The Despotic Misuse of Our Federal Pure Food Law

By Dr. Royal Lee

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.

[The following is a transcription of the original Archives document. To view or download the original document, click here.]

The Despotic Misuse of Our Federal Pure Food Law

Governmental agencies tend to be taken over by racketeers who pose as honest officials but who under cover of their authority proceed to steal from and rob the people they are paid to protect. The administrators of our federal pure food law seem to be doing this very thing.

To get the past history of their infamous activities, I recommend your study of two books. The first, The History of a Crime Against the Pure Food Law, is Dr. Harvey W. Wiley’s report of 1930 of how his own efforts to honestly administer the 1906 Federal Pure Food and Drug Act were completely nullified by food racketeers and how he himself was forced to resign after being stripped of all power to enforce the law.

The other book is a recent review of the work of Dr. Wiley and how the matter stands today: The Legacy of Dr. Wiley by M. Natenberg. 

To show exactly how the despotism operates, let me quote from a recent press release of the present Food and Drug [Administration] commissioner, George P. Larrick:

“Washington (NEA)…FDA Commissioner Geo. P. Larrick declares there are many people with unusual ideas about how to obtain wholesome food. He warns:

“‘Unscrupulous promoters spread these ideas and then cash in by offering vitamin and mineral products as cure-alls for every kind of human ailment. Salesmen use a scare campaign promoting the fake idea that food has lost its nutritional value. The reasons they list contain a grain of truth exaggerated to the ridiculous. First, they point to the fact that farmland contains poor soil. Then, they twist this into meaning any food raised on it lacks needed vitamins. Also, they convince customers that fertilizer poisons crops.

“‘Another sales pitch harps on the idea that preparing food for market robs it of nutrition. Although some processes do reduce vitamin content, canning and freezing keep food at its peak of good nutrition.

“‘Then there is the myth that all disease is caused by chemical imbalance in the body due to faulty diet. Salesmen convince their customers that their run-down feeling is due to a lack of vitamins. Since food has lost its health value, the only solution is to start swallowing vitamin pills…The FDA emphasizes that it’s not against all vitamins or door-to-door salesmen. Many are legitimate. But when a salesman starts pushing pills because food is no good, an FDA spokesman warns, ‘Beware. It’s bunk.'”

In another release, in the Minneapolis Star of April 10th, after repeating the above, the local FDA official, Maurice Kerr, warns, “Misleading sales promotions of food supplements are violations of federal law and will be prosecuted.”

As a matter of fact, the FDA has actually jailed and fined vitamin salesmen for simply claiming that “nearly everyone in this country is suffering from malnutrition or [is] in danger of such suffering because of demineralization of soils and the refining and processing of foods.” (See Drug Trade News, June 3, 1957, page 8.)

Here we have a governmental bureaucracy contradicting its own bureaucrats—and contradicting the best scientific opinion—and successfully using the federal courts to enforce its dictatorial misstatements.

Let us take a very careful look at the evidence [regarding these questions]:

  1. Are our soils wearing out to a dangerous point?
  2. Is the refining and processing of food really a dangerous practice?
  3. Is it true that chemical fertilizers are poisonous to the degree that we need to beware?
  4. Is it really a “myth” that chemical imbalances in the human body can result from faulty diet, with serious disease as a result?

As to number 1, the U.S. Department of Agriculture yearbooks warn us about mineral deficiencies in our soils that cause disease and stunted growth in farm animals. See the 1938 Yearbook, pages 164 and 737, and the 1939 Yearbook, pages 962 and 291. Mineral supplements are recommended for farm animals by [the writers of] these references to avoid trouble due to soil depletion.

An entire chapter in the 1939 Yearbook is devoted to a discussion of the extent of mineral deficiency in soils, and eleven states are shown for which serious phosphorus deficiency in the soils were reported. Thirteen states reported serious iodine deficiency in the soil. Moreover, the author reports, “an appalling lack of definite information prevails in most sections” (page 1057).

Page 1053 is devoted to comments of animal husbandry experts who ask for more information as to deficiency disease in animals, for example, “Horsemen are continually making inquiry as to how they can produce horses with the quality of bone that is found in horses produced in our better, bluegrass states.” (The soil in not over 5 percent of the country is capable of producing healthy horses; [that this is because] of mineral deficiencies is admitted by those who are informed.)

The conclusive evidence of the soil depletion in this country is the protein content of our cereal grains. As soils wear out, the protein content of the grain drops. Wheat today averages only one-half the protein it had thirty years ago, and it is dropping about one-half percent a year. The wheat from Deaf Smith County, Texas, which absolutely prevents tooth decay if properly used, is now down to 15 percent [protein], whereas it was 22 percent twenty years ago.

The value of this wheat, by the way, is attributed to its trace-mineral content and its ability to create healthy bone and tooth structure—the bone density of Deaf Smith residents being about 50 percent higher than average (a 50 percent higher mineral content) according to Dr. Barnett’s report in the Journal of Applied Nutrition, page 318, 1954.

As to question number, is refining and processing a dangerous practice? First, why not use the dental health of the nation as an index, for it is the consensus of opinion among experts that dental disease is the result of food refining:

“The nutrients that may be responsible for optimum resistance to tooth decay are not known. Both laboratory animals and primitive man show a low caries susceptibility when consuming diets of ‘natural’ foods. When the diet is change to one of refined foods, susceptibility to dental decay increases, even in those whose teeth were fully formed before the change in diet occurred.”

—Dairy Council Digest, No. 5, Vol. 24, May 1953, National Dairy Council

“It has been amply demonstrated that the prevalence of caries is due to the habitual consumption of ‘artificial,’ as opposed to ‘natural,’ articles of diet.”

—H.P. Pickerill, MD, The Prevention of Dental Caries and Oral Sepsis,
second edition, page 360, Balliere, Tyndal & Cox, London

“Caries, as we understand it today, is a disease of civilized man and all others who partake of his diet. Primitive peoples do not have caries to any extent as long as they stay on their native diets…In that pits, fissures, enamel defects…are as common in races that have no dental decay as they are among civilized races with a high incidence of caries, we are forced to conclude that tooth structure…is not by itself an exciting agent. This leads to the inescapable conclusion that the diet of civilization is in some as yet undetermined manner directly related to the etiology of dental caries.”

— P.H. Belding, DDS, J.L. Belding, MD, “Dental Caries,”
Dental Items of Interest, page 412, 1938

I might digress here to call attention to the criminal promotion of fluorides as a quack remedy for dental caries. I can use no milder term for this promotion [given] Dr. Clive McCay’s conclusive proof that [fluorides] actually increase dental disease, as well as destroys kidney cells, in doses of one part per million in water in tests on rats. And we can see why the promoters of flour bleach have backed the introduction of fluorides into drinking water: to divert attention from the real cause of dental disease, the bleached-white-flour characteristics of civilization and the refined sugar we eat in foods, candy, and soft drinks.

It is criminal based on [the act of] mass medication alone, regardless of other criminal aspects. The power of the commercial interests that have taken over the control of our federal FDA and are using its facilities for criminal purposes is no better exemplified than in the vast water fluoridation campaign, which is based on the false premise that fluorides are “nutritional trace minerals.” Dr. McCays’s report in the January issue of the Journal of Geronotology conclusively destroys that illusion.

To get back to our discussion of the effects of refined foods, beyond dental caries and their consequences, refined foods have lost most of their mineral content, and [in addition to deficiency of] the bone minerals, we might observe the effect of the potassium loss. Potassium is the main mineral element lost in sugar refining and white flour milling.

Just how important is potassium in the food pattern? Here is some recent evidence. In Nutrition Reviews for October 1957, page 298, you will find a very illuminating article on how potassium deficiency causes attacks of paralysis. The acute attack is precipitated by refined sugar: “Often a child who has this disorder may induce an attack of paralysis by overeating candy.” It would obviously be impossible to cause such an attack of paralysis by natural raw sugar or molasses, with their high potassium content.

“Death by suffocation may occur should the paralysis extend to the respiratory muscles.” Just how often is such paralysis interpreted as polio, and just how much is polio brought on by refined carbohydrates? Dr. Sandler, in his book Diet Prevents Polio, believes that there would be no polio if we had no excess of refined carbohydrates. This new report certainly confirms Dr. Sandler’s hypothesis.

Further information on the importance of potassium is to be found in the Journal of Applied Nutrition, Vol. 7, page 324. It is stated, “Potassium is important in preventing insulin-fast conditions in the diabetic, wherein insulin fails to lower the blood sugar. Potassium immediately releases the insulin effect. Potassium is important in both protein and fat metabolism.” Apparently, potassium deficiency can upset all the functions of the body.

We might elaborate indefinitely on this refined food situation, but here I only wish to prove my point.

Now, how about poisonous fertilizers [question number 3]? We may refer to the Journal of the American Medical Association, June 2, 1950, page 476. In one report of the Minnesota Health Department, 139 cases of infant poisoning, with fourteen deaths, occurred from chemical fertilizers leaking into well water and getting into baby formulas. We might cite the case, not too uncommon, of fatal poisoning from eating watermelon too freely fertilized with similar poison chemicals—or of farmers dying from nitrite gases in silo contents from excess nitrate fertilizers, a frequently reported accident in recent years.

No informed person can disregard these facts unless he is dedicated to the spread of misinformation, a party to the well-organized propaganda campaign to promote refined foods and synthetic counterfeit foods—and fluorides to cover up for the damage—and the quack chemical fertilizers that create bulk without nutrition, quantity without quality.

Now, lastly, what about the biochemical unbalances that undermine health after the victim has tried to live on phony food substitutes?

May we quote that top authority of American medicine, Dr. Tom Spies:

“If we only knew enough, all diseases could be prevented and could be cured though proper nutrition…As tissues become damaged because they lack the chemicals of good nutrition, they tend to become old. They lack what I call ’tissue integrity.’ There are people of age forty whose brains and arteries are senile. If we can help the tissues repair themselves by correcting nutritional deficiencies, old age can wait.” (Dr. Spies was speaking at the 1957 Annual Meeting of the American Medical Association.)

And we might add here this quote from Dr. Edward J. Ryan, editor of Dental Digest:

“Anyone who speaks up against food adulteration in any of the many forms is subject to ‘name calling.’ The most common epithets are ‘food faddist’ or ‘food fakir.’ If you object to spraying foods with poisonous chemicals, to pickling fruits green and then applying a dye, to injecting or administering antibiotics to poultry and dairy herds, to removing minerals and vitamins from natural foods, to adding chemical adulterants to preserve foods from normal chemical changes, then you are offending…some of our largest and most influential corporations…We can be certain that the public relations counselors will go to work to change the situation—even if that requires a bit of character assassination directed against those who are in the opposition.

“…Every time that a natural substance is removed from a food, every time an adulterant is added to a food, the balance in nature is disturbed…The chemical and cellular processes within the body cells cannot react to the passing whims of chemists without disturbance in function. It took thousands of years for the body to adjust itself to changing environmental conditions. When these conditions are suddenly altered by the actions of men, the cells cannot make the adjustment—disease is the result.”

I may close with this quote from the September 1957 Consumer Bulletin, page 18:

“One distinguished medical pathologist recently informed his scientific colleagues that several widely used food dyes caused cancer when injected under the skin of rats used as test animals. Certain dyes that are used in coloring margarine and butter were so toxic that the test animals died before there was opportunity to see whether cancers would develop in due time. It was noted that the harmful dyes had not been prohibited by governmental order to prevent their use in the future, and there was no indication that such a step was under consideration.”

You need to carefully study the two books mentioned about Dr. Wiley’s work in order to realize the magnitude of the conspiracy to sell the American public health down the river, by which all of us lose twenty years of useful life in order to protect the commercial interests that make these counterfeit food substitutes. The statistics of disease are twisted to try to prove that we are living longer when actually our live expectancy at fifty is greatly reduced. May I call attention to the recently published article in U.S. News & World Report that showed that American children, when tested for muscular fitness, had a 57.9 percent failure rate, while comparable children in Europe showed only 8.7 percent failures (page 67, August 2, 1957). 

This is the harvest of counterfeit food—the refined sugar, soft drinks, candy, white flour, and glucose so thoroughly promoted that it is almost impossible to even buy peanut butter that is not criminally adulterated with synthetic fat and synthetic sugar (i.e., “hydrogenated fat” and “dextrose” or “sugar” on the label). 

Later in life, the harvest is cancer, diabetes, arthritis, poliomyelitis, rheumatic fever, heart disease, and cardiovascular disease. You have the intelligence to protect yourself. Be sure to use it. Beware of the epithet “food faddist.” That is what you will be called if you are not gullibly accepting what is offered as food by these counterfeiters. When that term is used, look behind the name caller. You will soon detect the hidden conspirator who “rules by ridicule” and cashes in on your indifference by converting your health to his dollars. To find such an individual at the head of our Federal Food and Drug Administration is a lesson to each of us.

By Dr. Royal Lee. Lee Foundation for Nutritional Research, Form RL-257, October 24, 1957.

Patrick Earvolino, CN

Patrick Earvolino is a Certified Nutritionist and Special Projects Editor for Selene River Press, Inc.

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