I'm going to pass along two items in separate messages. I received
both in the past 24 hours.
One is a front-page article in today's /SF Chronicle/ regarding the
huge concerns by doctors and "nutrition experts" re: the supplements
industry (including herbal medicine), which according to the FDA has
resulted in "more than 180 deaths...in the past few years."
The other is this week's Rachel's electronic newsletter, whose topic
is iatrogenic--or physician-caused--illness and death. Iatrogenic
infections alone, according to the CDC, kill 20,000 U.S. hospital
patients PER YEAR and are responsible for an additional 70,000.
I'm not playing a numbers game regarding numbers of deaths. However,
I wanted you to see both of these items. For context.
This issue I see as directly related to sustainable ag. For one
thing, an increasing number of farmers are diversifying into the
growing of botanicals for various uses. For another, the movement to
regulate supplements (and incidentially try to control the $12
billion a year supplement market) meshes nicely with the
pharmaceutical industry's intent of a) owning everything you put in
your mouth and b) bioengineering "pharmfood." (The pharmaceutical
industry, after all, pays the piper for the tunes to which the FDA
If the operative standard for consumer safety for any and all health
care becomes "more/most clinical trials," you can bet that the pharm
sector will always have bigger budgets than the farm sector. So that
only the fattest of cats will get to lick the cream from a health
care system that is increasingly controlled and commercialized...by
the same people who have brought us HMOs, DES, and Ritalin for
sugar-and-violence-and-fractionated-foodstuffs-fed children who for
some reason just WON'T SIT STILL DAMMIT and insist on running around
and hollering and playing.
Home office: 415-504-6474 (504-MISH)
Home office fax: Same as above, phone first for enabling
Fair trade is not simply asking you to pay more,
just what it costs. --Renwick Rose
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