Contents in this issue: “An Ounce of Prevention,” by Cecelia Rosenfeld, MD, “A Reprint: Comment on Trichinosis.” The following is a transcription of the March 1965 issue of Dr. Royal […]
Contents in this issue: “Which Is First—The Disease or the Microorganism?” “The Occurrence of Subcutaneous Sarcomas in the Rat After Repeated Injections of Glucose Solution,” by Tome Nonaka, “Health Appropriation?” […]
Contents in this issue: “Highlights of Heart Progress—1961,” “Excerpts from Symposium on Chemical Carcinogenesis,” by H.F. Kraybill, PhD, “Dental Caries and the Pediatrician,” editorial by W.C. Black, MD. The following […]
Contents in this issue: “Occupational Cancers with Special Reference to Occupational Cancer Hazards to Laboratory Personnel,” by W.C. Hueper, MD. The following is a transcription of the May/June 1963 issue […]
By Dr. Royal Lee
Summary: In this 1949 address to the Seattle chapter of the American Academy of Applied Nutrition, Dr. Royal Lee touches on some of the major findings of early nutrition history that are still, incredibly, ignored to this day. Topics include the importance of calcium, phosphorus, and raw protein to tooth health; the total destruction of nutrients in bread caused by bleaching; the connection between vitamin E deficiency and heart disease; the dependency of connective-tissue integrity on adequate vitamin C levels; and the various lesions of B vitamin deficiencies. Dr. Lee explains that most of the health problems caused by nutrient deficiency are the result of the consumption of overcooked and processed foods and concludes with perhaps the most important edict for good health: “We must take the trouble in our homes to prepare our foods from the basic materials as far as possible, even to the extent of growing our vegetables and fruits on properly composted soil if we can. The dividends will be quite possibly twenty years added to our life span, to say nothing of the life added to our years.” 1949. Reprinted by Selene River Press in Lectures of Dr. Royal Lee, Volume I.
By Harvey W. Wiley, MD, and Dr. Royal Lee
Summary: An illuminating peek at the early, fateful politics of food adulteration in the United States. From 1906 to 1912, Dr. Harvey Wiley was the head of the Bureau of Chemistry within the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). The Bureau, which would later become the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, was assigned the task of enforcing the country’s first federal food purity law, the Pure Food and Drug Act of 1906. However, as Dr. Wiley explains in the following excerpt from his 1930 autobiography, his agency’s authority was quickly and illegally usurped by higher-ranking officials within the USDA under the influence of industrial food manufacturers. In one famous case, the solicitor of the USDA forbade Dr. Wiley and other workers of the Bureau from testifying in a federal case in which their testimony would have supported a ban of the food additive sodium benzoate, a compound Dr. Wiley and his colleagues had determined to be injurious to health. Sadly, this poisonous compound remains one of the most common food preservatives used by industrial food manufacturers. Includes an introduction by Dr. Royal Lee. From Harvey W. Wiley—An Autobiography, 1930. Lee Foundation for Nutritional Research special reprint No. 1-60.
By R.W. Dunlap, Assistant Secretary of the USDA
Summary: If you’re looking for a smoking gun regarding the chemical adulteration of food in America, this is it. In this 1925 letter to President Calvin Coolidge, the acting secretary of the U.S. Department of Agrculture (USDA) admits that the department cannot legally prevent the addition of chemical additives of unknown safety to America’s food supply. The reason, he says, is that certain federal courts pronounced such chemicals acceptable if no evidence of harm is shown in people who consume foods containing small amounts of them. Not only did the courts’ decisions put the onus of proving long-term ill effects of suspected poisons squarely on the government, but with such evidence nearly impossible to show conclusively and requiring years of study (the technology for which not even existing at the time), the basic policy of food adulteration in America was set: to err on the side of commerce, not public health. As the secretary points out, the opposing, “better safe than sorry” policy of Dr. Harvey Wiley—the former head of the USDA’s Bureau of Chemistry (forerunner of the FDA) who publicly criticized the federal rulings as violating the 1906 Pure Food and Drug Act passed by Congress—would simply not stand up in court, where the decision to allow deleterious additives into the food supply had been finagled into law.
By Harvey W. Wiley, MD
Summary: Dr. Harvey Wiley was the “father” of the famous Pure Food and Drug Act of 1906—the first law passed by the U.S. government to ensure the safety of the nation’s food supply—and he was also the first head of the U.S. Bureau of Chemistry, the federal agency charged with enforcing the law (an agency that would later become the U.S. Food and Drug Administration). In this book, which Dr. Wiley courageously published himself in 1929 and was later republished by the Lee Foundation for Nutritional Research, Dr. Wiley sets the historical record straight as to how the industrial food industry corrupted the nation’s laws and politicians in order to sell cheap, refined, adulterated, devitalized “foods.” The industry’s usurpation of federal laws and regulations regarding whole foods is an example of American politics at its worst. Originally published by H.W. Wiley, 1929; republished by the Lee Foundation for Nutritional Research, 1955.
By Congressman David S. King
Summary: In this powerful 1959 speech before the U.S. House of Representatives, Utah Congressman David King warns our government that “the progressive deterioration of the condition of our health has been confirmed,” blaming the negative trend on the country’s chemically-laden and overly processed food supply. “There are many approaches to the prevention and treatment of…complex diseases,” King says, “but there appears to be one common denominator as the basic cause of degenerative diseases. That one factor is malnutrition.” Representative King calls for the creation of a congressional commission to officially investigate the adulteration of America’s foods as well as the fluoridation of public water supplies. Unfortunately—and predictably—the congressman’s calls went ignored. From the Congressional Record of the 86th U.S. Congress, 1959. Lee Foundation for Nutritional Research reprint 111.
By George McGrath
Summary: In the 1950s, with mainstream media parroting the government’s pronouncements that Americans were the best fed people on Earth, it was left to fringe publications like the National Police Gazette to report on one of the biggest scandals of the twentieth century: the chemical poisoning of America’s foods. Though the Gazette was largely viewed as a tabloid, on occasion—between stories of murder and outlaws—the paper gave space to serious journalism. The following two articles, published in 1958, report the experiences of Dr. W.C. Hueper, a chief at the U.S. National Cancer Institute, who was silenced when he tried to warn the public of the myriad cancer-causing agents flooding the country’s food supply. According to Dr. Hueper, the long list of cancerous agents being used by American food manufacturers included artificial colors, dyes, surfactants, antifoaming agents, humectants, emulsifiers, preservatives, paraffins, and petrolatum-like substances. Dr. Hueper was particularly alarmed over the unregulated use of carcinogenic estrogen hormones by farmers to fatten their animals. “It is rather remarkable,” he said, “that biologically potent chemicals that are obtainable for medicinal reasons only by a licensed physician can be used freely in large quantities by individuals without any proper training of the potential health hazards.” For many Americans reports like this were the first news that dangerous chemicals were being added to their food, yet, as the articles’ author comments, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) not only had decades of scientific warning about such substances, it actively thwarted investigators—like Dr. Hueper—who attempted to inform the public of the situation. From the National Police Gazette, 1958. Lee Foundation for Nutritional Research reprint 18C..
By Dr. Royal Lee
Summary: Dr. Royal Lee, writing on behalf of the Lee Foundation for Nutritional Research, urges the directors of the American Academy of Nutrition to adopt an official code of principles. Among the principles he suggests are addressing head on controversial subjects such as the pasteurization of milk and fluoridation of water as well as actively countering the trend toward “counterfeit foods” such as corn syrup (glucose), hydrogenated foods, and artificial colors. This is Dr. Lee’s public policy in a nutshell. The Lee Foundation for Nutritional Research, 1957.
By Jack Denton Scott
Summary: In this 1956 article from the popular magazine American Mercury, author Jack Scott warns the public of the toxic stew that accompanies each bite of the modern diet. DDT and DES lead the list of hundreds of chemicals contaminating America’s food supply, either coming from the farm or added by food processors. With regulation of these chemicals admittedly lax (see “The Peril on Your Food Shelf” by congressman James Delaney, chairman of the House Committee to Investigate the Use of Chemicals in Food Products during the 1950s), the American public had become one giant guinea pig colony for the alliance between the chemical and food industries. Articles like these led to the popular revolt in the 1960s and ’70s against commercially grown foods and the phony health experts paid by the food industry to assure America that it was the best-fed nation in the world with the safest food supply. From American Mercury, 1956. Lee Foundation for Nutritional Research reprint 89.
By Dr. Royal Lee
Summary: In this 1957 article, Dr. Royal Lee reflects on the fiftieth anniversary of the founding of the Food and Drug Administration—originally called the U.S. Bureau of Chemistry—by detailing the corruption that transformed the agency from watchdog of America’s food supply to lapdog of the country’s food manufacturing, medical, and pharmaceutical industries. Dr. Lee recalls the noble vision of the FDA’s founder, Dr. Harvey Wiley, who fought for years to establish federal oversight of food safety and purity in America, only to see the agency he helped create become corrupted, quickly and secretly, by a confluence of commercial and political interests. Dr. Lee writes: “In the midst of public praise for Wiley’s pioneering and public thanksgiving over the (supposed) fact that foods, drugs, and cosmetics are pure and truly labeled, we are likely to overlook the way in which Wiley’s work has been perverted. We may remain ignorant of the way in which the FDA protects the food, drug, and cosmetic industries and the medical monopoly at the expense of the public it is supposed to serve. We may forget that Wiley himself was ousted for trying to stand up against these powerful interests.” This is a rich historical document alerting the American people to a matter on which they had been—and continue to be—intentionally and systematically deceived. From Liberation magazine, 1957. Lee Foundation for Nutritional Research reprint 94.
By U.S. Congressman James J. Delaney
Summary: In 1906 the U.S. Congress passed the Pure Food and Drug Act. Though the bill was expressly intended to keep harmful chemicals out of American mouths, it quickly became a loophole through which the drug and food manufacturing industries could introduce untested substances into homes across the country. In 1937 this laxity culminated in the Massengill Elixir Tragedy, in which 105 people died from drinking a “health tonic” containing diethylene glycol, a lethal industrial solvent commonly used in brake fluid today—this despite Massengill’s internal lab having “tested” the tonic for safety. The disaster forced Congress to revisit chemical additive regulations in 1938 in the form of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act, which tightened rules for drug testing but still left a wide berth for food additives, the number of which exploded in the 1940s. Finally, in 1950, amid growing public concern, Congress created the House Select Committee to Investigate the Use of Chemicals in Food Products. The chair of that committee was New York congressman James Delaney, who wrote the following disturbing article after heading a year of investigation into the matter. Basically, he tells readers, when it came to testing the long term effects of the thousands of chemicals being added to the nation’s food, there was “no law to compel” manufacturers to make such investigations. Moreover, he says, many chemicals known to be dangerous were ending up on the market nonetheless through continued loose regulation. Referring to the Massengill tragedy, he warns, “There is no legal way at this moment to prevent something like this happening again [but] in food!” To this day food additives in America are tested for safety not by the U.S. government but by the companies that manufacture them. And as the Messengill incident reminds us, safety is found all too easily by those who profit from its discovery. From American Magazine, 1951. Lee Foundation for Nutritional Research reprint 67.
Summary: In 1907 Dr. Harvey Wiley was the most famous food activist in the United States, having helped prod Congress to pass the first federal food purity law in American history, the Pure Food and Drug Act of 1906. Dr. Wiley also happened to be the head of the U.S. Bureau of Chemistry, the forerunner of today’s Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and was charged with enforcing the landmark consumer-protection legislation. In this article from the The Pittsburgh Gazette Times, published six months after the law took effect, Dr. Wiley discusses “two ideas kept always in view in all the sections of the act,” that is, the misbranding of foods and the addition of potentially dangerous additives and preservatives to food products. Little did Dr. Wiley know when he wrote this article that his insistence on enforcing these provisions would lead to his dismissal only a few years later, as industrial food manufacturers and their allies within the government succeeded in not only ousting Dr. Wiley from his post but turning the very law intended to protect the country’s foods into a rubber stamp for introducing insufficiently tested chemicals into America’s diet—a mind-boggling political end run that persists to this day. For more on Dr. Wiley and the corruption of the Pure Food and Drug Act, see “Enforcement of the Food Law” and The History of a Crime Against the Food Law in these archives. From The Pittsburgh Gazette Times, 1907.
Summary: A 1948 newspaper report of Dr. Royal Lee’s presentation to the American Academy of Nutrition in San Francisco. Dr. Lee warns of the health dangers associated with artificial colors added to foods, citing research proving “butter yellow,” a coloring added to margarine, to be carcinogenic. Lee also condemns the pasteurization of milk, citing studies of the damage it caused in animal feeding studies. From NewspaperARCHIVE, 1948.
“There is only one test for safety and wholesomeness in food,” Dr. Royal Lee proclaims in this succinct overview of his nutritional philosophy. “That is the test of time. The test of a long history of use, over many generations of life.” Dr. Lee expounds on the ill effects of processed foods, which were pushed hastily onto the market by industrial food processors seeking immediate profit. He cites evidence that bleached flour produces headaches, diarrhea and depression; corn syrup causes diabetes; and hydrogenated fats help cause heart disease. Dr. Lee also documents the negative effects of synthetic isolated vitamins, the “jackpot in synthetic foods.” Includes also a report on chicanery regarding food additives at the Food and Drug Administration from one of the most outspoken watchdog publications of its day, Morris Bealle’s American Capsule News. 1957.
By Dr. Royal Lee
Summary: In this reprint from the magazine Nature’s Path, Dr. Royal Lee rips food processors for adding poisonous additives and preservatives to their products and selling them as harmless to an unsuspecting public. Nitrates in meat, bleach in flour, and aluminum exposure are highlighted. “Are we…witnessing the crumbling of our civilization by reason of the compromise with principle that is being made by the guilty parties who have so thoroughly sold the public health down the river?” Lee asks. “‘Just a little poison in the flour’….’Nitrates in meat never hurt anybody’….’Aluminum toxic? Are you crazy?'” Just a few examples, Lee says, of how large-scale poisoning of the population has been glossed over in America. From Nature’s Path magazine. Reprint 30F, 1951.
By Dr. Royal Lee
Summary: In this revealing booklet, Dr. Royal Lee describes how institutional policies in the USA were designed to protect the processing and refining—and thus the devitalization—of our food supply. He shows how the producers of processed dairy, grain, fruit, and meat induced the Food and Drug Administration as well as the American Medical Association (AMA) to overlook and even endorse their deadly products. In one astonishing case, Dr. Lee presents an ad paid for by the American Institute of Baking and published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (under the direction of the journal’s editor, Morris Fishbein) in which the AMA’s Council on Foods assures readers that “White Bread Is Wholesome”—this at a time when many of those readers, doctor members of the AMA, were privately reporting harmful effects of white bread in their patients. “Few people in the United States are aware,” Dr. Lee writes, “of the ‘iron curtain’ maintained in this country to prevent the food consumer from knowing that he is being sold fraudulent foods, foods that have had the better part of their nutritional value removed or destroyed to facilitate the commercial handling of the foods and to enable big food enterprises to unfairly overpower, by price competition, the smaller ones.” For anyone wondering why modern human beings suffer so much chronic disease and ill health in general, this work leaves little doubt where the blame lies. Published by the Lee Foundation for Nutritional Research, 1949. Multiple original sources.