Sunday, December 18, 2011

Connecting dots. Thoughts (only that!) on autism and gmo

The CBC program The Nature of Things recently aired a documentary on The Autism Enigma. The full episode can now be viewed online.

There is also much of interest at the website of the film maker. This site also has blogs with a comment section. Highly recommended.

Some of the documentary would be old news for people who have spent time in the world of natural wellness.
Dr. Suzuki said: "Science has only recently started to look at the power gut microbes have over the rest of the body."

How does he define recently? I am just a lay person and I learned this stuff in the nineties. The information has been around much longer than that. Promoting the right bacteria in the intestinal tract was a big part of the health model taught by the company that introduced me to the joys of AFA, Klamath Lake blue-green algae. In particular I learned that gut dysbiosis, faulty digestion, mineral imbalances and lack of the right essential fatty acids played a large role in ADHD and  autism spectrum disorder. Please note the careful language. Playing a role, being a factor, is not the same as outright cause. 

Much human misery can be alleviated by simple measures that build health, rather than treat disease. Healing the intestinal tract, optimizing digestion and eating good whole food that agrees with the individual can be done at home, does not require the input of a professional, and won't harm if it doesn't help. 

Recommended reading on the topic of nutrition and the brain:
"The Crazy Makers, how the food industry is damaging our brains and harming our children" by Carol Simontacchi.
This book is a good easy read that I'd love to see in any household. The chapter on the copper/zinc balance and mental health is worth the price alone.
There is more but we'll have to do some more blogging on health topics another time.

Anyway, it is good to see this important issue given air time. 
The most important new (to me) development in the video was the connection between certain  gut bacteria, the clostridium family, and a neurotoxin that attacks the brain. Please just see the video for more on this.

Now to the dot connecting. A day after watching this episode the surf tossed up an interview with a respected senior soil scientist on the long term effect on soil, crops and animals/people of  glyphosate, better known as Round-up. And about 15 minutes into the first video he mentions an increase in certain less desirable life forms, like the clostridium family. Readers, I felt the hair standing up on my neck. Seriously. The conversation went on for 2 hours. Towards the end of the second video Dr. Huber himself mentions the possibility that the increase in the use of glyphosate just might have a connection to the increase in autism.
He is not jumping to any conclusions. He is just asking that the science be done before more GMO Roundup-ready crops are released.

A word on the website where this interview takes place. Viewer discretion is advised.

Sites like Dr. Mercola, Natural News, Gary Null and others are a mixed bag. You may find a commercial section. So? All this content is free. These people have to make a living too! You may find some wild way out-there conspiracy stuff. AND you will find excellent interviews with serious scientists. 

In the case at hand, Professor Don Huber is no wild-eyed woolly hippie, or even an organic ideologue. He stresses the fact that he is not anti-pesticides. He is just a senior scientist with integrity. He is observing certain patterns, and wants to see the precautionary principle applied. 

Sadly for all of us, Tom Vilsack is a Monsanto man and hurried to approve the release of GMO alfalfa, denying Dr. Huber's request for more studies. So now the places where Dr. Huber can get an audience are on what some people would consider the fringe. So it goes. Use your noggin and don't throw out precious babies with the bath water. 

A short article by Dr. Huber is here:

The 2 hour long interview with Dr. Mercola is here:


troutbirder said...

Very interesting. My own experiences with Corporate Chemical Agriculture, a lawsuit again Big Pharmo (Pfizer specifically) and our foodshelves have made me very cynical on the effects of these giant greedy money grubbers. Thanks for sharing. And thanks for the kinds words to my spouse. Who is well on here way methinks to a full recovery. :)

Jacqui Binford-Bell said...

Obviously I have not been to all the links you listed but on a related dot I just read on an item that rolled up in my surf that Agent Orange has a half life close to Plutonium and the stuff we sprayed on the jungle in Vietnam did not stay in the jungle.

Agent Orange and Roundup have the same chemical base. I have a friend dying of his Agent Orange exposure from Vietnam. Multiple myloma. Not a nice way to go.

I was at UNM campus when all the protests were made against Agent Orange. We knew it was bad shit in the 60's but if we cannot use it on jungles why not lawns? BTW they think there is a link between Roundup and increased thyroid issues in dogs. And wouldn't it follow with kids playing on dandelion free yards?