America and the Culture of Chemicals
Recently, I observed the 40th anniversary of my chiropractic practice in Port Angeles, WA, treating the citizens of the North Olympic Peninsula longer than any other current practitioner in my profession. As the local chiropractic patriarch, so to speak, please forgive me as I look back over that time. I wish make a few personal observations about health perspectives in my practice over the past 4 decades.
Initially, I began my professional education as a student at the University of Washington
School of Pharmacy. In my short time there, I came to understand that the health concepts they taught there were not aligned with my own beliefs. I walked away from that experience convinced that I did not wish to exist in a world of chemically-induced side effects and adverse reactions.
To be clear, I also had other objections regarding the Pharmacy School’s narrow view of natural health care and the issues of big pharma’s stated financial goals. It seemed to me that their objectives revolved more around positive profit outcomes rather than positive patient outcomes. But those are subjects for a different article.
In this commentary, I wish to discuss the general topic of chemical use and abuse, both legal chemicals and illegal chemicals. Since I practice in a profession that does not use chemicals as part of the healing experience, I speak from the perspective of the now-uncommon person who prefers that the injection or ingestion of chemicals be kept to a minimum.
One of my first professional experiences with chemical abuse came in the mid-1970’s, when scientists suddenly “discovered” that Valium was addictive. You might remember the Rolling Stones song called “Mother’s Little Helper”, about the overprescribing of tranquilizers. In 1977, there were 60 Valium dispensed for every man, woman and child in the United States. Somebody got my 60, somebody got my wife’s 60 and somebody got my children’s 60.
I can still recall the stress in the voices of the many people I treated that year who had suddenly been “cut-off” and could no longer get their fix. It was heartbreaking to watch. It was an example of what I call “legal chemical abuse”. At that time, I put the blame directly on the shoulders of the big pharmaceutical companies and their representative, who convinced the doctors that there was no harm in prescribing them. At that point, I was feeling pretty pleased with myself for walking away from that world.
That experience was the first of many similar episodes regarding both legal and illegal chemical abuse in my home town. I have talked with many women who were convinced by their practitioner that they needed hormone replacement therapy to avoid hot flashes or osteoporosis, only to learn later that it made them predisposed to some types of cancer.
I have watched as the vaccines have grown to a $35 billion industry, projected to reach $60 billion in 5 years with absolutely no legal consequences if it all goes wrong. This has occurred thanks to a 2011 Supreme Court ruling that stated that vaccines were “unavoidably unsafe”, therefore the 3-5% of people who reacted to them had no legal recourse if their health was permanently damaged following their inoculations.
I have watched big pharma successfully lobby to make vaccines mandatory for students entering school in California, forcing the parents of these children to make radical, life-changing decision to avoid the vaccine dragnet. There are many conscientious parents who do not want the vaccine chemicals, known as adjuvants, injected directly into their children’s blood stream.
I have watched as the USDA and the FDA have allowed the large commercial food manufacturer to add over 12,000 “legal” chemicals to our food supply. I have also seen them approve the use of genetically modified (GMO) food lased with pesticides and herbicides without a single human feeding study to show that they are safe.
15 years ago, I watched as a large group from the local High School Class of 2002 suddenly “disappear” from school, drawn into the poisonous world of methamphetamine. That was a classic example of the illegal side of the culture of chemicals. To my thinking, it is an offshoot of the idea that you can just go numb to your problems if you take the right chemical. Currently, my town has even greater threats from meth, cocaine and other illegal chemicals.
Someone purchases each of these chemicals, making them a huge stream of revenue for the entity that manufactures them. And, they have a vested interest in pressuring us to continue their use.
Yes, my town is a big consumer of chemicals, both legal and illegal.
How many more chemicals can we consume before we pass the point where cancer, autism and other diseases related to chemical abuse become the norm rather than the exception?