Food Pollution May the Number One Environmental Threat to Human Wellness. You (More Specifically, You & Your Wallet) Are the Solution.
I’M CURRENTLY TEACHING A COURSE entitled: “Environmental Toxicology: Ecosystem and Human Health” at IPAK-EDU and today I completed my lecture on Food Pollution. Air pollution and water pollution are serious threats to human and ecosystem health for sure; an unacceptable number of people in the poorest countries - and in so-called “developed” countries - do not have access to potable water. The fact that’s it’s actually raining glyphosate - and many other pesticides - is enough to take one’s breath away. My immediate concern over the fact that it’s raining pesticides is the soil ecosystem - the soil microbes, fungi & creates that together exist as a complex and dynamic soil factory - which we are quite literally pissing on with pesticides from Big Agriculture. Many of the pesticides break down in metabolic product that are toxic, and long-lasting, that threaten, well, everything. The mycorrhizae must be kept healthy not only for crops - but for forests and grasslands and prairie and every other place where plants grow in soil. With so many environmental toxins that are found in rainfall itself, each raindrop is a laboratory for chemical interactions and reactions creating new chemicals that no human laboratory experiment has created - and that we have never faced before in our evolutionary past.
As bad as Air & Water Pollution are for humans and other living things, Food Pollution, well, at least in the US, it’s likely the number one threat to brain development, immunologic development, hormonal wellness, and to overall survival of the human species. In part that’s because we eat far more than we drink. Your water is fluoridated, you get to enjoy an unhealthy synergistic toxicity between fluoride and aluminum - a topic I’m sure we’ll be hearing more about in the coming years.
But it’s also because of the intensity of the chronic exposure. The Big Ag industry rarely does things small. Massively centralized means of production and distribution means homogenization of processes that shave cost margins - often at a cost to our health. Cheap & dirty.
Food pollution also raises a lot of attention - in part because unlike air and to a great degree, for many, unlike for water, we can exert a great deal more choice over what we decide to eat. Well, many of us can enjoy choice. And having that freedom of choice gives us the power of the purse. A single well-organized boycott of a type of food over the dye used to color it orange, for example, could impact the ingredient choice by food maker. (I’m thinking of orange foods, such as crunchy cheese orange colored chips, colored in the US in part by Yellow Dye #5, in the EU via turmeric... I’m thinking we in the US need a boycott via an awareness campaign to get food makers to remove one toxic dye at a time, because the US FDA won’t do it). The UK and the EU have far better regulations on food dyes that are carcinogenic that our own; Ty Bollinger has a fantastic video (banned from YT) available on his website “The Truth About Cancer” that quickly reviews a great number of food dyes associated with hyperactivity and cancer. (LINK1 LINK2) (Thanks, Ty!)
US FDA Washes Their Hands on Hormones and Antibiotics - And No One Noticed
Hormone and antibiotics in meat are another huge topic in Food Pollution. To increase yield, farmers who raise animals for market want healthy animals. Diseases reduces body mass and reduces yield - and anti-bacterial infused meat lasts longer on the way to market. Growth hormones such as Estradiol-17b, progesterone, testosterone, and synthetic hormones zeranol, trenbolone, melengestrol acerate (MGA) and others are used to increase animal biomass yield.
What was FDA’s response to concerns over feeding our kids and ourselves hormones and antibiotics?
Let the Veterinarians decide.
Most people don’t know that the US FDA issued a Veterinary Feed Directive (with updates) that specifically instructors food retailers on how to handle labeling of meats with antibiotics and growth hormones.
Now, one might think that such a labeling guidance would require the label to warn the consumer on the long list of health effects from these compounds in meat so they could avoid consuming antibiotics, which contributes to the rise of antibiotic resistance in humans, and growth hormones, which, well, cause animals, including humans, to grow more massive or earlier. One might think.
Nope. The opposite. The Veterinary Feed Directive, which is a non-enforceable guidance that includes Guidance For Industry (GFI) #2131. In GFI 2131, the FDA asked animal drug sponsors of medically important antimicrobials administered in medicated feed or drinking water of food-producing animals to voluntarily remove from their product labels those indications for production purposes (i.e. growth promotion and feed efficiency), and bring the remaining therapeutic uses of these products under the oversight of a veterinarian by December 2016.
The changes were portrayed as being critical to ensure these drugs are used judiciously and only when appropriate for specific animal health purposes. In reality, it was a roll-over to Big Ag - and massive profits for Ag Veterinarians.
Before 2016, consumers expected to know precisely which piece of meat they were purchasing contained hormones or antibiotics. After 2016, there was nothing other than Veterinarian boards regulating overprescription of antibiotics and growth hormones - and a huge black market now exists, unseen by the regulatory agencies who basically washed their hands of the issue and put it under the medical industry’s control. Which commercial meat farmer will turn in their veterinarian to their board for overprescription of antibiotics? And biologically identical re-labeled growth hormones escape regulation.
Now, in 2021, and completely predictably, we see rampant over-prescription, per the Financial Times (Overuse of antibiotics for meat production drives resistance in humans, 1/20/2021). Worldwide, the issue isn’t getting any better, in spite of rhetoric from WHO in 2017 (LINK) and an call from academics in public health for an end to overuse of antibiotics that called out the FDA’s response as toothless and infective (LINK). In Australia, nearly half of their beef is treated with growth hormones. The US Veterinary medicine market is expected to approximately double in value from 2016 to 2028 (Source: Grandview Research; LINK) due to increased use of medicated food additives, pharmaceuticals (antibiotics) and biologics (vaccines).
So, in the end, we’re trusting our food supply to Big Medicine.
Don’t Forget Baby
With all of the noise over COVID-19 vaccine mandates, we have already forgotten or failed to notice the 2021 hub-bub about the Arsenic in baby foods - and the fact that nearly everyone who heard about that did not know that a report from the US House Committee on Oversight and Reform informed us that commercial baby foods are tainted with dangerous levels of not only arsenic - but also lead, cadmium, and mercury. Baby food. Dr. Chris Exley, who was recently cast out of Keele University in spite of a stellar career on aluminum toxicology, including a warning in 2010 that there was still too much aluminum in baby foods in the UK, dared to also report findings of increased aluminum in the brains of kids and adults with autism - and draw the perfectly logical conclusion that aluminum from vaccines may have something to do with neurodevelopmental disorders. I’m told by someone familiar with the situation that Exley’s departure occurred after Keele University took a major quaff of funds from Big Pharma; evidently my letter inspiring them to maintain the course in objectivity and support academic freedom wasn’t enough to counter the ca-ching! of easy pharma money. (You can find Exley’s team plugging away continuing their research here.)
In the end, there is no most important toxin, or type of toxin. In the final analysis, it’s the synergistic toxicity of air, water and food pollutants - the interactions - are contributing toward metabolic, immunologic, neurologic and endocrine system disruption from inducing developmental, genetic, epigenetic and somatic diseases.
But - The answer to food pollution is still you and your wallet via YOUR FOOD CHOICES:
(1) Read the label.
(2) If you’re in doubt, you can always submit a request to the manufacturer/source of a food product in question. Specifically, anyone can request a COA (Certificate of Analysis) from any company for any product (food, cosmetics & pharmaceuticals) to see the data that they must produce to prove their labeling is correct.
(3) Consume locally produced, pesticide-free, nutrient dense foods.
(4) When you cannot consume organic, soak veggies & fruits in a solution of baking soda & water for at least ten minutes, and rinse well This removes all but two pesticides.
Eat healthy, my friends.
To enroll in Environmental Toxicology for the Fall 2021 Semester, click here - Registration closes next week! (Today is 9/24/2021).
Some Key References on Food Pollution