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Experts: slow down on meat, dairy

By Tessa Salazar
Philippine Daily Inquirer
First Posted 22:09:00 07/10/2009

Filed Under: Health, Food

(First in a series)

MANILA, Philippines ? Red meat and whole fat dairy products have a lot in common. Both are high in fat and carry a possibility of bacterial and chemical contamination. It is commonly accepted today that limiting or eliminating red meat in the diet and using skimmed or no milk products may be healthy practices for most people.

Renowned nutritionist Phyllis A. Balch, CNC, explained this in her book ?Prescription for Dietary Wellness.? Balch?s report cited the Farm Animal Reform Movement that revealed in the year 2000, 1.32 million?or 54 percent?of all deaths in the United States were attributable to diseases for which the consumption of animal products represents a substantial risk factor, according to a panel of physicians specializing in diet and health.

Toxicologist Doctor Samuel Epstein, author of the ?Breast Cancer Prevention Program,? said that at least as dangerous as pesticides and industrial pollutants, ?growth stimulating hormones used to fatten livestock by about 10 percent before slaughter now contaminate virtually all our beef, with the exception of a small organic market.?

He said hormones in beef have serious estrogenic and carcinogenic effects?effects of which the cancer establishment, the US Food and Drug Administration and the cattle industry have been well aware for decades. Yet the real dangers they pose, especially when it comes to women and breast cancer, have remained in the shadows until the present.

Epstein enumerated pork, veal, lamb, poultry and other cuts of meat, although uncontaminated by sex hormones, contain pesticides and a wide range of veterinary drugs.

Epstein, who is professor emeritus of environmental medicine at the University of Illinois at Chicago School of Public Health, also authored ?What?s In Your Milk?, An Exposé of Industry and Government Coverup on the Dangers of Genetically Engineered Milk You?re Drinking.?

Things to avoid

Former health secretary Dr. Jaime Galvez-Tan?s top things ?to avoid as much as possible? (?How to be Healthy at Any Age: 12 Steps to Achieve It?) include animal meat, especially processed meat and animal milk and milk products like butter.

Galvez-Tan cited the World Cancer Research Fund?s report, Food, Nutrition, Physical Activity and the Prevention of Cancer: a Global Perspective (2007). It is based on a five-year project spanning more than 7,000 clinical studies, and it declared that all people should immediately stop buying and eating processed meat products and that all processed meat should be avoided for life.

?Processed meats contain chemical additives that greatly increase the risk of various cancers, including colorectal cancer, breast cancer, prostate cancer, leukemia, brain tumors, and pancreatic cancer,? he said.

Galvez-Tan continues: ?Milk by itself is a good source of nutrients. Organic milk is still a good source of nutrients today. However, milk bought from the supermarket is full of hormones and chemicals injected to cows in order to increase milk production. The US General Accounting Office and the Consumer?s Union, publisher of Consumer Reports magazine, have warned of the potential hazards to human health caused by consuming products derived from Recombinant Bovine Growth Hormone or rBGH-treated cows.?

Galvez-Tan told Inquirer Science/Health when asked about the link between animal protein and high blood pressure: ?Unfortunately, our doctors and policy makers are hesitant to confront the very root causes of hypertension that is the big business of processed and raw fresh meat. At least tobacco has been confronted with laws. We look to the day when promoting normal BP will include abstinence from meat.?

Earth scientist Jane Plant, cancer survivor and the author of ?The No-Dairy Breast Cancer Prevention Program,? said scientists have linked cow?s milk consumption to a wide range of human health problems.

Milk is an excellent culture of medium for the growth and transmission of many unpleasant bacteria and organisms. She also said that a wide range of chemicals could be administered legally to dairy animals. These chemicals include anitbiotics to treat infection and to promote growth, and antiparasitic drugs including those used against worms.

Milk allergy

Plant said that milk is one of the most common causes of food allergies and it is the single most common cause of allergy in infants citing a study at Annals of Allergy (Milk Allergy in Infancy).

?Milk proteins, which some people?s bodies recognize as foreign proteins, have frequently been implicated in cases of eczema, asthma and migraine.?

She cited a meeting of the American Society of Microbiologists suggesting that some of the thousands of cases of sudden infant death syndrome occurring in the United States every year might be attributed to cow?s milk allergy as babies who are breast fed are less likely to succumb to SIDS.

Plant also stressed that ?if you have active breast, prostate, or colon cancer you should eliminate all animal products until you are better.?

Dr. Richard Lacey, a prominent microbiologist and BSE researcher (BSE for Bovine spongiform encephalopathy or better known as mad cow disease), said: ?There is now an overwhelming scientific and medical case for avoiding the consumption of meat and meat products despite the government?s attempts to persuade us otherwise.?

Although animal products are not the only products that can be contaminated with bacteria, the vast majority of infected foods are red meat, dairy products, fowl, eggs and seafood, according to Dr. Neil Nedley in his book ?roof Positive: How to Reliably Combat Disease and Achieve Optimal Health through Nutrition and Lifestyle.?

Often infected with diseases

Balch said animals raised for meat are often infected with diseases that either go undetected or are ignored by meat processors or inspectors.

?If an animal has cancer or a tumor, the disease part of the animal is cut away, and the rest of the body is sold in parts. Yet it is possible that the disease may have circulated throughout the animal. Worse yet, the diseased parts may be incorporated into mixed meats such as hotdogs or luncheon meats.?

Balch added that in addition to the 8,964 million animals reported in USDA?s (United States Department of Agriculture) 2001 slaughter reports, another 888.5 million, or 9 percent of the total, suffered lingering deaths from disease, malnutrition, injury, or suffocation associated with today?s factory farming practices.



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