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Editorial Issue 132

by Sandra Goodman PhD(more info)

listed in editorial, originally published in issue 132 - February 2007

Over the past 15 years of producing Positive Health (PH), it has never ceased to amaze me how health professionals view the world and filter health evidence from such unbelievably variant agendas.

Over the Xmas ‘06 and New Year ‘07 period, I happened to catch two media debates illustrative of how health is viewed from outside the world of Complementary Medicine that Positive Health inhabits. One BBC Radio 4 debate on 27 December ‘06 regarding Health Scares took place between Dr Ben Goldacre (writes the Guardian’s Bad Science column) and  Claire Fox (Director Institute of Ideas).

The issues ranged over a wide number of so-called health scares in 2006 (Bird Flu, MMR, Obesity, Binge Drinking, Food and Environmental Cancer Causes) and how they have been portrayed in the media. As PH magazine readers are well aware, these serious topics are frequently explored in depth as authoritative features herein; however both the above individuals had, to my mind, remarkable views about how such stories are actually scaring people and allegedly doing them harm.

Dr Ben Goldacre’s thesis was that most journalists in the media are not knowledgeable enough about the data to really have an informed opinion, and that the media distort and misreport these issues. He also stated that most causes of ill health are economic deprivation. Claire Fox, who was discussing the public’s aversion to risk, made the point that these constant barrages about the dangers of food and so many health scares leads to the public abandoning health(y) practices such as vaccination, visiting their GP, taking HRT and eating of crisps and drinking (having a good time). PH wholeheartedly endorses informing readers as much as possible regarding the risks of what they eat and the environment they live in.

On 4 January I caught on Farming Today (5.45-6 am) the most extraordinary debate from the Oxford Farming Conference between conventional farming and organic food, and the notion that pesticides are not dangerous. Robin Maynard from The Soil Association and Peter Kendell from the National Farmers Union (NFU) squared off to argue whether organic farmers are using scare tactics on consumers to buy organic food. The conventional farmers were attempting to persuade us that pesticides were essential, not evil, to feeding the planet without using more land.

According to Peter Kendell (NFU), pesticides are not bad, are not unsafe and are not damaging our society. He stated that these products would not be harming his children. He accused the organic movement of attempting to sell organic food using scare-mongering tactics. Robin Maynard (Soil Association) stated that fertilizers and pesticides are not necessarily evil, and that organic and sustainable farming have been practised for millennia. He said that the last thing the Soil Association wanted to do was to scare people, and that many of the media stories about GM and antibiotics have come from government scientists, not the Soil Association.

It is always an eye-opener to be reminded how the conventional mainstream health world is many chasms away from the views discussed and published within Positive Health. PH unashamedly reports the research demonstrating the overt harm of certain foods – sugar, trans fats – and the health damaging effects of environmentally toxic chemicals including pesticides, antibiotics and the run-off of certain fertilizers.

How amazing to hear, that in the forum against conventional farmers, The Soil Association would state that they don’t support stories about the dangers of antibiotics and pesticides, and fob these off upon government scientists.

Talk about Alice in Wonderland!

Thus, I am very pleased to published Dr Robert Verkerk’s highly authoritative feature Natural Products and Lifestyle – Their Potential Role in a Bird Flu Pandemic (please see page 30). Although we haven’t yet been subjected to a Bird Flu Pandemic, in view of the likely horrific consequences, it is prudent to be informed about the proper balance to strike regarding steps toward prevention and what dietary and lifestyle approaches might be helpful in the event of a pandemic.

Please also refer to the Research Updates regarding Essential Fatty Acids (please see Mahadik et al and Prof Basant Puri, page 36) which report on the clinically effective benefits of n-3 fatty acids and antioxidants upon mental health conditions including schizophrenia, depression, chronic fatigue
syndrome (ME) and Huntington’s disease.

Other informative sources within this issue include the Letters pages (pages 48-52) regarding Vitamin D deficiency and Flu, as well as a Brazilian propolis supplement used to support chemotherapy and radiotherapy cancer patients. Additionally please don’t miss the review of Stop American’s #1 Killer – Reversible Vitamin Deficiency Found to be Origin of All Coronary Disease by world expert Dr Thomas De Levy MD (see page 54).

Now that the effects of the Xmas holidays have worn off, Happy New Year to all.


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About Sandra Goodman PhD

Sandra Goodman PhD, Co-founder and Editor of Positive Health, trained as a Molecular Biology scientist in Agricultural Biotechnology in Canada and the US, focusing upon health issues since the 1980s in the UK. Author of 4 books, including Nutrition and Cancer: State-of-the-Art, Vitamin C – The Master Nutrient, Germanium: The Health and Life Enhancer and numerous articles, Dr Goodman was the lead author of the Consensus Document Nutritional and LifeStyle Guidelines for People with Cancer and compiled the Cancer and Nutrition Database for the Bristol Cancer Help Centre in 1993. Dr Goodman is passionate about making available to all people, particularly those with cancer, clinical expertise in Nutrition and Complementary Therapies. Dr Goodman was recently featured as Doctor of the Fortnight in ThinkWellness360.

Dr Goodman and long-term partner Mike Howell seek individuals with vision, resources, and organization to continue and expand the Positive Health PH Online legacy beyond the first 30 years, with facilities for training, to fund alternative cancer research, and promote holistic organizations internationally. Read about Dr Goodman and purchase Nutrition and Cancer: State-of-the-Art.  She may be contacted privately for Research, Lectures and Editorial services via:   and

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