An article on TruthOut.org describes the chemical contaminants we live with (100 times more chemical exposures than 50 years ago) and points to two results: the autism epidemic and the imminent extinction of the honeybee. Are they linked?
The article is written by Dr. Brian Moench, president of Utah Physicians for a Healthy Environment and a member of the Union of Concerned Scientists.
First of all, we all know about the autism epidemic, now 1 in 88 (but far higher in Utah, where Dr. Moench lives). This is alarming enough. What about the humble honeybee? Actually, our food supply depends on the humble honeybee for pollination. Studies are showing that new insecticides are likely to blame for the fact that colonies are collapsing right and left (see Dr. Moench’s footnotes for details).
Dr. Moench uses the same logic arguments I have been using to point out that the autism epidemic cannot possibly have solely genetic causes, simply because genetics don’t change that quickly. And in fact, studies show our exposures to toxins, particularly in utero, have increased 100 fold in the past 50 years. Those with an underlying genetic susceptibility are apparently the ones whose kids become autistic.
And what is the genetic susceptibility? Dr. Moench identifies it in the detoxification pathway for the body. Studies show “mothers of autistic children and autistic children themselves have a high rate of a genetic deficiency in the production of glutathione, an antioxidant and the body’s primary means of detoxifying heavy metals. High levels of toxic metals in children are strongly correlated with the severity of autism.” Perhaps the reason for the highest autism rate in the nation in Utah is the high mercury content of Great Salt Lake, he suggests.
Where does all this lead us? Advisors like Dr. Mercola suggest we avoid this food and that exposure, don’t have vinyl flooring, don’t use beverage or or food cans containing BPA, space out the vaccinations (many of which contain toxic aluminum), and so on and so forth. Put the autistic kids on a gluten-free, casein-free diet and give them precisely tailored supplements that help their bodies detoxify.
But what about the people who aren’t educated and informed? I am very concerned about the average American. I think we need to address the regulatory bodies that are allowing companies to pollute our world with chemicals, many of these bodies filled with conflicts of interest, and also operating on outdated scientific principles of toxicology rather than microbiology. Specifically, Congress is in charge of the FDA and the EPA. We need to ask Congress to reformulate these bodies so that they protect the average citizen, not the average company.
I am particularly interested in proper investigation of the vaccine hypothesis, and I created a petition at Change.org: “Vaccines and Autism: Investivate!” Please sign it, and tell your friends. Did you know that Trayvon Martin’s case came to prominence through a Change.org petition?