutrition problem is caused by the basic poverty of those who cannot afford healthy food, as well as poor hygiene and healthcare, the tradition of child marriage, and a web of other issues.

"We have whole families where food insecurity means they are all malnourished, but we [also] have rich families that have one child who is sick," says Alam Mohammad, 25, a doctor who swapped the chance of an easy city practice to work in Feroz Nakhchair, on the gruelling frontline of a fight for the country's future.

Half an hour's drive down a dirt track from the nearest country road, in a valley on the fringes of Taliban territory, every day he sees dozens of cases like Mojabeen, a thin 19-year-old mother of three whose leopard-print dress beneath her burqa seems incongruous with her life of constant hardship. She and her family live in a one-room house on a plain that is periodically flooded.

Her husband earns $2 or $3 a day, if he can find work, which is not enough to feed the small family. "My second child is living with my mother, as we can't provide for him," says Mojabeen, as she waits for her new baby to be weighed and examined.

Her children were at a disadvantage even before they were born because Mojabeen was so starved of nutrients that she could not pass on what they needed during pregnancy. In a district of around 13,000 people, the problem is so widespread that a programme set up for around 100 pregnant and breastfeeding mothers is serving more than four times that number.

Nevertheless, it can be hard for charities and the government to focus attention or funds on chronic malnutrition when the country is battling a more dramatic type of hunger, which is more straightforward to address: acute malnutrition.

In clinics nationwide, tens of thousands of babies and toddlers have experienced such severe shortages of calories that they have the protruding bones and distended stomachs familiar from photographs of famine victims. Acute malnutrition affects more than one in four children in some areas, but it can usually be resolved relatively quickly with a steady supply of high energy Plumpy'Nut feeding paste.

In some ways, children who suffer from chronic malnutrition are harder to treat as their need for help may not be so obvious.

"You might see a child who appears underweight, or short for their age, but it doesn't really tell you much unless you line them up against a well-nourished child. But it [chronic malnutrition] prevents them growing up to lead a more productive life," says Morrison.

She says a lack of iron, which affects three-quarters of Afghan children, reduces activity and productivity. In young children, it disrupts brain development, with effects including "stunting, sickliness, poor school attendance, and lower levels of concentration and memory". A lack of iodine is the world's leading cause of preventable mental impairment, and a lack of vitamin A hobbles the immune system, pushing up death rates among children under five. So severe is the damage that tackling it by lacing basic foods such as salt and flour with micronutrients has been rated one of the most economical ways to do good.

"In the worst-affected countries, the benefits of supplementation with vitamin A and zinc can be up to 100 times higher than the costs," according to a research paper on the impact of giving children "micronutrients".

The government has launched a five-year programme to fortify flour used to make flat bread – often the only daily food for poor families – oil and other foodstuffs.Progress has been slow on women's education, healthcare and hygiene

A recent World Bank study found a direct link between sanitation and height: a five-year-old child in a community where everyone uses a toilet is on average more than 2cm taller than a child from one where people defecate in the open.

But poverty is also a pressing problem, in a country where a third of all citizens do not always know where their next meal will come from. A recent UN study found that even a minimally healthy diet was beyond the reach of the majority of Afghans; in some provinces, only one in five could afford regular balanced meals.

While aid workers try to address problems that can take years to solve, health workers are held back by a focus on apparently more pressing problems. "We do worry about chronic malnutrition, but all we can give them is advice," says Nehmatullah Majidzafa, a nutrition nurse at an Oxfam-backed project near the city of Balkh, where most funds support feeding those children in most obvious need.

That includes demonstrations, with nurses chopping onions into a basic pressure cooker before adding lentils, rice and vegetables, and warnings to spend money on protein rather than the sugary foods many lavish on their children.

The information does help, because "parents don't know much about health here", says Mohammad. But many are already beyond his help.

"If a child comes in after too long with chronic malnutrition, he cannot fully recover. We can only teach the parents so they take more care it doesn't happen with their other kids."

Hunger in Afghanistan

Extreme poverty and a harsh climate mean many Afghans go hungry. One-third of the population do not get enough food to live healthy, active lives, and another third hover around the borderline of "food insecurity", or not knowing where their next meal will come from. But the food shortages are particularly damaging to young children, who need to develop fast.

International studies show that children who are properly fed can earn between a third and a half more as adults than those who did not get a proper diet, the World Food Programme's Morrison says.

And overall malnutrition shaves 2%-3% off Afghanistan's national income each year, the World Bank says. That's around half a billion dollars lost to an already very poor country.


With the World Health Organisation predicting 1 new case of dementia every 4 seconds, the answer could be right under our noses...

People with low levels of vitamin D are more likely to suffer from cognitive impairment in later life, according to latest research. 

Two new studies presented at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Neurology found that people aged 70 years plus, who were tested for cognitive impairment, performed significantly less well if they had low levels of vitamin D compared to those who had normal to high vitamin D levels. 

One of the studies also found that low vitamin D levels were associated with a greater risk of falling and a heightened risk of fractures. 

According to the researchers, vitamin D seems to have anti-inflammatory effects that may help keep blood vessels healthy, ensuring nutrient and oxygen-rich blood flow to brain cells. 

In addition, the presence of vitamin D receptors throughout the brain suggests that it may directly affect brain tissue. 

Vitamin D is best known for helping the body absorb calcium, which restores and strengthens bone, protecting against fracture. 

But researchers are only just beginning to uncover wider benefits which are quickly elevating vitamin D to superstar status... 

There's a full report about this here... 

The shocking truth: 90 per cent of us are vitamin D deficient

Regular readers of this newsletter will already know that there are literally dozens and dozens of recently published studies from Harvard, Oxford University and many other renowned research establishments which all confirm just how crucial vitamin D is in warding off chronic diseases such as diabetes, dementia, osteoporosis, cardiovascular disease... even cancer! 

In an unprecedented move, the Canadian Cancer Society now endorses vitamin D after one landmark study showed that you can decrease your risk of getting cancer by MORE THAN HALF simply by INCREASING your vitamin D levels (Am J Clin Nutr. 2007 Jun;85(6):1586-91.) 

And yet, the shocking truth is that 9 in 10 of us have such low levels of vitamin D that we're leaving ourselves wide open to these life-threatening diseases. 

In all truth, the only question you need to be asking yourself right now is: how am I going to get enough of this lifesaving nutrient into my body? 

Well, I think we might just have the perfect answer to that problem here...

Journal of Natural Health Solutions 



A list is enclosed of McCarrison Society conferences in order to stress the role that the Society has already played in disseminating evidence on The FIRST 1001 DAYS. Some, including "The Health of the Nation Depends on the Mother and Child, Royal Society of Medicine, London (November 1993) were published in Nutrition and Health. (Fore more conferences see

Indeed the work on maternal nutrition in low birth weight and adverse pregnancy outcome was initiated by a joint proposal of Frank Field and Michael Crawford to the Gatsby Foundation ( This was followed by 9 years of support from the Wolfson Foundation (

Over 100 peer reviewed papers were published, several in Nutrition and Health. These delineated the wide, poor-nutritional-background to low birthweight, including the identity of poor nutrition as a high risk factor - independent of smoking, ethnicity and socio-economic status. This catalogue ended in a Randomised Controlled Trial of micronutrients from the earliest period in pregnancy. The result was a staggering 2.3 fold reduction in those born small for gestational age - the strongest risk factor for neurodevelopmental disorder and chronic ill-health.

Whilst the funding came from the Medical Research Council (MRC), the Agricultural and Food Research Council (AFRC), Gatsby, Wolfson and more recently the Mother and Child Foundation ( The McCarrison Society was a key partner in dissemination through conferences and the pages of Nutrition and Health. Many of these conferences were reported in the media. The constant drip from our Society will have contributed to the more general realisation.

Note: The AFRC was closed in 1983 with its then Secretary Sir William Henderson saying "agriculture was a success story", hence the AFRC could be closed. With this shift in emphasis, there also followed the closure of several educational and research organisations, as for example the internationally renowned Wye College. A new vision for research was envisaged in the creation of the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) in 1994. Tragically however, well before 1994, BSE virtually destroyed the British beef herd because of ignorance of the basic (nutritional) biological principles of ungulates and ruminants*.

*(The first cases of Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE) were seen at the end of 1984. At the time, vets had no idea this was a new neurological disease in cattle. It was another two years before the first paper was published on the symptoms and pathology of what became known as Mad Cow Disease. BSE very nearly destroyed the British beef industry. Especially when a link was made to a human form of the disease, Creutzfeldt -Jakob Disease (CJD). The UK Government announced in 1996 that a new strain of CJD had emerged - most probably as a result of eating infected meat - and virtually overnight, people stopped buying beef.

It is time we became more proactive once again in the political arena. Despite some members' despair of the political system, it indeed is time that our voice was heard more often in these quarters. It should be pointed out to members that with our new publishers Sage <> the journal goes out to around 2000 libraries worldwide and Nutrition and Health now gets viewed by a vast readership. A search on <Nutrition and Health Journal> displays <Scholarly articles for Nutrition and Health Journal>. A click on this link

Let it not be said therefore that that the McCarrison Society’s voice is not being heard around the world. We intend to arrange meetings with those concerned with running the Government's interest in reduction of poverty, one of the main reasons for which is the epigenetic influence of poor maternal nutrition on poor learning and behavioural pathology.

Re-appraising the strength of the McCarrison Society’s history of involvement in the First 1001 days we should not sit idly by. We should strike whilst the iron is hot!








Dr. Michael Holick from Boston University's School of Medicine.

Dr. Micozzi

Back in 2006, I delivered the keynote presentation at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine Continuing Medical Education conference in Baltimore. Dr. Holick gave a presentation at that conference that helped open my eyes about vitamin D.

Dr. Holick is an international expert on vitamin D. And he's written an informative book on the subject titled, The Vitamin D Solution. At the conference, Dr. Holick warned about the international epidemic of vitamin D deficiency. 


Vitamin D is an essential vitamin. And it is not made in the body. You can obtain some vitamin D from your diet. For example, you find it in fish, beef, and eggs. However, very few of us manage to take in enough vitamin D through diet alone. 

Fortunately, you can also obtain vitamin D through sun exposure. But first, your body must convert the sunshine into a metabolically active form. This is called photo-conversion. And it's why I always recommend spending 10 to 15 minutes each day outside in the sunshine without sunscreen. Try to do it every day between April and October. This will help keep your vitamin D at a healthy level. Unfortunately, the government and misguided dermatologists ruined this simple healthy habit for us years ago. They urge us to stay out of the sun. And never go out without sunscreen. 

As a result, too many people don't get enough vitamin D. And Dr. Holick says this is one reason we face a growing epidemic of medical problems. According to his research, vitamin D helps fend off many different chronic diseases. Such as cancer. And heart disease. And multiple sclerosis. And at the conference, and ever since, Dr. Holick keeps explaining why vitamin D is so critical to our health. Yes, it's an essential vitamin. 

But, Dr. Holick says, it really behaves like a hormone in the human body. In fact, it may have been one of the first hormones produced in nature, going back hundreds of millions of years to photozoic plankton. Dr. Holick and his colleagues are investigating vitamin D's role as a hormone in cutting-edge genetic research in Boston. Their latest study shows that vitamin D affects gene expression in cells and tissues throughout the body. 

Here's a quick genetics lesson: Genes are the molecular units that contain your DNA. So gene expression involves how your genes communicate their coded information within the cell. Your genes tell your cells which proteins and enzymes to make. And Dr. Holick says vitamin D affects this process. 

In fact, Dr. Holick and his colleagues found that a vitamin D deficiency affected the expression of 66 different genes. But taking a vitamin D supplement (400 IU or 2000 IU per day) influenced the expression of 291 different genes. These included genes that helped with DNA repair. And immune response. And response to stress.

These gene functions have a wide variety of biological activities. They act on more than 160 pathways linked to cancer, cardiovascular disease, and autoimmune disorders. These molecular "fingerprints" uncovered by Dr. Holick and his colleagues help explain all the health benefits of vitamin D beyond the skeleton. And they provide the all-important "mechanism" for skeptics on how vitamin D influences health. We should  be concerned about the epidemic of "low-D."

Just don't expect your doctor to urge you to spend time outside without sunscreen this summer. Nor will he or she tell you that many drugs--such as ibuprofen--deplete your stores of vitamin D. I recommend you take at least 1000 IU of vitamin D each day. And plan to spend some time outside without sunscreen to "photo-convert" your own vitamin D. And make sure you wear shorts. As Dr. Holick points out...about 18 percent of your skin's surface is on your legs. 

Marc S. Micozzi, M.D., Ph.D. 


1. Nutrition 4/2013;29(4):605-610. 

2. PLoS ONE 8(3): e58725. 




From: Alliance for Natural Health International [mailto:info=This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.] On Behalf Of Alliance for Natural Health International


Deadly Medicines and Organised Crime: How big pharma has corrupted healthcare. By Dr Peter C Gøtzsche

When a co-founder of evidence-based medicine’s standard-bearer, the Cochrane Collaboration, describes the pharmaceutical industry as akin to the mafia, it’s time to sit up and take notice. That’s precisely what Dr Peter C Gøtzsche, who is also head of the Nordic Cochrane Centre, has done with Deadly Medicines and Organised Crime: How big pharma has corrupted healthcare. Read our exclusive interview with Dr Gøtzsche below to learn more about his findings.


Valuable opinions

Dr Gøtzsche’s is the latest in a lengthening procession of books exposing the murky underbelly of the pharmaceutical industry. Most recently, we’ve had Ben Goldacre’s Bad Pharma, along with other notable examples by Marcia Angell and Richard Smith, former editors of the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) and theBritish Medical Journal (BMJ), respectively.

But this is the first time such a broadside has been launched by someone so intimately acquainted with the published medical literature.  Dr Gøtzsche’s current tally runs to forty meta-analyses and systematic reviews published in the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews alone: the fruits of many years’ forensic examination of medical data. Dr Gøtzsche knows what he is talking about, and his opinions carry significant weight.

Total demolition

He doesn’t hold back. In the opening pages of a book the author describes as a “polemic” – because “There is little point in describing what is working well in a system that is out of social control” – we learn that “In the United States and Europe, drugs are the third leading cause of death after heart disease and cancer.” The following two hundred-odd pages are then spent explaining, in close but fascinating detail, how this murderous monster escaped its shackles. We covered many of the tricks and tactics used by pharma to twist the literature to their advantage in our review of Bad Pharma so we won’t recap them here. Suffice it to say that, way before the end of Deadly Medicines and Organised Crime, you will likely be in full agreement with Dr Gøtzsche that“Organised crime [is] the business model of big pharma,” an industry comprising companies that “Don’t sell drugs, they sell lies about drugs”.

Interview with Dr Peter Gøtzsche

We wanted to learn more about this important new book from the author himself.  So we put together a list of questions to which Dr Gøtzsche was kind enough to respond by email. The questions and answers are reproduced below with minimal editing by ANH-Intl.

Dr Peter Gøtzsche, author of Deadly Medicines and Organised Crime: How big pharma has corrupted healthcare

ANH-Intl: What do you think is the single biggest threat to the safe practice of medicine that ensures the delivery of the highest quality care and best possible outcomes?

PG: That we have allowed the industry to be its own judge.  As long as testing drugs is not a public enterprise, performed by disinterested researchers, we cannot trust what comes out of it.

ANH-Intl: How important are non-pharmaceutical approaches to the combat of escalating rates of major chronic diseases, such as heart disease, cancer, type 2 diabetes and obesity?

PG: Non-pharmaceutical approaches can be more important than drugs.  Exercise works equally well for diabetes and depression as drugs and, in contrast to drugs, it has many other beneficial effects.  Psychotherapy for depression doesn’t make people dependent on drugs and doesn’t turn transient problems into a chronic disease when people cannot stop taking their drugs.  Most important of all, we need to tackle the food industry and ban junk food and junk drinks.

ANH-Intl: What is your opinion of the AllTrials initiative in terms of its potential to significantly improve the objectivity of the medical literature in future?

PG: I have campaigned for access to all data, including the raw data, from research on patients for many years.  In 2010, we succeeded in gaining access, for the first time in the world, to unpublished clinical study reports at the European Medicines Agency, which had the effect that the Agency changed its policy from one of extreme secrecy – like the current FDA policy – to one of candid openness. This was to the drug industry’s great chagrin, as its business model hinges on publishing flawed research.

ANH-Intl: Similarly, do you think a sea-change in medical student education is needed to deliver better health outcomes, especially for chronic degenerative diseases?

PG: Yes. There is far too much focus on drugs as the solution to everything and far too little focus on their harms, and the education by necessity builds on flawed research, as this is what gets done and published.

ANH-Intl: Towards the end of your book you state that “What we should do is...identify overdiagnosed and overtreated patients, take patients off most or all of their drugs, and teach them that a life without drugs is possible for most of us.”  Can you please explain this a little further?  Should the removal of drugs be accompanied with any new modality, and if so which ones might be among the most important? 

PG: Removal of drugs should usually not be accompanied by the introduction of other types of treatment.  Many patients would gain a better quality of life if their drugs were taken away from them.  What we need is to remember Brian McFerrin’s song: “Don’t worry, be happy”.  We shall all die, but we should remember to live while we are here without worrying that some day in the future we might get ill.  It is daunting how many healthy people are put on drugs that lower blood pressure or cholesterol, and it changes people from healthy citizens to patients who may start worrying about their good health.  This can have profound psychological consequences apart from the side effects of the drugs that the patients don’t always realise are side effects, e.g. if they get more tired or depressed after starting anti-hypertensive therapy or experience problems in their sex life.

ANH-Intl: What can the public and patients do to help redress the situation?  Are they effectively disempowered or are there things they can do to help build a more functional healthcare system?

PG: First of all, the public needs to know the extent to which they are being deceived in the current system, e.g. few people know that prescription drugs are the third major killer.  If drug testing and drug regulation were effective, this wouldn’t happen.

ANH-Intl: Numerous problems with the medical literature are cited in your book, among them unpublished trials, fiddled statistics, unsuitable comparators and other methodological weaknesses and the preponderance of academic ‘flak’ in the form of weak, industry-sourced publications designed to muddy the waters.  Bearing this in mind, what advice would you have for anyone wishing to locate high-quality published data?

PG: There is very little high-quality published data.  Neither the drug industry nor publicly employed researchers are particularly willing to share their data with others, which essentially means that science ceases to exist.  Scrutiny of data by others is a fundamental aspect of science that moves science forward, but that’s not how it works in healthcare.  Most doctors are willing to add their names to articles produced by drug companies, although they are being denied access to the data they and their patients have produced and without which the articles cannot be written.  This is corruption of academic integrity and betrayal of the trust patients have in the research enterprise.  No self-respecting scientists should publish findings based on data to which they do not have free and full access.

ANH-Intl: Are there any classes of drug, as opposed to individual products, for which, in your opinion, there is no valid scientific or medical justification for their use in healthcare?

PG: There are several classes of drugs, e.g. cough medicines and anticholinergic drugs for urinary incontinence, where the effect is doubtful but there is no doubt about their harms, which in my opinion means they should be withdrawn from the market.  There are many other types of drugs that likely have no effect.  All drugs have side effects, and it is therefore difficult to blind placebo-controlled trials effectively.  We know that lack of blinding leads to exaggerated views on the effect for subjective outcomes, such as dementia, depression and pain, and it is for this reason that many drugs, which are believed to have minor effects, likely aren't effective at all.

There are also classes of drugs where, although an effect has been demonstrated, their availability likely does more harm than good. I write in my book that, although some psychiatric drugs can be helpful sometimes for some patients, our citizens would be far better off if we removed all the psychotropic drugs from the market, as doctors are unable to handle them.  Patients get dependent on them, and if used for more than a few weeks, several drugs will cause even worse disorders than the one that led to starting the drugs.  As far as I can see, it is inescapable that their availability does more harm than good.

ANH-Intl: The chapter in your book entitled “Intimidation, violence and threats to protect sales” begins as follows: “It takes great courage to become a whistle-blower.  Healthcare is so corrupt that those who expose drug companies’ criminal acts become pariahs.” Have you experienced any blowback since publishing the book?

PG: No, quite the contrary, as people have praised the book.  I don't hear from the drug industry of course, but I have seen blunt lies about the book being propagated by drug industry associations and their paid allies among doctors.


It’s nearly Christmas!

Deadly Medicines and Organised Crime comes with the highest possible ANH-Intl recommendation. You could make a real difference by gifting copies of this book to those around you think would benefit most from knowing about what’s really going on in so-called healthcare. The sooner enough people know about what an all-encompassing and lethal scam pharma-led medicine has become, the sooner people will simply withdraw their support and things will change.

Why not spread some truth with your seasonal cheer?


ANH-Europe Homepage 
ANH Good Science campaign page

Updated: 27 Nov 2013



Mobile madness 

letter - Observer

OK, Christmas is over so let me be a party pooper. John Arlidge ('I'll Give You a Bell', Review) says: 'Forget ... claims that mobiles are frying our brains ... lowering our sperm counts and ... cause childhood cancer.'

Why? All these and more are true but brushed aside by PR spin and deliberate scientific obfuscation. Its the 'deny and delay' strategy put out to favour the Gadarene commercial goldrush for profit.

On our website we present personal accounts of suffering and illness, as Rachel Shabi did in OM magazine last April. A vulnerable minority are affected, as Sir William Stewart's safety report predicted might happen - in the same way as adverse reactions to antibiotics or nuts. In Sweden 285,000 sufferers are now registered as electrically hypersensitive. 

You might consider tin foil for protection if desperate enough, as it helps. Mockery and PR puffery does not. Small and vulnerable children being sales-targeted by the MyMo company is absolutely counter to what Stewart says in his report. He will not allow his own grandchildren mobiles.

Rod Read, director:; ElectroSensitivity-UK Bury Lane, Sutton, Ely, Cambs