By Dr. Royal Lee
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. From National Health Federation Bulletin, 1956. Lee Foundation for Nutritional Research reprint 301.[The following is a transcription of the original Archives document. To view or download the original document, click here.]
The War Between Health Foods and Death Foods
Excerpt from the National Health Federation Bulletin, Volume II, Number 11, November 1956
Dr. Harvey W. Wiley in the year 1929 wrote the story of the colossal crookedness in the Washington scene. This frank appraisal of the situation resulted in his ouster and a victory for the makers of counterfeit foods, drugs, and drinks. (This story has since been published in a 400-page book entitled The History of a Crime Against the Food Law.)
In relating the devious methods used by the whiskey crowd to get official approval to label their counterfeit mixture of colored water and alcohol as “whiskey,” he had little intimation of how this illegal act would in time permit the sale of artificially flavored and colored synthetic alcohol made from petroleum to be distributed and sold as real “whiskey” with the official sanction of the Food and Drug Administration.
Foods Were Foods
When Dr. Wiley wrote the story in 1929, he did not visualize that at a later date corrupted schemers in control of the Federal Food and Drug Administration would get laws passed to twist the meaning of the word “food” to mean “drug” so as to eliminate the competition of drugless doctors in the fight of the medical monopolists to control all of the healing arts and force persons who want honest, unadulterated foods to actually get a doctor’s prescription before being permitted to obtain them.
(In Wisconsin and various other states today you must have a prescription from a medical doctor before you can buy natural cow’s milk. If you want to know how pasteurized milk is a cause of ulcers, liver disease, loss of teeth, arthritis, and heart disease, write for my lecture “A Practical Way To Avoid Malnutrition.” [Lecture unavailable, but see here for more of Dr. Lee’s thoughts on nutrition and arthritis. ) In Dr. Wiley’s day, there was no such confusion about the meaning of a food or drug. Drugs were poisons, used only by licensed medical doctors, supplied on prescription by licensed pharmacists, both licenses being essential by reason of the dangerous nature of poisons in general and of drugs in particular. In his book, The History of a Crime, page 50, he charts the effect of a drug vs. a food. The lethal dose of a drug is a quantity specific for each drug, the normal dose none; the lethal dose for a food is none, the normal dose a quantity specific for each food.
Drugs Were Poisons
The official definition for a drug was that it must be a poison, in Dr. Wiley’s time. Since Dr. Wiley’s time, the schemers who connived to throw him out because of his honest administration of the pure food law have succeeded in getting written into the law completely new definitions of foods and drugs. Nowadays a drug is anything used to treat disease, anything used to prevent disease, and anything (except a “device”) used to diagnose disease.2 A drugless doctor who sets up a food schedule to improve the chance of recovery of any starving or deficient patient becomes a violator of the “Medical Practice Act.” A very clear-cut way to eliminate all drugless doctors. Many states today are actually classifying all health-building foods as “drugs” and require them to be handled by registered pharmacists (Minnesota, in particular). The only products that remain in the legal “food” category are the “death foods” as represented by the refined and counterfeit products that cannot possibly support life, therefore cannot cure or relieve any deficiency disease. That is why we have as the executive head of the Federal Food and Drug Administration the general counsel and vice-president of our leading Minneapolis flour milling company, an exponent and producer of “death foods,” who realizes that if the laws were honestly enforced, he would be in jail, and his company out of business. (See Dr. Wiley’s story of how bleached flour has been outlawed by the U.S. Supreme Court as of 1918.2) Honestly made flour is so perishable that only local mills can supply the community needs, just like the local dairy supplies milk.
When Is Food Not a Food?
Dr. Elmer Nelson, one of the stooges of the corrupt Food and Drug Administration we are talking about, in a recent article2 said that the thing that determined the question of when a food became a drug was the intended use; that foods became drugs if they were used to cure, mitigate, or prevent disease. Of all the weasel words, this is the peak. Any food that contains its natural vitamins and minerals is used only for that very purpose. It is the refined and synthetic foods that cannot perform this essential function of nutrition, the maintenance of health, the prevention of disease. All such foods are illegal under another seldom-heard-of law, a federal law that says you must be fined up to $5,000 for removing from any food any essential nutrient component. You might have a hearty laugh right here, for this is one law that to my knowledge has never been invoked against anyone, and if enforced would stop the sale of 95 percent of the “foods” in our markets.
“Figures Won’t Lie but Liars Will Figure”
This country is full of either ignorant or corrupted officials who appear to be determined to cooperate in every way possible with those brainwashers who would, for economic gain, twist the truth until, to a confused public, black appears to be white.
The campaign to fluoridate drinking water is a fine example of this reworking of scientific facts to promote some unholy racket. In the Journal of the American Dental Association (April 1936, page 574) will be found the proof that fluorine compounds are not essential to the health or integrity of the teeth. There is very good evidence that organic forms of fluorine are nontoxic (Dillon). But such, according to the principles of honest administrators of a pure food law like Dr. H.W. Wiley, cannot legally be put into any food or drink in any amount, however small. He said poisons are poisons in any dilutions, act to destroy life in the proportions in which they are used, just like emery powder in a ball bearing. There can be no “harmless” dosage.
According to the twisted thinking [of] new prophets of public health, poisons in small doses may be used up to the point where they start to act as poisons. At that time the harm is too great to be avoided. Fluorine in water causes poisonous effects at dilutions of one in a million, according to the ADA Journal reference above, and according to other later authorities it can be toxic in amounts of one fifteenth of this amount.3
Your Life and Health Their Pawns
Why mince words about these miscreants who are warping the meaning of common words for the purpose of swindling us all, selling our actual life and health to promote their welfare? They are lower than the robber who steals money at the point of a gun. We find the ADA, the AMA, the U.S. Public Health Service, as well as the U.S. Food and Drug Administration all solidly aligned to force these new weasel-worded laws down our throats, with no member of their professional organizations permitted to offer an objection, many of them too ignorant to see the criminality.
An Astonishing Exhibition
Objectors within or without their ranks are smeared viciously by the hatchet men and professional liars that front for them. It is a most astonishing exhibition of bureaucratic stupidity and dishonesty. The fluoridation idea is basically mass medication, criminal in intent and in action. To propose the compulsory use of a poison drug treatment for a disease of starvation is about the last word in quackery and disregard of professional and political ethics.
Who Pays the Fiddler Calls the Tune
Because so much money is spent on the advertising of these counterfeit foods and drinks, no newspaper or magazines dares to refuse to cooperate in the vicious racket to exchange human life for the profits of counterfeiting. Even such relatively conscientious [journals] as the Saturday Evening Post refuse advertisement for alcoholic drinks but accepts one that lies about the effects of refined sugar, that tries to tell us that the calories of sugar are different and do not “fatten.” Maybe the editor will find himself in a slightly cooler spot when he arrives in Hades than he would have had he accepted whiskey advertisements as well.
The Dikes Are Broken
The hottest spot of all should be reserved for the concoctor of the perfectly legal “blended” whiskey made from colored water and synthetic alcohol from petroleum. No wonder Dr. Wiley called this ruling to permit counterfeit whiskey to be sold as a genuine article as “the most astonishing exhibition of illegality ever perpetrated…Not only was every decision of the courts violated by this order, but President Taft’s specific directions for labeling were also disregarded…The dikes that held the swelling floods of adulterations and misbranding of our beverages were broken down and waves of food adulterations swept over and devastated the country” (pp. 149–151, History of a Crime).1
Hard to Believe
It is hard for most people to accept the colossal picture of dishonesty to be traced once we look into this matter of counterfeit foods. It is too late to act on the knowledge that this state exists once we become a victim of cancer, polio, heart disease, diabetes, or arthritis. At that time we start to spend our money on vain attempts to undo the damage wrought by our indifference up to that date. We have a representative form of government. If we fail to choose honest lawmakers and law administrators we must pay the price. The price today is about twenty years off our life.
Malnutrition Versus Health
Cancer: You cannot get planted fragments of live cancer to grow in test animals fed honest unrefined natural foods. You will get 90 percent “takes” if you plant the same cancer fragments into similar test animals fed refined, low vitamin and mineral content “death” foods like we commonly eat.4
If you extract the oil from stale wheat germ and feed it to test animals, they will soon develop cancer in their alimentary tract.5 (All commercial flour contains this stale rancid oil.)
Dr. Daniel T. Quigley, the celebrated cancer surgeon, told the members of the American Academy of Applied Nutrition at its meeting in Los Angeles in 1952 that unless you insist that the cancer victim cease using all commercial stale cereal products, [and] make his own bread from fresh ground whole grain, there was no hope for his immunity to a recurrence of cancer, and that in twenty-five years of observation after offering such advice, he had not seen one single recurrence of cancer after surgical removal.
Polio: See Dr. Sandler’s book, Diet Prevents Polio. (Available from Lee Foundation. Free on request. Send 10 cents postage.)
Heart Disease: Note that if test animals are put on a food schedule without vitamin E, half drop dead from heart failure within twelve months.6 Note that fractions of the E complex relieve heart pains like nitroglycerine. Note that vitamin B4 from wheat germ stops arrhythmias, skips, fibrillation, etc., in a few minutes, as a rule.7 In human patients, not test animals, any heart patient can test this in the presence of his doctor.
Diabetes: Flour bleaches all convert a food factor, xanthine, in wheat into alloxan, a very potent poison that destroys the insulin-producing cells in the pancreas. (This is the effect of the catalyzed oxidation that also bleaches, and [it] is inseparable from the bleaching reaction.)
Arthritis: Arthritis is unknown in countries where a large proportion of the food is eaten uncooked; the most outstanding effect of feeding test animals pasteurized milk is the invariable development of arthritis in the test animals.8 Yet, in spite of overwhelming evidence to the contrary, corrupted officials, special selfish interests, and their dupes would make you believe that these diseases are not the result of malnutrition. Say they, proof is a controlled experiment on a few hundred human subjects, for they proclaim with loud voices, no animal tests are to be accepted because of the difference of reactions of different species. Such a test, of course, is impossible, immoral, and illegal. So these deceivers of the public are safe in their demand for such acid tests, tests that would at once show up the pitiful inadequacy of their mock foods.
To the practical man, however, if he finds that these diseases are far less [sic] where there is less of the counterfeit foods, that is proof enough. Plus such experiments as the one where natural unrefined foods prevented any takes when 100 test animals were given carcinogens, and 90 percent became cancerous out of 100 animals getting refined foods on the same dosage of a carcinogen. If animals become predisposed to cancer from eating refined foods, I myself do not want any. When I find that heart disease and arthritis are practically nonexistent in China, I want to know why these two diseases top the list here.
Since we have a government “by the people,” let’s get busy and help houseclean our Stygian Stable of the frightful corruption so evident but so firmly entrenched that, as Dr. Wiley said, the law is being used to protect the crooks instead of protecting the people.
[The references for this article have been lost. Where possible, digital links to cited material have been provided.]
By Royal Lee, DDS. Reprinted from the National Health Federation Bulletin, Volume II, Number 11, November 1956, by the Lee Foundation for Nutritional Research.
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