Violent Behaviour and
A Solution in Plain
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By Sylvia Onusic, PhD
Monday, 22 April
Original Title: “Violent Behavior: A Solution in Plain Sight.”
We live in violent times.
Americans are seven times more likely to die of homicide and twenty times more likely to die from shooting than
people in other developed countries.1 Between 1984 and 1994, the number of young murderers under age
eighteen in the
U.S. increased threefold.2-4
In the 1990s, a new form of
deadly violence raised its head in America. The first mass school slaying occurred in 1992 when Wayne Lo killed
a student and a professor at a remote school in Massachusetts. This act set the stage for an escalating pattern
of chilling destruction aimed at students and carried out by students, violence that increases every year. From
the 1999 Columbine shootings in Colorado to the recent shootings in Newtown, Connecticut, Americans are
desperately searching for answers.
In his book Confronting
Violence: Answers to Questions About the Epidemic Destroying America’s Homes and Communities, George
Gellert, MD, discusses “tested strategies to prevent violent crime” without providing any evidence that any of
these strategies—electronic tracking, hotlines, education and training―have actually worked. In fact, it is
obvious that they have not.5
The disturbing tendencies we
see today contrast strongly with Dr. Weston Price’s descriptions of harmonious, well-nourished primitive
cultures—from smiling, joyful South Sea Islanders to highly spiritual Gaelic fisherfolk to Swiss villagers
celebrating “one for all and all for one” during their summer festivals.6 Likewise, Dr. Francis
Pottenger described peaceful, harmonious behavior among well-nourished cats. Both cats and humans degenerated
into disharmonious behavior patterns with the change to foods devitalized by heat and
Modern commentators are
blind to the solution, a solution that is in plain sight: clearly defining good nutrition and putting it back
into the mouths of our children, starting before they are even conceived. . . because food is information and
that information directly affects the emotions, the nervous system, the brain and behavior.
The brain and nervous system
require specific nutrients to function properly, and the evidence is overwhelming that nutrient deficiencies can
lead to aggression and violent behavior. Let’s start with the fat-soluble vitamins, vitamins A, D3
and K2, so important in the diets of primitive peoples.
Preformed vitamin A, called
retinoic acid, is critical to brain development. Receptors in the amygdala, hippocampus and other paralimbic
brain regions suggest that vitamin A signaling plays a vital role in cognitive function.8 When
vitamin A is lacking during gestation, as it is for most mothers in our fat-phobic society, children may be set
up for abnormal behavior patterns later in life.
In animals, vitamin A
deficiency results in problems with spatial learning and memory. Vitamin A deficiency may lead to dopamine
receptor hypo-activity and the typical symptoms of schizophrenia, such as flat affect, apathy and lack of
insight, as well as hallucinations and delusions. 9 Schizophrenia is a chronic, severe and serious
brain disorder. People with schizophrenia hear voices and believe people are controlling
Recent studies from the U.K.
show that low levels of vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol) are associated with increased risk of depression
and panic. Researchers from the Children’s Hospital and Research Center in Oakland, California, defined the role
of vitamin D in neurological health, pointing out the wide distribution of vitamin D throughout the brain. The
vitamin affects portions of the brain involved in learning and memory, as well as motor
Vitamin D is very much
involved in production of serotonin, the molecule of will power, and delayed gratification. Decreased serotonin
activity can lead to an inability to create and act on well-formed plans.12
There are many vitamin D
receptors in the brain. Bright light going through the eyes increases serotonin production―sunglasses block this
effect―and sunscreen blocks the vitamin D formation in the skin.13
Studies with rats show that
the production of serotonin is directly related to duration of bright sunlight. Sunbathing and exposure to
bright light during the day can have a similar effect to antidepressants and of course are far safer. Other ways
to boost serotonin in the dark of winter are exercise, massage and happy memories,14 and, of course,
vitamin D-rich food.
Calcitriol, the hormonally
active form of vitamin D, accumulates in the adrenals, and this stimulates the production of the gene for
tyrosine hydroxylase, which is involved in serotonin production. Serotonin synthesis is thought to be dependent
on the duration of light exposure the previous summer.15
Less is known about the
correlation between vitamin K2 status and behavior. However, research has shown that vitamin
K2 is involved in the biochemistry of nervous tissue and is needed for the formation of
myelin.16,17 Vitamin K2 contributes to the biological activation of proteins Gas6, which
are involved in many cellular functions such as cell growth, survival and apoptosis. In the brain, vitamin
K2 also participates in the synthesis of sphingolipids, an important lipid present in high
concentrations in brain cell membranes. Vitamin K2 can affect psychomotor behavior and
cognition.18 Weston Price cured a child of seizures with high-vitamin butter oil, rich in vitamin
All these vitamins were
consumed in very high levels in primitive diets.19 Today, due to disastrous dietary advice, most people avoid
the dietary sources of these critical nutrients—egg yolks, butter, organ meats, meat fats, goose and chicken
liver, cod liver oil, fish eggs and oily fish, and some fermented foods like
Water-soluble vitamins also
play critical roles in brain health. A deficiency of thiamine, vitamin B1, causes beriberi, a serious
disease with neurological consequences, directly affecting the hypothlamus of the brain. The hypothalamus is the
seat of impulse control. Symptoms of deficiency include depression, irritability, confusion and loss of memory.
Chronic deficiency results in paralysis and insanity. Subjects with marginal deficiencies are impulsive, highly
irritable, aggressive and sensitive to criticism.21 People who eat foods with mostly empty calories
such as sodas, fast foods, snack foods and alcohol are at risk for B1 deficiency. Thiamine is found
in animal foods and selected seeds. Pork is exceptionally rich in thiamine.22
Pellagra, a scourge of the
early twentieth century, is a serious disease caused by a deficiency in niacin, vitamin B3. The three
main symptoms are diarrhea, dermatitis and dementia— the three Ds. The psychotic symptoms can be very severe and
vary greatly from individual to individual; in some individuals they precede dermatitis and diarrhea, making
diagnosis of pellagra difficult. Pellagra continued to be fatal up to the 1940s and was successfully treated
with niacin and niacin-containing foods. Widely found in food, it is especially rich in fish, liver, meats and
bacon. Vitamin B3 is also added to processed grain products, a practice that has helped reduce overt
symptoms of pellagra.23-25
symptoms of pellagra are widespread. They include anxiety, hyperactivity, depression, fatigue, headaches,
insomnia and hallucination―symptoms all very similar to those of schizophrenia. Abram Hoffer, MD, an
orthomolecular psychiatrist, treated many cases of schizophrenia and pellagra with niacin.26
Likewise, Natasha Campbell-McBride, MD, treats many cases of schizophrenia, which she believes is actually
Niacin is unique among
vitamins in that our bodies can manufacture it. Niacin is synthesized from tryptophan, an essential amino acid,
via the tryptophan hydroxylase pathway. Tryptophan is an essential amino acid and must be obtained from the
diet.29 Good sources include cheese, chicken, turkey, beef, fish, shellfish, peanuts and
eggs.28 The whey component of raw milk is an excellent source of tryptophan because the protein is
not denatured by heat.29
Under chronic stress,
cognitive performance declines, possibly due to serotonin exhaustion. The uptake of the precursor tryptophan
into the brain depends on nutrients that influence the availability of tryptophan. A significantly greater
increase in the plasma ratio of tryptophan after ingestion of a-lactalbumin from whey compared with casein, has
been shown in several studies. After ingesting whey, memory scanning improved significantly in high stress
individuals. A-lactalbumin from whey has the highest tryptophan content of all food sources.30-31
This explains why raw milk can have such a calming effect on a child’s disposition.
Supplements such as
L-tryptophan are available, which must be taken with vitamin C and B complex vitamins to support the
transformation of tryptophan into serotonin. A form of tryptophan called 5-HTP crosses the blood-brain barrier
and is transformed into serotonin (5-HT).32
Supplementing a high sucrose
diet with what are called branched-chain amino acids, such as leucine, isoleucine and valine, lowers brain
levels of tryptophan.33 Supplements to enhance physical workouts at the gym are laced with
branchedchain amino acids, and these are widely available for sale in many health food shops. Worse, many infant
formulas are fortified with branchedchain amino acids, thus reducing the amount of tryptophan reaching the
brain. The result may be reduced sleep in infants and aggressive behaviors in childhood. It is hypothesized that
amino acid imbalances in infant formula may result in permanent changes in mental capacity and social
adaptability later in life.34
B6 is a precursor for fifty enzymes necessary for the metabolism of amino acids and for maintenance
of the immune system; it is also necessary for the process of methylation, which is critical for mental
Because of its relationship
to the production of the neurotransmitter gamma aminobutyrate, B6 deficiency is directly related to
the occurrence of a kind of convulsion that commonly occurs in youngsters.36
B6 is needed for
modulating homocysteine levels―high levels are implicated in mental illness. Vitamin B6 deficiency
has been reported in some cases of infant formulas. Certain drugs will deplete vitamin
In 1989, elevated
homocysteine was found to be an independent risk factor for vascular disease. Homocysteine is a sulfurated amino
acid derived from methionine. Methionine is found in animal products like cheese, eggs, fish, meat and poultry
and produced in a pathway that produces methyl groups required for the synthesis of catecholamines and DNA. High
homocysteine levels are a sensitive indicator of B vitamin deficiency. Elevated homocysteine, called
homocysteinuria, has a high prevalence in psychiatric disorders leading to violence, and elevated levels are
found in Alzheimer’s disease.38
deficiency has a well-known correlation with mental disorders, including irrational anger. A higher incidence of
low B12 is found in mental patients than in the general population. Deficiencies cause mental
symptoms ranging from poor concentration, depression and severe agitation to hallucinations.39
Deficiencies are caused by pernicious anemia, an autoimmune condition; they are also found in vegetarians and
vegans, those with low animal protein intake, and individuals with leaky gut.40 Drugs including
anesthetics can deplete vitamin B12.41
Volunteers on a diet
deficient in pantothenic acid (vitamin B5) experience hypoglycemia, numbness in hands and feet,
headache and insomnia; they are easily upset, irritable, quarrelsome, sullen and depressed. Good dietary sources
include meats, organ meats, potatoes, tomatoes and royal bee jelly.42
Low levels of folate show up
in 40-80 percent of elderly psychiatric patients. Folate is required for remethylation of homocysteine and hence
plays a role in mental health. Good sources include liver, leafy green vegetables and orange juice. Folate is
also found in enriched cereal products. Chronic alcohol consumption impairs folate absorption as do a large
number of drugs.43
Finally, regarding vitamin
C, research indicates that almost any physical or mental stress significantly lowers vitamin C levels in plasma.
The nerve endings in the brain contain the highest concentrations of vitamin C in the body after the adrenal
glands.44 It makes good sense to conclude that good vitamin C status supports mental
Studies also show that
deficiencies in iodine, potassium, iron, magnesium, zinc, chromium, manganese and other minerals can result in
Magnesium is used in
hundreds of brain enzymes. Low levels of magnesium are related to many neurological conditions, such as
aggressive behavior, dementia and schizophrenia. Magnesium is found mainly in seeds, nuts, legumes, dark leafy
vegetables and whole grains if it is not lost during processing.45
Iron is necessary for the
synthesis of neurotransmitters and myelin that covers the nerves, and is critical during pregnancy in
relationship to the IQ of the child.46
Iodine is required for the
development of a healthy brain. Iodine deficiency affects all individuals but especially pregnant women,
lactating women, women of reproductive age, and children younger than three years of age. During fetal and
neonatal growth and development, iodine deficiency leads to irreversible damage to the brain and central nervous
system. Iodine deficiency in the fetus results in severe mental retardation called
Zinc deficiency is common in
the American diet because zinc is removed in processing of foods. It is abundant in red meat and oysters, foods
not well liked or available to many children and teens. Many brain enzymatic reactions depend on zinc. It is
involved in insulin metabolism as well. Zinc deficiency has been linked with hypoglycemia and suicide, and with
angry, aggressive, hostile behaviors that result in violence.48
CHOLINE, ARA AND
Choline is a key nutrient
for the brain. Phosphatidycholine is produced from choline and is the main storage form of arachidonic acid
(ARA) and docosohexanoic acid (DHA), two fatty acids that are vital to neurological function. There are many
studies suggesting that DHA contributes to brain development and is essential for myelination of nervous
Choline is a precursor for
the neurotransmitter acetylcholine, which is especially important in memory and mood, and it is also the
transmitter most often used by neurons that communicate between the brain and the nerves controlling skeletal
muscles, heart rate, breathing, sweating and salivation. The best dietary sources of choline are egg yolks,
organ meats, legumes and breast milk.50
As for ARA and DHA, multiple
aspects of brain metabolism, function and structure are thought to depend on having adequate brain
concentrations of these fatty acids. Sources of ARA include butter, egg yolks and animal
Deficiency in DHA strongly
correlates with violent behavior. Subjects with low DHA tend more towards violence and alcohol
dependence.52 DHA is found in breast milk but baby formulas were not supplemented with DHA until the
late 1980s in Europe, and 2002 in the U.S. DHA can be found in brains, cod liver oil and finfish. Brains from
animals were a traditional weaning food.53 DHA and ARA formulation in formula, however, are not
identical to those found in breast milk but are made from algae and extracted with
Sometimes an excess of a
mineral can lead to mental imbalance. An excess of copper, for example, has been implicated in Wilson’s disease,
a condition with psychiatric consequences. High levels of copper can cause extreme fear, paranoia and
hallucinations. Elevated levels of copper are found in many studies with schizophrenics, manic depressives and
epileptics. Drs. Venter and Findlay found that pellagrins were also high in copper. Research has established
that excess levels of copper can cause violent behavior in children and youth.55
Vitamin C deficiency results
in copper increase. Birth control pills increase copper, as do some drinking water, copper pots and utensils, as
well as copper in the birth control IUDs. Soy products are extremely high in copper. Other sources include tea,
shellfish, liver, miso, cereals, cocoa and chocolate.56
Allergies and sensitivities
to specific foods, chemicals, or inhalants may be responsible for emotional reactions classified as "neurotic"
or "psychotic.” “Confusion, mental blocking, dullness, lethargy, tenseness, irritability, dissociation and
perceptual distortions are some of the more common CNS [central nervous system] allergic
William Philpott, MD, an
orthomolecular psychiatrist, believed that allergic reactions could result in schizophrenic behaviors: “My own
practice as a psychiatrist has shown that for two hundred fifty consecutive patients, there is convincing
evidence that the majority of them developed major symptoms on exposure to foods and chemicals; 92 percent of
those schizophrenics developed symptoms such as maladaptive reactions to food and chemicals; 64 percent on
exposure to wheat; 51 percent on exposure to corn; 51 percent on exposure to pasteurized cow’s milk; 30 percent
of schizophrenics develop symptoms on exposure to petrochemical products, some so severe as to precipitate
For many people gluten
causes an immune reaction. This condition is most often related to celiac disease (CD); symptoms include
indigestion, bloating, villous atrophy, leaky gut and malabsorption of nutrients. Diagnosis is confirmed by
testing for antibodies.
Gluten sensitivity (GS) has
emerged as an illness distinct from celiac disease with an estimated prevalence six times that of CD.
Glutensensitive people do not have villous atrophy or the antibodies that are present in celiac disease, but
rather they can test positive for antibodies to gliadin, part of the protein.59
Both CD and GS result in a
variety of neurologic and psychiatric symptoms: changes in the cerebellum, visual disturbances, blurred vision,
seeing colored dots, headache and encephalopathy. Anxiety disorder, panic disorder and social phobia are
Recent research found that
schizophrenics are twice as likely to have gluten antibodies as controls. Some schizophrenics have antibodies to
gluten that differ from those of CD patients, and these people may be missed when tested for CD. The condition
is treated with antipsychotic medication, but some of these patients improve with a gluten-free
Schizophrenia is the mental
disease with the strongest relationship to gluten intolerance. It was known as far back as 1953 that patients
with celiac disease had hallucinations. A high prevalence of depressive symptoms, hypothetically related to
serotonin dysfunction, has been reported among adults with celiac disease. Several studies have shown that the
majority of adolescents with CD displayed depressive behavioral symptoms and disruptive behavioral disorders
before the diagnosis of CD. They also had low free tryptophan levels.62
EXCITOTOXINS: MSG AND
Excitotoxins are substances
in foods that overstimulate neuron receptors in the brain and damage brain cells. These neurons then become
exhausted and die. Scientists have especially noted this effect in the hypothalamus, the part of the brain that
modulates behavior, impulse control, the onset of puberty, sleep and immunity. Headaches are the most common
side effect. The main two excitotoxins are monosodium glutamate (MSG) and aspartame, an artificial sweetener,
also called Equal or NutraSweet.63
Symptoms of MSG ingestion
can mimic allergic reactions, such as rashes, wheals on the skin, swollen face, hives, asthma, runny nose,
flushing, rapid heartbeat, diarrhea, stomach cramps and arthritis. Neurological symptoms include depression,
insomnia, anxiety, confusion and paranoia. MSG has also been linked in scientific studies with death of brain
tissue in lab animals, obesity, reproductive disorders, behavioral disorders, hyperglycemia, learning and memory
disorders, stroke, epilepsy, brain trauma and schizophrenia.64
The general rule is that the
more processed a food is, the more MSG it contains. Canned soups, soup mixes, potato chips, crackers, soy sauce,
infant formula, vaccines, some wines, protein bars, dietary supplements, and especially soy products contain
MSG. When a food contains less than 99 percent MSG, the ingredient does not require a label. However, hydrolyzed
vegetable protein must be on the label and that always contains MSG. “Flavors” and “natural flavoring” are
probable sources of MSG.65
Believe it or not,
conventional fruits and vegetables can be sources of MSG! A product called Auxi-Gro, which contains MSG, is
sprayed on crops such as wine grapes as a growth enhancer, and MSG can end up in supposedly healthy fruits and
vegetables. Organic fruits and vegetables are less likely to be sprayed with
Fast foods and processed
foods are loaded with excitotoxins and should not be consumed, especially by growing children. Cooking homemade
meals from simple basic ingredients is the solution to avoiding most excitotoxins at home. MSG and its evil twin
aspartame are the darlings of the food industry because they enhance the flavor of foods, thus making relatively
tasteless processed foods more flavorful.
The artificial sweetener
aspartame is found in many products, from soda to candy to flavored yogurt to beer. Parents, unaware of
aspartame’s damaging effects on the growing brain, may buy food products containing aspartame if weight control
is an issue in the household.
The FDA lists more than
ninety symptoms of aspartame toxicity, even rashes, cramps and pain in the tendons and ligaments. Documented
neurological events include vertigo, ringing in the ears, headaches and depression. Aspartame releases methanol
upon heating and digestion, and methanol poisoning causes headaches, behavioral disturbances and inflammation of
the nerves. Another breakdown product of aspartame is poisonous formaldehyde, the same substance used by
undertakers to preserve corpses.67
Aspartame is composed of two
amino acids, aspartic acid and phenylalanine. Seizures and other mental symptoms associated with aspartame
consumption are related to low serotonin resulting from the phenylalanine component. Aspartic acid is
synthesized from glutamate, a major excitatory transmitter in the brain. A lack of the calming neurotransmitter
serotonin and increased levels of an excitatory transmitter further stimulate the
Thousands of adverse
reactions to aspartame have been reported to the FDA, mostly concerned with abnormal brain function, brain
tumors, epilepsy and Parkinson’s disease. Children’s brains are four times more susceptible to damage from
excitotoxins than the brains of adults, and they react with ADD-ADHD-type symptoms, impaired learning,
depression and nausea.69
The USDA recently condemned
sugary soda drinks for school lunch programs but considers artificially sweetened beverages a "healthier"
Neurological damage from
excitotoxins also depends on the quality of the diet. Those who eat antioxidant-rich foods such as organic
colorful fruits and vegetables, high quality protein and good fats such as butter, lard, coconut oil and others,
are protected from the occasional food containing MSG. Cod liver oil and turmeric can reduce the likelihood of
Over three thousand
chemicals, classified as food additives, are added to our food. Many of these can affect mood and behavior. For
example, sodium lactate, which is added to luncheon meats, can bring on panic attacks in some individuals. It
seems to increase adrenal hormone levels, generating the fight-or-flight response.71
Another common additive is
annatto, a yellow extract from seeds of a tree, which is added to foods that need a yellow coloring, such as
snack foods and cheese. It often produces rashes, increases in blood sugar and even changes in blood pressure.
Another additive, tartrazine, causes behavioral disturbances in children.72
Back in the 1960s, Dr.
Benjamin Feingold proposed the theory that certain substances added to foods cause adverse reactions in
children. These include artificial colorings, flavorings, preservatives and aspartame. Not all mood-affecting
chemicals are created in factories. Salicylates, a natural compound found in apples, oranges and other fruits,
can cause seizures, night terrors and speech problems in some children. These are eliminated in Stage 1 of the
Feingold Diet. The diet has been successful in eliminating behavior problems in some
Synthetic food colorings are
permitted to have 10 parts per million (ppm) of lead in the substance but colors used in medications are allowed
double that amount. The natural red dye, carmine, used in yogurts and candies, is made from beetles, and is very
high in aluminum. Both synthetic and natural dyes put in food often provoke allergic reactions and psychiatric
symptoms among vulnerable individuals. 74
The average American drinks
over twentysix gallons of coffee a year. Coffee contains caffeine and over three hundred other chemicals. Cola
drinks also contain caffeine along with a large dose of sugar or aspartame. Caffeine is addictive, increasing
homocysteine, dopamine, cortisol, energy metabolism and norephinephrine, while reducing the blood flow in the
brain and decreasing serotonin levels.75
Caffeine causes insulin
spikes and increased blood sugar in diabetics or prediabetics. Caffeine will cause a small rise in blood sugar
after meals. It causes urinary excretion of calcium, magnesium and potassium and thus affects brain metabolism.
Caffeine is a stimulant and a diuretic. At high doses it can worsen anxiety and trigger mania or psychosis,
confusion, headache, seeing flashes, psychomotor agitation and depression.74
SOY IN THE DIET OF INFANTS
Soy-based formula has been
in use for more than thirty years. The average baby on soy-based formula receives the equivalent of five birth
control pills a day.77
Excessive estrogens fed to
rats during the fetal period leads to aggressiveness, problem behaviors and hyperactivity, all precursors to
violent behavior. Excessive estrogens in baby boys may lead to problem behaviors later in life.
Babies on soy formula
develop a zinc imbalance. Zinc has a role in metabolism of fatty acids in the brain and in the myelination of
neuronsns. Low levels can cause a deficiency in essential fatty acids. When zinc and EFAs are deficient, there
may be more chance for brain injury.
There is also no cholesterol
in soy-based formula. Cholesterol is needed for the architecture of the brain.78 Soy-based formula is
also extremely high in manganese, a mineral that can cause aggression and violent behavior in later
Soy, like sugar, is a major
ingredient in the food supply. In 1971 soy became a fixture in school lunches when the USDA authorized the use
of texturized vegetable protein (TVP) made from soy to meet the requirement for two ounces of cooked meat for
the Type A school lunch. This allows up to 30 percent soy in finished meat products prepared for young children.
(These percentages are 40 percent and even higher in prisons.) Under the theme, “Soy Goes to School,” the soy
industry commissioned a number of articles that appeared in the School Lunch Journal and other publications to
convince the audience that soy was a good idea, because it was “high in protein and low in fat.” The effort goes
on to this day in an attempt to convince the general public that children like soy foods.81 The low
cost factor was emphasized as a “cost breakthrough.” But you get what you pay for. Adaptations for using soy in
favorite school recipes were provided: chili, spaghetti, lasagna, meat loaf, pizza, Spanish rice and chicken
Soy burgers are loaded with
MSG, along with artificial flavorings, to give them some semblance of taste. During processing, soy is washed in
aluminum tanks, which leaches aluminum into the product. It is well known that aluminum can have adverse effects
on brain development and cause antisocial behavior and learning disabilities. Some processes also use hexane,
which is a toxic carcinogen.82
Soy is considered one of the
top five allergenic foods, not a good choice for a child who already has food sensitivities. Babies who are fed
soy-based formula are already at risk for behavioral problems, food allergies, early puberty, asthma,
gynecomastia (male breast development) and thyroid disease.83
ALCOHOL AND VIOLENT
The consumption of alcohol
increases the likelihood of violent behavior and is involved in half of all murders, assaults and rapes. Binge
drinking―consuming four or more drinks in one sitting for females and five or more drinks for males―causes
thinning of the pre-frontal cortex, the section of the brain related to functions such as paying attention,
planning and making decisions, processing emotions and controlling impulses leading to irrational behavior.
Binge drinking causes insulin resistance and has specific effects on the brain.84
When serotonin, the brain’s
“orchestra maestro,” is low, aggression, impulsivity and violence increase, while cognitive function
declines.85 Alcohol consumption is much more likely to lead to violent behavior in individuals with
Substantial research has
implicated decreased serotonin (5-HT) neurotransmission in human aggressive behavior. This can be directly
related to diet. Alcohol, in combination with Ltryptophan depletion, has an additive effect on aggression,
leading to violence. Male subjects with high trait hostility are particularly prone to increased aggression
following plasma tryptophan depletion.87
Sugars, in the forms of cane
sugar, beet sugar, high fructose corn syrup and other forms of these refined sweeteners, are all fairly new to
the human genome. Hunter-gatherers ate very small amounts of sugars in the form of fruits, honey and tree and
grass syrups. In 1800 the sugar intake was less than ten pounds per person per capita, whereas today the average
sugar intake is estimated at around one hundred fifty pounds per person per year.88
Much of the sugar ingested
today comes in the form of fast food. Sodas are the most convenient and accessible way to down “elephant doses”
of sugars. The average soda in the 1950s was eight ounces. Today’s Big Gulp is twenty ounces.
Early infant feeding
practices advocated the use of apple juice but studies show that children who are fed high amounts of apple
juice are at risk for failure to thrive. And how many generations of infants were raised on the advice of Dr.
Benjamin Spock, considered the ultimate authority, who advised the use of orange juice and sugar water in baby’s
Sugar consumption puts the
body on a roller coaster of high and then low blood sugar. Recent findings show blood glucose levels at the high
end of normal resulted in significant brain shrinkage, particularly in the regions of the hippocampus and
amygdala involved in memory and other critical functions.90
By enlisting academics like
Fred Stare, Edwine Bierman, and Ancel Keys to its payroll, Big Sugar succeeded in convincing the public that
sugar was not to blame for the obesity epidemic or heart disease.91 By the 1990s the public was
largely convinced that sugar had no role to play in hyperactivity, juvenile delinquency or hypoglycemia. Yet
these connections were conclusively demonstrated by British researcher John Yudkin. He noted that hypoglycemia,
a consequence of sugar binging, occurs in 30-70 percent of psychiatric patients, and in 90 percent of
alcoholics.92 The orthomolecular psychiatrists and researchers of the twentieth century, Hoffer,
Osmond, Philpot, Pauling, Rimland, Webach and others, all recognized hypoglycemia as a major factor in aberrant
STUDIES ON NUTRITION,
VIOLENCE AND CRIME
As early as 1971 the U.S.
population was already consuming more that 50 percent of its diet in the form of junk foods. More than four
thousand additives were readily available in the food system. In the 1970s several researchers tried to reduce
crime through changing diet. They identified several areas where intervention could be made: brain allergies,
hypoglycemia, nutrient deficiencies, brain dysfunction, environmental contaminants and neurotransmitter
Research by Hippchen,
Schoenthaler, Schauss and others concluded that hypoglycemia, caused by a diet high in sugar and refined
carbohydrates, could account for most of antisocial behavior. They found that hypoglycemia causes the brain to
secrete glutamate, a neurotoxin, which leads to agitation, depression, anger, anxiety, panic attacks and violent
Stephen J. Schoenthaler,
PhD, a professor of criminal justice at California State University, has focused his research efforts on the
effect of nutrition on cognition and behavior in school children, prisoners and institutionalized juveniles. He
reported a significantly lower level of antisocial behavior after dietary modifications which involved
decreasing sugar consumption during a three-month and nine-month period respectively. In fact, as of 1983, at
least nine separate institutions in three states had found that the behavior of their juveniles improved
significantly after the elimination of high-sugar junk foods.96
Schoenthaler concluded that
the primary cause of hypoglycemia is poor nutritional habits. Because the brain uses mainly glucose for fuel,
when glucose levels fall or fluctuate widely, neurons will not be supplied a constant source of energy and may
“misfire,” affecting thinking and reasoning patterns. High sugar and starchy carbohydrate intake can lead to
excessive insulin release, resulting in falling blood sugar and hypoglycemia.96
Alexander Schauss, author of
the book Diet, Crime and Delinquency (1980), described as “the first clear guide to correcting behavior
through diet,” used case studies to show that high intake of sugar, processed foods, junk foods, food additives
along with insufficient nutrients, food allergies and lack of exercise, can all contribute to criminal
The Finnish researcher Matti
Virkkunen did a series of studies with violent male prisoners. He found abnormal glucose tolerance in subjects
with antisocial personality and increased insulin secretion with excessive sugary foods, especially with
alcoholics.98 He confirmed the fact that violent male homicidal offenders had much lower cholesterol
levels than other offenders; and that impulsive violent offenders and fire setters have low serotonin levels in
the brain. He hypothesized that the lower cholesterol levels in the violent offenders could be “a consequence of
enhanced insulin secretion and that high insulin levels are responsible for violent behavior.”99-100
Finland suffers from one of the highest suicide rates in the world, along with an explosive rate of
A number of studies have
suggested a relationship between low cholesterol levels and deaths due to accidents or violence. In Sweden,
Beatrice A. Golomb101 found that low cholesterol is associated with increased criminal violence in
randomized trials. Studies in Turkey showed that “violent suicide attempters” had significantly lower total
cholesterol and leptin levels compared to those with non-violent suicide
Low cholesterol was also a
major factor in a French study of patients suffering from major depression, which found that “clinical recovery
may be associated with a significant increase of total cholesterol.” Colin wrote that “these findings have
challenged the vast public health programs aimed at promoting the decrease of cholesterol,” and even suggested
suspending the administration of lipid-lowering drugs.103
Katherine DesMaisons, a
counselor in drug and alcohol programs, ran a nutrition-based program for alcoholics in San Mateo County,
California, called the “Biochemical Restoration Program.” By focusing on diet and nutrition, DesMaisons
successfully reduced the sugar cravings that led people with flawed carbohydrate metabolism to crave the sugar
in alcohol. She went on to earn a PhD with the dissertation, “Biochemical restoration as an intervention for
multiple offense drunk driving” in 1966. She is the author of Potatoes not Prozac and The Sugar
Addict’s Total Recovery Program.104
Barbara Stitt was chief
probation officer in Ohio for twenty years. During these years she closely observed her clients and recognized
that diet and behavior were strongly related. When diet improved, behavior improved. Dr. Stitt earned a PhD
focusing on “The Biochemistry of Crime” and “Healing the Delinquent Mind.” In her book, Food and Behavior: A
Natural Connection, she discusses reactive hypoglycemia, a defect that occurs when blood sugar levels are
inadequate to meet the brain’s requirements. She also fingers sub-clinical pellagra; B vitamin deficiencies;
allergic reactions; alcohol consumption; heavy metals toxicity; MSG; and aspartame as partners in crime. Her
main advice is to eat protein for breakfast instead of sugary cereals, bagels, toast and other quick carbs,
which set the stage for insulin swings and blood sugar reactions throughout the day. Her documentation links
hypoglycemia to aggressive and violent behavior.105
DEPRESSION AND OMEGA-3 FATTY
The well-known French
researcher, Jean- Marie Bourré, found a significant decrease of the polyunsaturated omega-3 fatty acids and/or
an increase of the omega-6/omega-3 ratio in the plasma of those with psychiatric diagnoses. He presents the
hypothesis that omega-3 deficiency “alters the structure and function of membranes and induces minor cerebral
dysfunctions. Studies of omega-3 fatty acids provide the first coherent experimental demonstration of the effect
of diet (nutrients) on the structure and function of the brain. Deficiency alters the course of brain
development, disturbs the composition of the brain cells, and results in “neurosensory and behavioral
Lack of omega-3 fatty acids
is involved in dementia, especially Alzheimer’s disease. Deficiencies cause more abnormalities in the frontal
cortex and pituitary gland, which are accompanied by behavioral disorders. These disorders are “partially
reversed by eating omega-3-rich egg yolks or pig brain.” Animal sources of omega-3 fatty acids are more
effective than plant sources because of their long-chain structure.107
FAST FOOD, DIET SODAS,
DEPRESSION AND VIOLENCE
According to researchers,
much evidence points to an association of fast food with aberrant behavior, and fast food increases the risk of
depression. The intake of trans fatty acids or the consumption of foods rich in this kind of fat, such as
fast food or commercial bakery products, have recently emerged as contributors to higher depression
A new Boston study suggests
that sodas are linked with violence. Those drinking soda, even one can per day, were likely to be more violent;
the more a child drank, the more violent he became. The study points to adrenal exhaustion and low blood sugar
as a cause. Drinking soda puts kids on an emotional rollercoaster with strong ebbs and flows in blood
THE SCHOOL SLAYINGS AND
Jon Rappoport worked for
thirty years as an investigative reporter and was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize. In his book School Shootings,
Why did they do it? An inquiry into the school shootings in America and in his blog post, "The secret at
the bottom of psychiatry’s rabbit hole,” he describes several acknowledged explanations for the school
shootings, including access to guns, violence on TV, breakup of families, absence of a good education, growing
poverty, and lunatic ideologies such as Nazism and Satanism. However, he asks, why have the media not named
psychiatric drugs as one of the causes?110
In a comparison of the time
periods 1993- 1998 and 2005-2009, prescriptions of antipsychotic drugs per one hundred children (0-13 years old)
rose from 0.24 to 1.83. That's more than a sevenfold increase, and the rate is substantially higher among
preteens and thirteen-year-olds. For adolescents (14-20 years old) the increase was nearly
In fact, between 2004-2011
there were almost thirteen thousand reports to the FDA’s Med Watch system of psychiatric drugs causing violent
side effects, suggesting that the side effects from these drugs are nine or ten times higher than admitted in
In an analysis of mass
shootings during the past fifteen years, every shooter had been taking or withdrawing from a psychiatric drug.
In these thirty-one school shootings or school-related acts of violence, one hundred sixty-two were wounded and
seventy-two were killed.112
Peter Breggin. MD,
psychiatrist, notes that, “One of the things in the past that we’ve known about depression is that it very, very
rarely leads to violence. It’s only been since the advent of these new SSRI drugs that we’ve had murderers, even
mass murders, taking these antidepressant drugs.” According to Breggin, “psychiatric drugs can cause or worsen
violence” in those who take them and cites a 2010 study of reports to the FDA on drug-induced violence which has
demonstrated that antidepressants have resulted in an 840 percent increase in the rate of violence among those
taking the drugs.113-114
SUICIDE AND PSYCHIATRIC
A review of studies on
Pubmed.org reveals many studies in medical journals in 1989 and continuing through the 1990s reporting on
suicides and other neurological events in individual patients taking Prozac. Teicher reported on three subjects
who developed "intense, violent, suicidal preoccupations" after two to seven weeks on the drug; these lasted
from three days to three months after stopping the drug. He concluded that “3.5 percent of Prozac users were at
A 1992 study proposed that
enhanced serotonin inhibited dopamine pathways, as a possible cause of suicide ideation related to
antidepressants. 116 Another 1991 study examined three patients who attempted suicide while taking
Prozac, and again re-exposed to it, developed severe restless leg syndrome, which made them again feel suicidal.
The restless legs went away after the Prozac was stopped. Other typical Prozacinduced symptoms were
restlessness, constant pacing, purposeless movements of the feet and legs and “jitteriness.” The authors suggest
that restless legs may be caused by serotonin inhibiting dopamine transmissions in the brain and that the
“restless legs” and "jitteriness" may be identical. The risk of suicidal behavior is increased in the first
month after starting antidepressants, especially during days one through nine.117
VACCINATIONS AND BRAIN
Some scientists and
physicians have related mental disabilities leading to violence to early encephalitis or brain inflammation. As
Harris Coulter explains in his book, Vaccination, Social Violence, and Criminality. The Medical Assault on
the American Brain, these brain inflammations are connected to developmental disabilities, allergies,
autoimmune diseases and violent behavior. Coulter believes that brain inflammation is brought on by adjuvants or
other antigenic substances in vaccines.
Vaccination programs in the
U.S. came into full force after World War II. Congress agreed that vaccinations were dangerous when they passed
the National Childhood Vaccination Compensation Law in 1986, which approved payments to parents of children
damaged by vaccines.118
According to the National
Institute of Medicine, “encephalitis is irritation and swelling (inflammation) of the brain, most often due to
infections. . . which may destroy nerve cells, cause bleeding in the brain, and brain damage,” and may caused by
“an allergic reaction to vaccinations.” 119
Do live vaccines cause
encephalitis? Five vaccines (measles, mumps, rubella, polio, and varicella) given to children contain live
viruses which can infect both the vaccination recipients, as well as those in close contact with them. The MMR
vaccine is a “three-in-one” vaccine with live virus. According to the CDC website, “risks from the MMR vaccine”
are “fever, rash, swollen glands, seizures, pain, low platelet count, serious allergic reaction and permanent
that except for the former communist countries in Europe, few European countries have mandatory vaccination
programs.121 American children, on the other hand, receive over thirty-five shots before grade
school, following the CDC vaccination schedule. That includes as many as twelve shots in the first six months of
Six vaccines (polio,
hepatitis B, hepatitis A, pertussis, diphtheria and tetanus) contain formaldehyde, which is a toxic and
carcinogenic preservative; five vaccines (hepatitis B, pertussis, diphtheria, tetanus, and haemophilus
influenza) contain thimerosal, a mercury derivative preservative banned by the Food and Drug Administration
(FDA) in over-the-counter (OTC) drug preparations because of questions over safety; and five vaccines (hepatitis
B, hepatitis A, pertussis, diphtheria, and tetanus) contain aluminum as an adjuvant. Aluminum accumulates in
brain, muscle and bone tissue and can be linked to fibrosarcomas (cancerous tumors) at the injection
THE TOXIC ENVIRONMENTAL
According to a study by the
Environmental Working Groups, blood samples from newborns show exposure to over two hundred eighty-seven toxins,
including mercury, fire retardants, pesticides and Teflon—exposure that occurs even before they are born. Of
these, one hundred eighty cause cancer in humans or animals; two hundred seventeen are toxic to the brain and
nervous system; and two hundred eight cause birth defects or abnormal development in animal
Common exposures have been
documented for mercury from vaccines, amalgam fillings, and fish; for lead from paint, soil and water fixtures;
for arsenic from treated wood, pesticides and shellfish; for aluminum from processed food, cookware and
deodorants; for cadmium from shellfish, paint, pesticides and piping; for antimony from Scotchgard; for
manganese from soy milk, welding and metal works; and for fluoride from water, tea, medications and soy. All of
these metals are documented to be extremely neurotoxic.
Heavy metal exposure
compromises normal brain development and neurotransmitter function, leading to long-term deficits in learning
and social behavior. Studies show that hyperactive children and criminal offenders have significantly elevated
levels of lead, manganese or cadmium compared to controls; high blood lead at age seven predicts juvenile
delinquency and adult crime.124
Prenatal and neonatal toxic
metal exposure to mercury, lead, arsenic, cadmium, nickel and aluminum have been documented in medical
publications and medical texts to cause common and widespread neurological and psychological effects including
depression, anxiety, obsessive compulsive disorders, social deficits, mood disorders, schizophrenia, anorexia,
cognitive impairments, ADHD, autism and seizures.125
High lead, copper,
manganese, or mercury levels are associated with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), impulsivity,
anger, aggression, inability to inhibit inappropriate responding, juvenile delinquency and
criminality.126 Occupational mercury exposure has been found to cause depression, anxiety, anger,
antisocial behavior and aggressiveness.127
Manganese toxicity has a
known association with impulsive and violent behavior. A poor diet increases the susceptibility to lead and
manganese toxicity. The most significant dietary source is soy infant formulas, which typically have very high
levels of manganese.128
Lead has been the subject of
extensive research documenting its relationship to all of these conditions and to juvenile delinquency. Based on
a national sample of children, there is a significant association of lead body burden with aggressive behavior,
crime, juvenile delinquency and behavioral problems. After adjustment for covariates and interactions and
removal of non-influential covariates, adjudicated delinquents were four times more likely to have bone lead
concentrations greater than 25 parts per million (ppm) than controls. Communities with a higher percentage of
children having blood lead over 10 mg/dL are significantly more likely to have higher rates of violent crime and
higher rates of educational failure.129
silicofluorides in the water supply also report higher rates of learning disabilities, ADHD, violent crime and
criminals using cocaine at the time of arrest. The use of fluorosilicic acid (H2SiF6) to
fluoridate public water supplies significantly increases the amounts of lead in the water. Data from analysis of
a national sample of over four thousand children show that water fluoridation is associated with a significant
increase in children's blood lead, with especially strong effects among minority
Studies have found that
heavy metals such as mercury, cadmium, lead, aluminum, nickel, and tin affect chemical synaptic transmission in
the brain and the peripheral and central nervous system.130,131 They also disrupt brain and cellular
calcium levels, significantly affecting many body functions. Inadequate calcium levels in the brain can
adversely affect cognitive development and contribute to degenerative CNS diseases. Calcium-dependent
neurotransmitter release results in depressed levels of serotonin, norepinephrine, and acetylcholine, all
conditions related to mood and motivation.131
Many factors in the
environment are new to the genome since World War II and have been implicated in violent behavior. These include
changes and additions to the food we eat leading to severe nutrient deficiencies, changes in American
agriculture and fertility of the soils, more chemicals in the environment, cheaper goods and services, heavy use
of personal care and building materials that contain lethal toxins, changes in the American family, vaccination
programs and others. Above all the most influential factor in the course of increasing violence has been changes
in the American food system and loss of nutrients for children and growing teens.
These changes, coupled with
an increase in medicalization of the mind with psychotic drugs, have provoked a crisis in mental health with
appalling consequence: mass killings by our youth. It appears that our government officials do not have the
political will to deal with or even recognize the factors that have led to this violence.
The Farm Bill and other
government actions contributed greatly to the crisis. It will take a grass-roots effort to return the balance in
our food system. Recently efforts have sprung up which are slowly turning the tide. These include farmers
markets, buying local, farm shares, home gardens, and a return to natural products such as raw milk, pastured
eggs and meat. Cooking and eating real food at home for our families cannot be emphasized enough in resolving
these major issues.
Meanwhile, none of us is
safe. Society as a whole must pay the price for the wholesale poison of our land, our air and our food
Heartfelt thanks for a
generous contribution that enabled us to do this research. A long time WAPF member, who prefers to remain
anonymous, was compelled to take action after the most recent school shootings. Her thoughts immediately went to
WAPF, as she believes we must look to our food and drugs as a source for that senseless
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et al. National Trends in the Office-Based Treatment of Children, Adolescents, and Adults With Antipsychotics.
Arch Gen Psychiatry. 2012;69(12):1247-1256. doi:10.1001/archgenpsychiatry.2012.647; and Reinberg S. More
Kids taking Antipsychotics for ADHD: Study.Health Day Reporter. August 7, 2012. US News.Health.
study. Accessed February, 2013.
112. The Citizens Commission
on Human Rights International. Another School Shooting, Another Psychiatric Drug? Federal Investigation Long
Overdue. July 20, 2012 http://www.cchrint.org/2012/07/20/the-aurora-colorado-tragedy-another-senseless-shooting-anotherpsychotropic-
drug/. Accessed Feb 22, 2013.
113. Breggin PR. Psychiatry
Has No Answer to Gun Massacres. Progressive Radio Network. December 21, 2012 http://prn.fm/2012/12/24/psychiatry-has-no-answer-to-gun-massacresby-peter-r-breggin-md/#axzz2GdF3tj4b;
and Breggin P. Psychiatry Has No Answer to Gun Massacres. Psychiatric Drug Facts with Peter Breggin. December
22, 2012. http://breggin.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=299
114. Moore TJ, Glenmullen J,
Furberg CD. Prescription Drugs Associated with Reports of Violence. PLOS ONE 5(12). 2010; e15337.
115. Teicher MH, Glod C,
Emergence of intense suicidal preoccupation during fluoxetine treatment. Am J Psychiatry. 1990;
116. Hamilton MS, Opler LA.
Akathisia, suicidality, and fluoxetine. 1992; J Clin Psychiatry. 53(11):401-6.
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CA. Reexposure to fluoxetine after serious suicide attempts by three patients: the role of akathisia. J Clin
Psychiatry. 1991 Dec;52(12):491-3.
118. Coulter, HL.
Vaccination, Social Violence, and Criminality. The Medical Assault on the American Brain, 1990, Berkeley:
North Atlantic Books, 1990.
119. National Institute of
Medicine. Encephalitis. ADAM Encyclopedia. PubMed Health, August 1, 2012. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMH0002388/
accessed February 2013.
120. CDC. Possible
side-effects from Vaccines. Vaccines and Immunizations. CDC Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Accessed Feb 2013. http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/vac-gen/side-effects.htm#mmr.
121. Haverkate M et al.
Mandatory and recommended vaccination in the EU, Iceland and Norway. Results of the Venice 2010 survey on the
ways of implementing national vaccine programs. Eurosurveillance. May 2012; 17(22).
122. Brown, JL. Too many
vaccines for young children? Examiner.com. February 8, 2009. http:// www.examiner.com/article/too-many-vaccines-for-young-children.
123. Mercola J. Children’s
Diseases Linked to Chemicals Are on the Rise. October 24, 2009. http://bit.ly/1Y3nup.
124. Masters R, Hone B, and
Doshi A. "Environmental Pollution, Neurotoxicity, and Criminal Violence," in J. Rose, ed., Environmental
Toxicology: Current Developments (London: Gordon and Breach, 1998, pp. 13-48.
125. Goyer RA. Toxic effects
of metals. In Caserett and Doull’s Toxicology- The Basic Science of Poisons, McGraw-Hill Inc., N.Y.,
1993; Guo G, Ma H, Wang X. Behavioral effects of aluminum ingestion. Pharmacol Biochem Behav 1979;.
Goodman G. The Pharmacological Basis of Therapeutics, New York: Mac Millan Publishing Company, 1985; Masters RD,
Coplan MJ, Hone BT, Dykes JE. Association of silicofluoride treated water with elevated blood lead.
Neurotoxicology. 2000 Dec;21(6):1091-100.
126. Nevin R, How lead
exposure relates to temporal changes in IQ, violent crime, and unwed pregnancy. Environ Res 2000, 83(1):1-22;
Mendelsohn AL, Dreyer BP, et al. Low-level lead exposure and behavior in early childhood. Pediatrics. 1998;
127. Soleo L et al. Effects
of low exposure to inorganic mercury on psychological performance. Br J Ind Med. 1990;
128. Daniel, 2005; Bowler,
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Archibold E, Bayorh M, Sung F, Neurobehavioral effects of low-level lead exposure in human neonates. Am J
Obstet Gynecol. 1999, 181: S2- 11; Bonithon-Kopp C, Huel G, Moreau T, Wendling R. Prenatal exposure to lead
and cadmium and psychomotor development of the child at 6 years. Neurobehav Toxicol Teratol 1986;
8(3):307-10; Pihl RO, Ervin F, Lead and cadmium levels in violent criminals, Psychol Rep 1990, 66(3Pt1): 839-44;
Needleman HL, McFarland C, Ness RB, Fienberg SE, Tobin MJ. Bone lead levels in adjudicated delinquents. A case
control study. Neurotoxicol Teratol 2002 Nov-Dec;24(6):711-7;vMasters RD, Coplan MJ, Hone BT, Dykes JE.
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130. Goyer RA. Toxic effects
of metals. In Caserett and Doull’s Toxicology- The Basic Science of Poisons, New York: McGraw-Hill Inc.
131. Windham B. The Toxic
Metal connection to ADD, Aggressiveness, Impulsivity, Violence, Delinquency, Criminality, and Mass
Murderers/Serial killers. http://www.flcv.com/violence.html. Accessed February 2013.
ASPARTAME IN SCHOOL
Aspartame is making huge inroads into the school lunch program. USDA and FDA plans will change school lunches from
bad to worse. School lunches have had a bad reputation for many years due to the quality of the “food” given to
growing children. Many school cafeterias have abandoned their kitchen and heat up premade pizzas, and open cans and
packages. Many have their foods shipped in already prepared from large producers who supply prisons, universities,
and other institutions. Schools that do prepare their foods can use up to 30 percent texturized soy protein in
The USDA has recently
announced their plans to improve the quality of nutrition in school lunches by promoting diet sodas. They say
they will outlaw sugary drinks. And of course whole milk is on the outlaw list as well. But skim milk,
chocolate-flavored milk, soy milk, water, and diet sodas containing aspartame are all “a healthier choice”
according to the USDA.1
In a move to sell more milk,
the dairy industry is petitioning the FDA to allow aspartame and other artificial sweeteners to be added to milk
and other dairy products without the labeling “artificially sweetened” because “they would promote healthy
eating and are good for school children.” “Kids don’t like the term low-calorie,” says Greg Miller of the
National Dairy Council. He also says that the industry is “not trying to be sneaky” and does not petition the
FDA to remove aspartame from the list of ingredients on the product.2-3 It is only fair, they say,
because sugar is added to milk without labeling.4
A petition from a consumer group, SumOfUs, gathered 93,142 signers to oppose this move. To sign this petition, go
to sumofus.org. To submit a formal comment or send data to the FDA, go to:
www.regulations.gov/#!submitComment;D=FDA-2009-P-0147-0012. May 31, 2013 is the deadline for FDA
Faced with the child obesity epidemic, the goal of nutrition experts is to cut calories from sugar, no matter what
the cost. Barry Popkin of the University of North Carolina says that: "If the option is flavored (milk) with diet
(sweetener) vs. regular sugar, then diet (sweetener) is favored."2 The goal of reducing the amount of
calories kids get from sugar has turned into a campaign for introducing even more toxins into the child’s diet.
Artificial sweeteners may have no calories, but they increase the appetite and are linked to obesity in scientific
Because many children and adults are allergic to aspartame, this move may further cut sales of processed milk. For
sure, it will cause behavioral problems in schools which already are overburdened with “special needs” kids.
Instead of providing a nurturing environment for learning based on sound nutritional principles, schools must
follow government regulations that are not in the best interest of children’s health. It is becoming more and more
difficult for children to make healthy choices because they are just not available in the form of nutrient-dense,
natural and whole foods.
1. Jalonick, MC. New rules aim to get rid of junk food in school. AP. 2/2/2013. http://yhoo.it/VDb1ok
2. Aubrey A. Can Milk Sweetened With Aspartame Still Be Called Milk? 03/06/2013. NPR. http://n.pr/15yqCdn
3. Tepper, R. Aspartame In Milk Petition Sparks Thousands Of Angry Comments To FDA, Counter-Signatures. The
Huffington Post, 3/07/2013.
4. Aspartame in Milk Without a Label? Big Dairy Petitions FDA For Approval. The Daily Sheeple. 2/23/2013.
LEAD AND THE
Until 1995, lead was not only used in insecticides, but also in gasoline.1 Lead was only outlawed in
paints in 1978. Lead dust released by smelters and mines can contaminate nearby soil. The metal can also be found
in everyday items like pottery glazes, lead shot, water piping and fishing weights; it can leach from improperly
glazed ceramic ware and even leaded crystal.
Lead adversely affects the brain and nervous system. Toxic levels cause neurological problems, especially in
children.2 Exposure to high levels of lead can lead to premature births, decreased mental capacity,
learning difficulties and reduced growth in young children. Unborn babies can also be exposed to lead through their
mothers.3 Lead poisoning during childhood can have long-term detrimental effects on
“Lead poisoning produces hyperactivity and aggression, and studies of low-dose exposure show an increased incidence
of those behaviors subsumed under the attention deficit syndrome. More than half of children who display symptoms
of ADD hyperactivity will go on to become delinquent and commit violent crime. The attributable risk for
hyperactivity in children with elevated lead levels is .55 which means that more than half of the risk of
developing hyperactivity or ADD-ADHD can be attributed to lead exposure.”4
1. Peryea FJ. Historical use of lead arsenate insecticides, resulting in soil contamination and implications for
soil remediation.1998. Proceedings,
16th World Congress of Soil Science, Montpellier, France. 1998. P. 20-26. Aug.http://soils.tfrec.wsu.edu/leadhistory.htm1998b.
2. Lidsky TI et al. Lead neurotoxicity in children: basic mechanisms and clinical correlates. Brain. 2002.
3. Schooley T et al. The History of Lead Arsenate Use in Apple Production: Comparison of its Impact in Virginia
with Other States. Journal of
Pesticide Safety Education, 2008. 10: 22-3.
4. Needleman HL et al. Bone lead levels in adjudicated delinquents. A case control study. Neurotoxicol
Teratol 2002 Nov-Dec;24(6):711-7;
Needleman, HL. The Persistent Threat of Lead: A Singular Opportunity. Am J Public Health. 1989;
ARSENIC AND THE
As early as 1930, studies published in the Archives of Pediatrics found high levels of arsenic in babies and
their mothers’ breast milk. High levels of arsenic were a factor in about 30 percent of diagnosed eczema cases. The
authors state that the chief source of the arsenic was the food industry. Any food product made from the hydrolysis
of starch with commercial sulphuric acids contains arsenic, especially the glucose used in the manufacture of cheap
candies. The potassium carbonate used in the preparation of cocoa is another source. Fruits and vegetables are
contaminated by insecticides such as lead arsenate. Arsenic has been found not only on the skin of certain fruits,
but even in the fruit itself.1
Arsenic was a common pesticide in the 1800s and 1900s. Lead arsenate was used first used in the 1890s extensively
in fruit orchards until the late 1950s when the pests became immune. Then the growers switched to DDT.2
Pesticide residues bind tightly in the surface soil layer, where they remain for decades. Contamination of
thousands of acres across the United States has occurred. Because arsenic and lead are quite stable and do not
break down in the environment, they accumulate with each use in orchard soils.
Common washing practices did not adequately remove arsenic residues. Residues became a tough problem and apples
were put into heated hydrochloric acids baths which removed about 80 percent of lead and 85 percent of arsenic.
Arsenic is extremely toxic: a minimal lethal dose for humans is 50 - 300 milligrams (mg)/kg of body
Although phased out as a pesticide, arsenic is still with us. Arsenical pesticides were used heavily with cotton
crops in the South. Recently Consumer Reports3 reported on the high levels of arsenic in rice
grown in the southern United States. “The rice grown in Arkansas, Louisiana, Missouri, and Texas, about 76 percent
of domestic rice, generally had higher levels of total arsenic and inorganic arsenic in our tests than rice samples
from elsewhere.” But rice grown in California at Lundberg Family farms is also contaminated, and they are growing
organic rice. The New York Time’s story about Lundberg did not mention the cause of the
contamination.4 Rice flour is used almost exclusively in gluten free foods. Rice cereal is one of the
first foods given to an infant. Rice noodles are used in Asian cuisine. Rice syrup is used as a sweetener. Any
product made of rice grown in the Southern States and California has the potential for arsenic contamination.
Consumers are turning to rice from Italy and Asia. High levels of arsenic have been reported in drinking water in
areas around Tuscany.5
Consumer Reports also found that about 10 percent of apple and grape juice, also a popular drink for babies
and children, that they tested, from five brands, had inorganic arsenic, a carcinogen. They concluded that apple
and grape juice “constitute a significant source of dietary exposure to arsenic.”6
1. Van Dyck, LS, Throne B, and Myers, CN. Arsenic findings in eczema and allied conditions in infants and young
children. Arch Pediat. 1930; 47:
2. Schooley T et al. The History of Lead Arsenate Use in Apple Production: Comparison of its Impact in Virginia
with Other States. Journal of
Pesticide Safety Education, 2008. 10: 22-3.
3. Consumer Reports.org. Arsenic in your food. Our findings show a real need for federal standards for this toxin.
November 2012. http://bit.ly/S7suEy
4. Zimmerman, E. A Family Farm’s Crisis: Its Rice Contains Arsenic. New York Times. November 1, 2012.
5. Minichilli F. State of health of populations residing in geothermal areas of Tuscany (article in Italian).
Epidemiol Prev. 2012; Sep-Oct;36(5 Suppl
6. Consumer reports.org. Arsenic in your juice. How much is too much? Federal limits don’t exist. January 2012.
This article appeared in
Wise Traditions in Food, Farming and the Healing Arts, the quarterly journal of the Weston A. Price
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