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Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Review - The China Study - By T Colin Campbell (4)

This is the Part 4 of my review of The China Study - By T Colin Campbell. Do a search for previous parts at my search box or click here to find them.

In case you are interested, below are the links for the paperback version and the hardcopy version.

My take is that there may be some mis-truths ( I am totally skeptical of everything, mind you). But I believe the author is writing out of good will and providing a truly simple-to-understand scientific explanation of what is happening to meat-eaters.

I was appalled at some of the terms that he used (based on my ability to recall, not my appall factor).

The first thing that jumped out at me was Carnivorous Nurses. And that mices were used on the experiments. 

Of course I know that mices had to be used, same as rabbits or any other animal that can substitute for human beings. It was a necessary evil. But that doesn't mean I condone it.

The references made to the Nurses were abit biased, I thought. How can he call them that and not the whole nation who are on the mostly-meat diet?

Now back to the points I highlighted before - dioxin and aflatoxin.

According to WHO (World Health Organization) on November 2007 source, "Dioxins and their effects on human health" (EXTRACTS):

... Dioxins are unwanted by products of a wide range of manufacturing processes including smelting, chlorine bleaching of paper pulp and the manufacturing of some herbicides and pesticides. In terms of dioxin release into the environment, waste incinerators (solid waste and hospital waste) are often the worst culprits, due to incomplete burning.

... More than 90% of human exposure to dioxins is through the food supply, mainly meat and dairy products, fish and shellfish. Consequently, protecting the food supply is critical. One approach includes, as mentioned above, source-directed measures to reduce dioxin emissions. Secondary contamination of the food supply needs to be avoided throughout the food-chain. Good controls and practices during primary production, processing, distribution and sale are all essential to the production of safe food.

... What should consumers do to reduce their risk of exposure?
Trimming fat from meat and consuming low fat dairy products may decrease the exposure to dioxin compounds. Also, a balanced diet (including adequate amounts of fruits, vegetables and cereals) will help to avoid excessive exposure from a single source. This is a long-term strategy to reduce body burdens and is probably most relevant for girls and young women to reduce exposure of the developing fetus and when breastfeeding infants later on in life. However, the possibility for consumers to reduce their own exposure is somewhat limited.

Now, according to AspergillusflavusOrgAflatoxins are toxic and carcinogenic metabolites produced by species of Aspergillus, but Aspergillus flavus and A. parasiticus are of most concern. 

In humans, the risks associated with aflatoxin consumption are well documented, and the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) has designated aflatoxin as a human liver carcinogen. 

Then there is another site for AspergillusOrgUK where Aspergillus is a fungus whose spores are present in the air we breathe, but does not normally cause illness. However an individual with a weakened immune status may be susceptible to aspergillus infection.

Wikipedia says that crops which are frequently affected include cereals (maize, sorghum, pearl millet, rice, wheat), oilseeds (peanut, soybean, sunflower, cotton), spices (chilli peppers, black pepper, coriander, turmeric, ginger), and tree nuts (almond, pistachio, walnut, coconut, brazil nut).

The toxin can also be found in the milk of animals which are fed contaminated feed.
Virtually all sources of commercial peanut butter in the United States contain minute quantities of aflatoxin,[2] but it is usually far below the US Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) recommended safe level.

Now I am getting concerned. We should not be using plastics, bleached papers, and should eat less of meat and dairy products, fish and shellfish. Also best to avoid cereals, oilseeds and  spices?

But these are the things that we use daily!

Of course I will take these with a pinch of salt and try to avoid these but will not be overly concerned if I just cannot avoid them.

I strongly encourage you to read this book.

Everyone is responsible for their health

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