Summary: A biographical sketch of the famous first chief of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (known at the time as the U.S. Bureau of Chemistry). Dr. Wiley, a product of the populist age, was a champion of consumer safety when it came to the American food supply and was often referred to as the “Father of the Pure Food Law” of 1906. Read about Dr. Wiley’s ascension to power and his much-publicized fall as he fought in vain to keep synthetic preservatives and additives out of the national diet. If Dr. Wiley had had his way, all of America’s food would now be organic. (See also Dr. Wiley’s monumental book History of a Crime Against the Food Law in these archives.) Original source and date of publication unknown.
Summary: In this thought-provoking article from 1950, Dr. Royal Lee quotes physician L. Duncan Bulkley to challenge modern medicine’s belief that cancer is a localized disease—the cells of a specific tissue or organ going haywire for no apparent reason—and not, as was widely believed historically, the result of a systemic disorder within the body, such as that caused by a nutritional deficiency. “The present status of the ‘cancer problem,'” Dr. Bulkley opines, “is to decide between two quite opposite positions: First, a hypothetical and problematical view of a local, independent, unexplainable, autonomous decision of certain cells to take on and continue a destructive course—for which immense research has failed entirely to find any reason. Second, the simple and rational belief that a perverted nutrition—perhaps of long standing—influences certain cells to depart from their normal mode of action and take on an abnormal activity, pursuing a malignant and destructive course that is naturally kept up by the continued metabolic disturbance.” Unsurprisingly, Dr. Lee adds, most of the successful alternative treatments of cancer reported at the time involved a radical shift in diet, from one of deficient, processed, chemical-laden products to a regimen of whole, natural, highly-nutrient-dense foods. Dr. Lee even outlines what such a diet might look like, placing particular emphasis on the consumption of raw foods. Lee Foundation for Nutritional Research publication 12-50, 1950.
Summary: “Yes, there is a battle going on,” Dr. Royal Lee writes in this 1950 article from the magazine The Interpreter. But the war Dr. Lee was referring to did not involve guns or missiles. It was a contest hidden from public view, waged between the nation’s food manufacturers and its first nutritionists—a war regarding the truth about processed foods. While modern beliefs about diet and health stem largely from the disproven idea that fat and cholesterol cause heart disease, the picture looked quite different to America’s nutrition pioneers. These practitioners and researchers, living at a time when industrially processed foods morphed from novelty to staple of the country’s food supply, witnessed firsthand a phenomenon repeated across the globe throughout the twentieth century: wherever processed foods were introduced, the “modern” diseases—heart attacks, cancer, stroke, diabetes, obesity, arthritis, liver disease, ulcers, tooth decay, and so on—soon followed, where they had been virtually nonexistent before. This phenomenon was so obvious and so predictable that only a massive conspiracy between industrial food manufacturers and the federal government, as Dr. Lee bravely outlines in this explosive essay, could hoodwink the American people into believing that processed and refined foods are capable of nourishing the human body. From The Interpreter, 1950. Lee Foundation for Nutritional Research reprint 30-E.
Summary: In this report from the late 1940s, Dr. Lee reviews some successful alternative treatments of cancer and emphasizes the importance of avoiding processed foods in both preventing and reversing the disease. In particular, he cites the works of Drs. Max Gerson of New York and D.T. Quigley of Omaha who famously reported that no case of cancer he had ever treated improved unless “the diet was so arranged that sugar disappeared from the urine.” In addition to refined sugar, Dr. Lee also names bleached flour and nitrite-preserved meats as likely cancer culprits. Published by the Lee Foundation for Nutritional Research, circa 1949.
Summary: In this thunderous letter to President John F. Kennedy, Dr. Royal Lee calls the president’s attention to a grand jury investigation of corruption within the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The real problem, Dr. Lee explains, is that both the FDA and the U.S. Department of Justice had been infiltrated by the American Medical Association (AMA), an institution that was brutally—and illegally—wielding its influence to wipe out competitors and establish the medical approach as the only “legitimate” healing art in the United States. Dr. Lee reminds the president that the AMA was convicted for such monopolistic behavior twenty years earlier, when it was found guilty of violating the federal antitrust laws, and that it would continue to conduct such behavior if it were not legally thwarted. An amazing piece of history that speaks to what might have been. 1962.
Summary: It is obvious why companies would opt for selling synthetic vitamins (made in a laboratory) over natural ones (found only in food): the former have a considerably higher profit margin. But just how synthetic vitamins became equated with natural ones is downright perplexing, given that there are such obvious and important differences between the two. In this profound report, Dr. Royal Lee presents some long-ignored distinctions between vitamins as made by nature and vitamins as made by human beings. For one, he points out, a natural vitamin is never a single compound, but rather it is a conglomerate of substances—or a “complex”—that work together to deliver a nutritive effect to the body. A synthetic vitamin, on the other hand, is merely one compound in such a conglomerate that has been deemed, somewhat arbitrarily, the “active” ingredient of the complex. Moreover, such an active ingredient, when produced in the lab, is never an exact replica of its natural counterpart but instead is often a mirror opposite of it, with very different and possibly toxic biochemical functioning. That these facts continue to be ignored—that synthetic vitamins are not recognized as crude and incomplete imitations of natural ones—is truly one of the great scandals of modern nutrition. Published by the Lee Foundation for Nutritional Research, 1948.
Summary: This article of “the suppressed facts” regarding flour bleaching details just why commercial bread in America is “worthless and unsafe.” In spite of its tabloid-like style, this 1956 magazine article boasts some solid reporting, recounting the early resistance to flour bleaching by America’s millers as well as by Dr. Harvey Wiley, the first head of the Food and Drug Administration. In the end Dr. Wiley was shown the door, and the FDA became abettors of the food processors’ actions—hampered, as one “honest but resigned” FDA official says in the article—by the onus on the administration to prove a substance is harmful before it can legally bar it from manufacturing. “We’ve practically got to produce a corpse before we can claim they’re poisoning your food,” the FDA agent adds. The author also discusses the history of nitrogen trichloride, which was used to bleach bread in America for 40 years until it was finally shown in studies to cause fits in animals. While the use of the old bleach was discontinued, the process of bleaching was not, and the author excoriates the FDA for allowing the use of a new bleach, chlorine dioxide, that it admits is toxic but “probably safe as normally used” (which, of course, is what it had said about nitrogen trichloride.) A great article debunking the myth of America as the “best-fed nation on Earth.” From the National PoliceGazette,1954. Lee Foundation for Nutritional Research reprint 75.
Summary: Publishing this piece was a tremendous act of courage by Dr. Royal Lee. In it, he exposes the methods used by government agencies to suppress the natural-nutrition movement and subordinate nutritional science to medical consensus in spite of the fact that medical authorities have never trained in nor respected the field of nutrition. In fact, these authorities have historically acted as apologists for food adulterators and persecutors of whole-food advocates. Lee also debunks FDA attack statements on “food faddists” and organic-farming advocates. Published by the Lee Foundation for Nutritional Research, 1957.
Summary: This report exposing the corruption and lack of integrity in the cancer-research industry was published under a nom-de-plume (pen name) to protect the author’s status as a medical researcher within the cancer-research establishment. (See the editor’s note preceding the article regarding this.) It describes how natural therapies were never given a chance to demonstrate efficacy, while expensive and toxic chemotherapeutic agents glided right through the research community. Notably, the story of Dr. Andrew Ivy of the University of Illinois and his Krebiozen treatment is told in this historically important document. Lee Foundation for Nutritional Research special reprint 5-62, 1962. Original source unknown.
Summary: Morris Bealle’s newsletter American Capsule News reports on the conviction, fine, and jailing of the great American naturalist Victor Earl Irons for the crime of informing the American people of what was happening to their food supply. “It is obvious that Mr. Irons has committed two ‘unpardonable sins’,” writes Bealle. “The first is distributing vitamins that keep people well and away from drug stores. The second is exposing some of the crimes of the Food and Drug Administration who, as Dr. [Harvey] Wiley said, are lynching, raping and murdering the laws passed by Congress to protect the public from poisoned and adulterated foods.” Irons, like his friend Dr. Royal Lee, warned the public of the depletion of America’s soil, the refining and processing of the basic food supply, and the cause-and effect-relationship of these practices to health. In the case, the FDA marched out five “health authorities” from Harvard, including the infamous Dr. Frederick Stare, to testify to the “fraudulent” nature of Irons’s statements. Irons was convicted on federal charges and served a year in jail. As this report reveals, those pioneers at the vanguard of nutritional knowledge paid dearly for the right to speak out about what was happening to America’s food supply, health, and freedom. From American Capsule News, 1956. Reprinted by the Lee Foundation for Nutritional Research.
Summary: Reflections on the Third International Soy Symposium by two of the most outspoken critics of processed soy products. “Far from being the perfect food,” Fallon and Enig write, “modern soy products contain antinutrients and toxins, and they interfere with the absorption of vitamins and minerals.” The authors also cite the infamous letter of Drs. Dan Sheehan and Daniel Doerge, two members of the FDA’s toxicology department who tried in vain to stop their agency from awarding soy an official health claim. From Nexus Magazine, 2000.
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..
Summary: In this shocking letter, two FDA toxicology experts officially protest their agency’s decision to grant soy a health claim in 1999. “We oppose this health claim,” the researchers write, “because there is abundant evidence that some of the isoflavones found in soy…demonstrate toxicity in estrogen-sensitive tissues and in the thyroid.” Effects of such toxicity in animal testing, they add, include breast cancer, thyroiditis, abnormal brain and reproductive development (especially in infants fed soy), goiter, bodily deformities and vascular dementia—just to name a few. Granted, the researchers say, these effects are based on animal testing, but short of testing potential poisons directly on humans, animal tests “are the front line in evaluating toxicity, since they predict, with good accuracy, adverse effects in humans.” Something to think about that next time you opt for that soy-milk latte. From abcnews.com, 1999.
Summary: “One of the intellectual giants who contributed to our contemporary high standard of living and knowledge of human nutrition was Dr. Royal Lee,” writes Dr. David Morris in this excellent biography of the twenty century’s foremost natural nutritionist. “Even though his name is known to only a small number of Americans,” Morris adds, “Dr. Lee was a researcher, inventor, scientist, scholar, statesman, businessman and philanthropist of the first order.” Indeed. From the Weston A. Price Foundation, 2000.
Summary: A landmark letter of protest to the U.S. Congress against the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s blatant persecution of natural health practices in the United States. First, attorney Karl Lutz outlines some basic tenets of whole food nutrition—principles championed, ironically, by the first head of the FDA, Dr. Harvey Wiley, back in the early 1900s—such as the need to grow foods in mineral-rich soil, to process such foods as minimally as possible, and to keep them free of potentially harmful foreign substances. By 1963, when this letter was written, these principles had been thoroughly abandoned by the FDA, Lutz declares. In fact, he says, the agency had become the very opposite of what Dr. Wiley had envisioned for it. Instead of protecting natural foods and natural food therapies, the FDA had colluded with industrial food processors and institutional medicine to work against whole food nutrition by actively persecuting, prosecuting, and intimidating professionals promoting natural nutritional approaches to health. Lutz singles out the 1939 case of the FDA against Dr. Royal Lee as particularly egregious. “I have examined the records of that suit, and in my opinion as a lawyer with some knowledge of biochemistry, it was one of the greatest miscarriages of justice I have ever seen.” This document is a forerunner, by over a decade, of massive petitioning of Congress for relief from the pharma-medical cartel monopoly, whose agenda in healthcare was—and still is—preferentially enforced by the agencies of the U.S. government. National Health Federation, 1963. Lee Foundation for Nutritional Research reprint 8-63.
Summary: If there are “health food stores” today, what motivated their creation? In this article from the 1956 issue of the National Health Federation Bulletin, Dr. Royal Lee recounts some of the events and decisions that paved the way for the appalling condition of the American diet, showing how the processed-food industry and self-proclaimed public and private health authorities sold the health of the American public down the river and branded all opposition to refined foods as faddists, quacks, and racketeers. No one recites this tale better and with more provable facts than Royal Lee. He was there. Reprint 301, 1956.
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.
Summary: “We shall here confine our discussion to the loss of liberty in connection with the choice of our doctor, and his loss of liberty in the choice of a method of treatment of our ills.” Dr. Royal Lee defends alternatives to medicine and reveals the sinister methods used by organized medicine to entreat the government to squash any competing approaches to health. Dr. Lee wrote this courageous piece after more than 30 years of fighting the corrupt system of the medical/pharmaceutical monopoly, condoned and enforced by governmental agencies. With medicine still enjoying a near monopoly in the minds of the public as the only “legitimate” healing art, this article shows for the historical record how the medical industry unscrupulously secured its place in our society and then entrenched its own definition and self-serving standards of what is science and what is quackery. 1962.
Summary: In March 1957 Modern Nutrition printed the following excerpts from a stunning series of open letters by John Pearmain of the Boston Nutrition Society to Dr. Nathan Pusey, President of Harvard University, regarding “the matter of standards of research under Dr. Frederick Stare,” head of the university’s department of nutrition. Dr. Stare (1911–2002), probably more than any other public figure in U.S. history, was responsible for convincing Americans that sugar and other refined foods are harmless and that whole foods are no more valuable nutritionally than processed ones. “Actually,” he once wrote, “we get as much food value from refined foods that have been enriched as from natural foods, and sometimes more.” Dr. Stare also advised Americans to “eat your [food] additives—they’re good for you” and recommended Coca-Cola as “a healthy between-meals snack.” In the following excerpts, Mr. Pearmain questions the reasons for Dr. Stare’s pronouncements, suggesting it was not the weight of scientific evidence that underlay them but rather the financial might of his department’s funders, which comprised some of the country’s largest food processing companies (including, yes, Coca-Cola) as well as major chemical and drug interests. While these links were carefully kept from the public during Dr. Stare’s lifetime, recently they have begun to come to light, most notably in the 2016 exposé “Sugar Industry and Coronary Heart Disease” in the Journal of the American Medical Association Internal Medicine. The investigation pieces a paper trail from the Sugar Research Foundation—an industrial benefactor of Harvard’s nutrition department whose advisory board Dr. Stare served on—to research published by Harvard investigators intentionally obscuring evidence against sugar in the causation of heart disease. While the news of influence peddling at America’s most prestigious university came as a shock to many readers, Harvard’s “sugar scandal” is merely the tip of an iceberg of dubious activity by Dr. Stare and his department, as the following letters show. Included after the excerpts is some fascinating commentary by Dr. Royal Lee, a leading proponent of natural food nutrition during the 1950s and strong critic of Dr. Stare. From Modern Nutrition, 1957. Reprinted by the Lee Foundation for Nutritional Research.
By Dr. Royal Lee, Herbert C. White, and Arnold P. Yerkes
Summary: The Lee Foundation for Nutritional Research reprinted these three articles by leading natural-health authorities of the time to counter the “America is the best fed nation on earth” propaganda coming from government agencies and the commercial food industries. From soil destruction and depletion to food processing and synthetic vitamins, the three authors cogently expose the frauds, lies, and myths perpetrated by the “death-food industry,” so described by Royal Lee. Lee Foundation for Nutritional Research special bulletin 1-52, 1952. Multiple original sources.