Sorry I haven’t gotten to posting the Ning alternatives yet, my varied and few readers.  😉

But while I’m trying to get time to publish the list I’ve compiled, let me ask you this:

How is Big Pharm like Big Farm?

I’m seeing a distinct connection.

I started thinking about this when I read the following on wikipedia regarding the Weston A. Price Foundation:

Much criticism of the foundation stem from whether one should obtain nutritional information from a group whose members include “many farmers” who directly benefit from the information the foundation promotes.

Excuse me a moment.

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAA!!!

Srsly, folks?  Doesn’t this strike you as funny?

Weston A. Price Foundation supports SMALL, LOCAL farmers who provide natural, whole, raw foods.  The FDA and USDA, on the other hand, support BIG AGRIBUSINESS.

Who would you rather trust, generally speaking?  Those hard at work in their own communities to provide traditional dietary choices in the form of unprocessed organic food – or those with national or multi-national interests that offer highly-processed, chemically-laden, genetically- modified, mass-distributed quasi-food?

Hmmmm….

But back to my original question:

How is Big Pharm like Big Farm?

Perhaps the answer is obvious.  U.S. Government politics are supported by big industry – pharma and food/farm lobbies both.  To connect the dots even more concretely, just to illustrate the happy harmony enjoyed by those involved: Big Farm *supports* Big Pharm… and both are supported by U.S. politicians.

It goes something like this. Big Farm contributes to an increasingly compromised food supply of non-nutritive, low-nutrition, and quasi-nutritive foodstuffs, usually overly processed and filled with artificial ingredients either known or suspected to cause harm, some of the most common being endocrine and brain dysfunction. Additionally, very little of it is grown sustainably, most of it is laden with chemicals added during the growing process and grown in soils with run-off from the wastes of grain-fed livestock (read: E. coli), and a lot of it is genetically modified to make life easier and more profitable for the growers and manufacturers, even when doing so compromises nutrition and sustainability.

The vast majority of food available to the vast majority of people at affordable prices is the food mentioned above. As we become more and more innundated with this type of food, we observe more and more health problems, from obesity and diabetes to mood disorders, autism, chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia, and various autoimmune disorders that have risen in incidence dramatically as we’ve seen this shift in our food supply. Instead of addressing the root causes for these epidemics (of which our food supply is a major one), we turn to Big Pharma to give us pills that fix our ills. Now, don’t get me wrong – some of what Big Pharma provides is nothing short of miraculous. But much of it is a tiny band-aid on a hemorrhaging limb, and there is little concern for treating the underlying issues or investigating stuff that can’t be patented (then tweaked slightly in a few years to invent a new chemical that does the same thing but is so much “better” than the old chemical that has since gone off patent).

So, you see, Big Farm supports Big Pharma rather nicely. If you think the FDA has any interest in supporting your interests over the interests of either of these two, I’d like to suggest that you pull your head out of the sand and start reading up on exactly what the FDA does and for whom.

Let’s consider and illustrative example.  I find the FDA’s current stance on BPA quite interesting:

…[O]n the basis of results from recent studies using novel approaches to test for subtle effects, both the National Toxicology Program at the National Institutes of Health and FDA have some concern about the potential effects of BPA on the brain, behavior, and prostate gland in fetuses, infants, and young children.

…FDA is …supporting recommendations from the Department of Health and Human Services for infant feeding and food preparation to reduce exposure to BPA.

FDA is not recommending that families change the use of infant formula or foods, as the benefit of a stable source of good nutrition outweighs the potential risk from BPA exposure.

Say what?

Keep in mind that we only get to this level of “progress” when we have overwhelming evidence of risk – even then, it’s not enough to reign in the big guys – we wouldn’t want to inconvenience them any.  Reworded, the official stance of the FDA:

Parents – sure, do your best to limit your childrens’ exposure to BPA.  Just don’t expect us to help you by insisting manufacturers of baby food and infant formula cease and desist use of potentially hazardous substances that disrupt the functioning of your childrens’ BRAINS and GLANDS, even though we stand by our opinion that these foods are vital for your child’s nutrition (and paradoxically use this belief to JUSTIFY not compelling reform, as much sense as that makes).  We’ll think about it if it is deemed FOR SURE risky when our studies are complete.  Long after your children are grown.  Maybe.

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