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Letters to the Editor Issue 66

by Letters(more info)

listed in letters to the editor, originally published in issue 66 - July 2001

Dr Walter Barker – Mindless Foot and Mouth Slaughter

It was really good to see your Editorial in the June issue of your journal, especially regarding the utter madness of slaughtering millions of healthy animals in order to preserve the image of a foot and mouth free Britain. You are probably aware of some of the following facts:

a. That most farming countries face repeated minor F and M infections. It is dealt with efficiently by slaughtering the small number of animals in direct contact and immediately vaccinating all the animals in a wide region surrounding the original outbreak. This usually brings a sudden end to the infection;
b. For a short period after the outbreak, animals from the affected area are not exported, though they are slaughtered and sold as meat in the ordinary way (rather than incinerated or buried in the way they do here). Meanwhile exports continue as normal from the rest of the country concerned, with no bans on imports into countries such as the UK;
c. The precautionary actions taken, as described above, are sufficient to satisfy the import regulations of our own and most other countries. The only restrictions, as far as I am aware, are on the import of meat or animals from countries where F and M is endemic and badly controlled;
d. The National Farmers' Union has championed the current slaughter policy, although it only represents a minority of UK farmers. (To be fair to the government, it must have been strongly influenced by the NFU's support). It has been alleged that the interests of big farmers benefit most from the slaughter policy because the UK's 'disease free' status – whenever this might be regained – means that they get better prices abroad for their pedigree animals.

Some day, hopefully, a commission of inquiry will look back on this period with utter disbelief that the government, with the support of the main political parties and the tacit support of the media, enforced a mass slaughter policy that defies common sense and is probably unique in the world. The only comparison I can think of are the occasions when primitive tribespeople follow the 'cargo cult' practice of slaughtering all their cattle in the belief that after they have done that a new dawn will arrive with lots of 'cargo' arriving from abroad.

An outbreak which should, at most, have cost the lives of a few thousand contact animals in the half dozen places where it first occurred, has been turned into a kind of mass hysteria of slaughtering 3 to 4 million animals, with the population persuaded into believing that this is the only solution, and the army called in to organize the culls and enforce policy as a matter of national security.

If the long-term costs to the farming community, to our reduced exports, and to our tourist trade are all added together, we can probably estimate a loss to the economy of between 5 and 10 billion pounds.

There must be many other people who share our views and concerns, on this and the other critically important health issues you mentioned in your Editorial.

In one sense you are right to speak of the suppression of information, affecting our views on human and animal health. But the problem may lie even deeper. Most of those who advocate the narrowly medical view of health seem to lack any awareness of the vast world of natural health care and alternative therapies that have existed since the beginning of time. Anything outside of their narrow understanding of health is simply ignored.

The information is there for those who seek it, but the majority are led by 'experts' whom most people tend not to question, and so the wealth of alternative or complementary knowledge never becomes common knowledge.

We tend to listen to those who have a medical status entitling them to diagnose and prescribe life and death choices for their 'patients', not realizing that there are a great many ordinary health specialists whose insights and recommendations are an even bigger influence on most matters of life and death.

In the absence of any other organisation to take up these issues, would there be any merit in your journal setting up an independent e-net research commission, that would meet just once a year to finalize and publish reports that had been argued over by e-mail or in internet forums during the previous year? Membership could be open to any researcher who shared our concerns, but closed to political or other ideologues.

It's just a thought. Keep up the good work.

Yours sincerely
Dr Walter Barker
Director, Early Childhood Development Centre
ecdc@ecdc.org.uk

The Editor Replies

I would be delighted to receive applications for membership of such an e-net research commission by bona fide researchers and interested parties who are not politically or commercially motivated.

Sandra Goodman, Ph.D.
Editor

The Healing Power of Sound

I found the article 'The Healing Power of Sound' by Simon Heather (Issue 64) most interesting and revealing, though too short.

I've been listening for quite a while to the Super-Bio-Energetic Psychotropic Music ™ by Boris Mourashkin which is proving to have many beneficial and healing effects. This music is a combination of rhythms incorporating voices, all sorts of instruments, everyday noises etc. creating a very dynamic tension and catharsis. This 'music' is very weird, but after some familiarizing it is doing something!

The study of Fabien Maman reminded me of the Rife machine. Dr. Rife studied cancer viruses under different frequencies of light and found that viruses that were subjected to vibrations that matched their oscillation frequencies disintegrated (see the book The Cancer Cure that Worked by Barry Lynes and John Crane). Sound and light seem to work in quite the same way.

Specific sounds/tones and light in specific frequencies directed on ill parts of the body may be very promising tools in healing. I wish that more research could be done in this field.

Luc De Jaeger
Ledeberg – Belgium
Luc.DeJaeger@Gent.be

Obesity – Misleading Weight Charts

Many of your articles quite rightly concern dietary matters. The massive health problem in this country (following the lead of USA) is indeed the question of mass – obesity and such related and less common conditions as anorexia. Weight, the most obvious achievement of personal consumption, is the great new killer. As a holistic therapist I am very aware both of finding new ways to help individuals and of wishing to promote public health.

The guidance most readily available to individuals is the weight-height chart (or the equivalent body mass index) which shows zones labelled as under- and over-weight on either side of a middle zone. The varied labelling of this 'correct' zone reveals some of the issues. And do people aim to be acceptable, normal, healthy, attractive or merely average? How is it that some are trapped by the habits of their families and others drawn to the bizarre images which fashion and misuse can create?

The chart ignores fat distribution (for example, the danger sign belly, often male) and life style factors. Worse, it ignores age. Many older people may feel reassured by their place on the chart. Unfortunately, because they are likely to have muscle loss due to reduced activity and also some skeletal loss, such a 'correct' weight probably means an unhealthy flabbiness.

From the viewpoint of positive health there is an even more serious challenge to the validity of such charts. Much of the data derives from medical sources concerned with the incidence of treated disease. Health is quite a different concept and links mental and physical health.

Simply looking at bodies and then assessing the individuals for fitness produces quite different boundaries between the healthy (looking and feeling well with good movement and function) and the unhealthy (unattractive, moving badly, unfit). It would be better to base height-weight charts not on the boundaries of sickness, but on the evidence of those who are clearly well. For some people this would mean an even lower desirable weight, and that cannot be maintained by dieting, but only by an overall change in their way of life.

Yours truly
Dr Edwin Salter

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