Sunday, February 28, 2010

Synthetic Nitrogen Fertiliser And It's Harmfulness to the Soil

'The Soil is Bleeding'

New research: synthetic nitrogen destroys soil carbon, undermines soil health

Just precisely what does all of that nitrogen ferilizer do to the soil?“Fertilizer is good for the father and bad for the sons.”

—Dutch saying

For all of its ecological baggage, synthetic nitrogen does one good deed for the environment: it helps build carbon in soil. At least, that’s what scientists have assumed for decades.

If that were true, it would count as a major environmental benefit of synthetic N use. At a time of climate chaos and ever-growing global greenhouse gas emissions, anything that helps vast swaths of farmland sponge up carbon would be a stabilizing force. Moreover, carbon-rich soils store nutrients and have the potential to remain fertile over time—a boon for future generations.

The case for synthetic N as a climate stabilizer goes like this. Dousing farm fields with synthetic nitrogen makes plants grow bigger and faster. As plants grow, they pull carbon dioxide from the air. Some of the plant is harvested as crop, but the rest—the residue—stays in the field and ultimately becomes soil. In this way, some of the carbon gobbled up by those N-enhanced plants stays in the ground and out of the atmosphere.

Well, that logic has come under fierce challenge from a team of University of Illinois researchers led by professors Richard Mulvaney, Saeed Khan, and Tim Ellsworth. In two recent papers (see here and here) the trio argues that the net effect of synthetic nitrogen use is to reduce soil’s organic matter content. Why? Because, they posit, nitrogen fertilizer stimulates soil microbes, which feast on organic matter. Over time, the impact of this enhanced microbial appetite outweighs the benefits of more crop residues.

And their analysis gets more alarming. Synthetic nitrogen use, they argue, creates a kind of treadmill effect. As organic matter dissipates, soil’s ability to store organic nitrogen declines. A large amount of nitrogen then leaches away, fouling ground water in the form of nitrates, and entering the atmosphere as nitrous oxide (N2O), a greenhouse gas with some 300 times the heat-trapping power of carbon dioxide. In turn, with its ability to store organic nitrogen compromised, only one thing can help heavily fertilized farmland keep cranking out monster yields: more additions of synthetic N.

The loss of organic matter has other ill effects, the researchers say. Injured soil becomes prone to compaction, which makes it vulnerable to runoff and erosion and limits the growth of stabilizing plant roots. Worse yet, soil has a harder time holding water, making it ever more reliant on irrigation. As water becomes scarcer, this consequence of widespread synthetic N use will become more and more challenging.

In short, “the soil is bleeding,” Mulvaney told me in an interview.

If the Illinois team is correct, synthetic nitrogen’s effect on carbon sequestration swings from being an important ecological advantage to perhaps its gravest liability. Not only would nitrogen fertilizer be contributing to climate change in a way not previously taken into account, but it would also be undermining the long-term productivity of the soil.

Getting their hands dirty: Saeed Khan, Richard Mulvaney, and Tim Ellsworth (l.-r.), in front of the Morrow Plots, University of Illinois. An Old Idea Germinates Anew

While their research bucks decades of received wisdom, the Illinois researchers know they aren’t breaking new ground here. “The fact is, the message we’re delivering in our papers really is a rediscovery of a message that appeared in the ‘20s and ‘30s,” Mulvaney says. In their latest paper, “Synthetic Nitrogen Fertilizers Deplete Soil Nitrogen: A Global Dilemma for Sustainable Cereal Production,” which appeared last year in the Journal of Environmental Quality, the researchers point to two pre-war academic papers that, according to Mulvaney, “state clearly and simply that synthetic nitrogen fertilizers were promoting the loss of soil carbon and organic nitrogen.”

That idea also appears prominently in The Soil and Health (1947), a founding text of modern organic agriculture. In that book, the British agronomist Sir Albert Howard stated the case clearly:

The use of artificial manure, particularly [synthetic nitrogen] ... does untold harm. The presence of additional combined nitrogen in an easily assimilable form stimulates the growth of fungi and other organisms which, in the search for organic matter needed for energy and for building up microbial tissue, use up first the reserve of soil humus and then the more resistant organic matter which cements soil particles.

In other words, synthetic nitrogen degrades soil.

That conclusion has been current in organic-farming circles since Sir Albert’s time. In an essay in the important 2002 anthology Fatal Harvest Reader, the California organic farmer Jason McKenney puts it like this:

Fertilizer application begins the destruction of soil biodiversity by diminishing the role of nitrogen-fixing bacteria and amplifying the role of everything that feeds on nitrogen. These feeders then speed up the decomposition of organic matter and humus. As organic matter decreases, the physical structure of soil changes. With less pore space and less of their sponge-like qualities, soils are less efficient at storing water and air. More irrigation is needed. Water leeches through soils, draining away nutrients that no longer have an effective substrate on which to cling. With less available oxygen the growth of soil microbiology slows, and the intricate ecosystem of biological exchanges breaks down.

Although those ideas flourished in organic-ag circles, they withered to dust among soil scientists at the big research universities. Mulvaney told me that in his academic training—he holds a PhD in soil fertility and chemistry from the University of Illinois, where he is now a professor in the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences—he was never exposed to the idea that synthetic nitrogen degrades soil. “It was completely overlooked,” he says. “I had never heard of it, personally, until we dug into the literature.”

What sets the Illinois scientists apart from other critics of synthetic nitrogen is their provenance. Sir Albert’s denouncement sits in a dusty old tome that’s pretty obscure even within the organic-agriculture world; Jason McKenney is an organic farmer who operates near Berkeley—considered la-la land by mainstream soil scientists. Both can be—and, indeed have been—ignored by policymakers and large-scale farmers. By contrast, Mulvaney and his colleagues are living, credentialed scientists working at the premier research university in one of the nation’s most prodigious corn-producing—and nitrogen-consuming—states.

Abandon all hope, all fertilizer execs who enter here. The Dirt on Nitrogen, Soil, and Carbon

To come to their conclusions, the researchers studied data from the Morrow plots on the University of Illinois’ Urbana-Champaign campus, which comprise the “the world’s oldest experimental site under continuous corn” cultivation. The Morrow plots were first planted in 1876.

Mulvaney and his collaborators analyzed annual soil-test data in test plots that were planted with three crop rotations: continuous corn, corn-soy, and corn-oats-hay. Some of the plots received moderate amounts of fertilizer application; some received high amounts; and some received no fertilizer at all. The crops in question, particularly corn, generate tremendous amounts of residue. Picture a Midwestern field in high summer, packed with towering corn plants. Only the cobs are harvested; the rest of the plant is left in the field. If synthetic nitrogen use really does promote carbon sequestration, you’d expect these fields to show clear gains in soil organic carbon over time.

Instead, the researchers found, all three systems showed a “net decline occurred in soil [carbon] despite increasingly massive residue [carbon] incorporation.” (They published their findings, “The Myth of Nitrogen Fertilization for Soil Carbon Sequestration,” in the Journal of Environmental Quality in 2007.) In other words, synthetic nitrogen broke down organic matter faster than plant residue could create it.

A particularly stark set of graphs traces soil organic carbon (SOC) in the surface layer of soil in the Morrow plots from 1904 to 2005. SOC rises steadily over the first several decades, when the fields were fertilized with livestock manure. After 1967, when synthetic nitrogen became the fertilizer of choice, SOC steadily drops.

In their other major paper, “Synthetic Nitrogen Fertilizers Deplete Soil Nitrogen: A Global Dilemma for Sustainable Cereal Production” (2009), the authors looked at nitrogen retention in the soil. Given that the test plots received annual lashings of synthetic nitrogen, conventional ag science would predict a buildup of nitrogen. Sure, some nitrogen would be removed with the harvesting of crops, and some would be lost to runoff. But healthy, fertile soil should be capable of storing nitrogen.

In fact, the researchers found just the opposite. “Instead of accumulating,” they wrote, “soil nitrogen declined significantly in every subplot sampled.” The only explanation, they conclude, is that the loss of organic matter depleted the soil’s ability to store nitrogen. The practice of year-after-year fertilization had pushed the Morrow plots onto the chemical treadmill: unable to efficiently store nitrogen, they became reliant on the next fix.

The researchers found similar data from other test plots. “Such evidence is common in the scientific literature but has seldom been acknowledged, perhaps because N fertilizer practices have been predicated largely on short-term economic gain rather than long-term sustainability,” they write, citing some two dozen other studies which mirrored the patterns of the Morrow plots.

The most recent bit of evidence for the Mulvaney team’s nitrogen thesis comes from a team of researchers at Iowa State University and the USDA. In a 2009 paper (PDF), this group looked at data from two long-term experimental sites in Iowa. And they, too, found that soil carbon had declined after decades of synthetic nitrogen applications. They write: “Increases in decay rates with N fertilization apparently offset gains in carbon inputs to the soil in such a way that soil C sequestration was virtually nil in 78% of the systems studied, despite up to 48 years of N additions.”

Fertile ground for research: the Morrow Plots at the University of Illinois.Photo:brianholsclaw Slinging Dirt

Mulvaney and Khan laughed when I asked them what sort of response their work was getting in the soil-science world. “You can bet the fertilizer industry is aware of our work, and they aren’t too pleased,” Mulvaney said. “It’s all about sales, and our conclusions aren’t real good for sales.”

As for the soil-science community, Mulvaney said with a chuckle, “the response is still building.” There has been negative word-of-mouth reaction, he added, but so far, only two responses have been published: a remarkable fact, given that the first paper came out in 2007.

Both published responses fall into the those-data-don’t-say-what-you-say-they-do category. The first, published as a letter to the editor (PDF) in the Journal of Environmental Quality, came from D. Keith Reid, a soil fertility specialist with the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs. Reid writes that the Mulvaney team’s conclusion about synthetic nitrogen and soil carbon is “sensational” and “would be incredibly important if it was true.”

Reid acknowledges the drop in soil organic carbon, but argues that it was caused not by synthetic nitrogen itself, but rather by the difference in composition between manure and synthetic nitrogen. Manure is a mix of slow-release organic nitrogen and organic matter; synthetic nitrogen fertilizer is pure, readily available nitrogen. “It is much more likely that the decline in SOC is due to the change in the form of fertilizer than to the rate of fertilizer applied,” Reid writes.

Then he makes a startling concession:

From the evidence presented in this paper, it would be fair to conclude that modern annual crop management systems are associated with declines in SOC concentrations and that increased residue inputs from high nitrogen applications do not mitigate this decline as much as we might hope.

In other words, modern farming—i.e., the kind practiced on nearly all farmland in the United States—destroys soil carbon. (The Mulvaney team’s response to Reid’s critique can be found in the above-linked document.)

The second second critique (PDF) came from a team led by D.S. Powlson at the Department of Soil Science and Centre for Soils and Ecosystem Function at the Rothamsted Research Station in the United Kingdom. Powlson and colleagues attack the Mulvaney team’s contention that synthetic nitrogen depletes the soil’s ability to store nitrogen.

“We propose that the conclusion drawn by Mulvaney et al. (2009), that inorganic N fertilizer causes a decline in soil organic N concentration, is false and not supported by the data from the Morrow Plots or from numerous studies worldwide,” they write.

Then they, too, make a major concession: “the observation of significant soil C and N declines in subsoil layers is interesting and deserves further consideration.” That is, they don’t challenge Mulvaney team’s contention that synthetic nitrogen destroys organic carbon in the subsoil.

In their response (PDF), Mulvaney and his colleagues mount a vigorous defense of their methodology. And then they conclude:

In the modern era of intensified agriculture, soils are generally managed as a commodity to maximize short-term economic gain. Unfortunately, this concept entirely ignores the consequences for a vast array of biotic and abiotic soil processes that affect air and water quality and most important, the soil itself.

So who’s right? For now, we know that the Illinois team has presented a robust cache of evidence that turns 50 years of conventional soil science on its head—and an analysis that conventional soil scientists acknowledge is “sensational” and “incredibly important” if true. We also know that their analysis is consistent with the founding principles of organic agriculture: that properly applied manure and nitrogen-fixing cover crops, not synthetic nitrogen, are key to long-term soil health and fertility.

The subject demands more study and fierce debate. But if Mulvaney and his team are correct, the future health of our farmland hinges on a dramatic shift away from reliance on synthetic nitrogen fertilizer.

Grist food editor Tom Philpott farms and cooks at Maverick Farms, a sustainable-agriculture nonprofit and small farm in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina. Follow my Twitter feed; contact me at tphilpott[at]grist[dot]org.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

A Philosophy For Everyday Living by John A Wood(A recent Guest)


Passing The Buck

(Shifting the Burden of Responsibility)


A daydream of mine, destined to be unfulfilled, is to know how my grandfathers saw life - in a sense, what their philosophy for everyday living was. What follows, like the grab-bag of personal musings I've penned over the past 15 years, was put to paper primarily for my grandchildren and their offspring. I trust that my descendents will, as I would have, welcome an insight into (if not agree with) one of their ancestors. I am sending it to you as part of my intermittent mailings to Family, Friends and Colleagues with whom I share my scribbling.

This has been troublesome to write. I suspect it may prove difficult to read. Not because it is badly written - it’s passable, but because it confronts the way in which we fail ourselves, each other and the planet by duck shoving issues. It allows no wriggle room. Rewritten several times, I have failed to make it more palatable.

If after this grim piece you would like me to desist sending further stuff let me know. I mean that. If you find no value I don’t wish to impose further of my reflections.


I still feel discomfited, even incompetent around the countless times I’ve passed the buck. That is, shifted the burden of responsibility for my mess, mistakes, misadventures... for life unfolding in ways that didn’t suit me. I blamed him, her or THEM! God and the devil were accused. Luck, or its lack, was another. It was beyond my awareness at those points in time to be accountable for my thinking, feelings and actions (and consequently my life). The weather, seasons, Government, the economy, all were held as the source of my discomfort or difficulty at one time or another. Of course, it was the fault of my first, then second wife, children, step children, blood relatives, in-laws, friends and neighbours. And let’s not forget my employees, customers and suppliers. The censure was indiscriminate; just as long as I wasn’t to blame for my awful actions, critical words or pear-shaped endeavours. He, she, they, them or it, caused me to be the way I was, or made me do what I did… but only if the result was poor. Odd that… I always claimed success as mine. And the grand-daddy of all buck-passing (one that has spawned a global burden-shifting industry: psycho-analysis and its derivatives), my parents. They were my real problem. I enshrined them as the genesis for what went wrong with me and my life. Physical and psychological abuse, being an only child, not having the right physical or intellectual genes, my lack of education, opportunity, timing... all or some combination of the above established that I was not responsible for who and how I was and what befell me. Poor me! I was the genuine victim of circumstance.

Get the Picture?


Then what changed? How did I unearth the fact that the buck really did end with me? That I was responsible for my life! Nobody else! No circumstance was at fault!

What enabled me to fully understand that I was the author of my experience… that there was nothing outside my mind creating my reality? What shifted within my consciousness to allow me to see that my life truly is an inside-out experience, not the outside-in reality I had always imagined (and still do when lost in self absorption)?

It was October 1992. I was in picturesque Tiburon across the bay from San Francisco attending a five day Philosophy of Everyday Living Seminar (POEL). It was named differently back then. On day three, although I had read and heard the same thing in numerous ways before, this time it was a revelation: what I think is my reality… the only reality I will ever know. I woke to this fact of life: nothing exists for me except through my thinking. Much later, in another place, again in the tick of a clock, I saw that my thinking was more than my brain at work. Thinking was the continuous expression of the Life energy called Thought; the creative force with which we fashion our lives 24/7. Without which we have no life.

Are you wondering where this is leading? What the point is?

It's this: that split second discovery within my mind, via Thought, freed me from victim-hood. Passing the buck was no longer part of my every day, unless of course I forgot the context of my life. I think my experience, my reality, into being. My experience is not being imposed upon me no matter how it looks and feels to the contrary. My reality is exclusive to me. And it follows that the same holds true for the rest of humanity.

Once awake to the truth that I shifted responsibility as a way of life, I started noticing how common that aspect of human behaviour was in others as well - how pervasive blaming and pointing the finger was in our culture. And more to the point, how that innocently learnt habit, as students of our many teachers, damages or destroys relationships, our health, the environment and (the now topic du jour) the economy. And the biggie: how shifting responsibility frustrates our spiritual relationship with God (or from my reality; Life).

You, like me, may have grown up unaware that a mature human being takes responsibility and is accountable for their thinking, feelings and actions… their entire life. As it has been, is right now, and will be in the future - the cessation of attributing blame to anyone or anything.


Let me give you five examples of passing the buck, each making some jarring and/or challenging assertions. And while I acknowledge that there are equally strong views to the contrary in what I am about to express; I ask that you suspend judgement until you have read each one.

Our lives are fabricated by these and many other facets of 21st Century tests of self responsibility. You may think of others. Email me if you do and are willing to share. I could add them to an updated version with due acknowledgement.


Nowhere is duck-shoving more evident, and more invisible to us, than in our personal relationships. And it’s in childhood where we become predominantly responsible or irresponsible (in my view, mostly the latter). Very early on we adopt as our own, not what we are told by our parents and significant others but what we observe; the way we see and hear them live their lives day in, day out. Indelibly imprinted lessons, modelled day after day from our life teachers (some useful and some not so) 'steering' us through life. Once the die is cast it is difficult to transform: from routinely shifting the burden, to an assumption of responsibility for one’s thinking, feelings and actions. Passing the buck, learnt as a youngster, shows up in how we think, feel and behave for the rest of our lives, and is illustrated in the following (that is, unless we experience a new beginning and see life from a clearer vantage point):

• Mother chastises her child: “Daddy will be furious when he finds out." Or: “Wait till Daddy gets home and finds out what a bad boy you have been.” The mother here innocently passes the buck to the father, for whatever reason, rather than being accountable for instilling discipline herself. This particular shifting of responsibility (in various forms) shows up later in life; particularly in organisations...

• A supervisor, rather than taking responsibility for something he needs to achieve, will hide behind an authority figure (who may or may not have been involved in what is to be said and done). He will say something like: “The Boss was very upset…” or “The Directors want you to…” or “The CEO has changed his mind and...” Each time we shift the burden of responsibility by passing the buck upwards, we become weaker as a leader.

• Father, not wanting to speak with a phone caller, foists responsibility onto his child: “Tell the man Daddy is not home." Here we have a double whammy… passing responsibility to the child to deal with the caller and importantly, teaching the child that it is ok to lie. This early lesson shows up in all sorts of avoidance in later life. We habitually get others to do our dirty work rather than face it ourselves. It also manifests in the so-called white lies we live so comfortably with… duck shoving to a lie rather than dealing with the truth. (The latest research shows that 98% of us lie. Is it any wonder?)

• Children learn quickly to flick past responsibility. When confronted over some misdemeanour, for the most part, kids will say that "he, she, they made me do it." Parents, grandparents, assorted 'rellies' and friends all buy into this classic piece of duck shoving - the rationale being that 'children are by definition not mature enough to be responsible' for their actions. After years of collusion you will hear the chorus: “Johnny was such a good boy. It’s a pity he fell in with the wrong crowd. Look how they have led him astray.”

Increasingly, parents (particularly protective mums) find it hard to free their children to take on responsibility for their actions. Instead, they join with their offspring in the buck passing. That irresponsible thinking is so prevalent in Western Society that a myth of giant proportions has developed around the notion that peer pressure is the cause of counterproductive or even illegal behaviour. In fact, many so-called experts support the idea. Psychologist, psychiatrists, sociologists, social workers and a host of other well intentioned individuals perpetuate this myth, aided and abetted by the media.

Rather than coaching our kids in responsibility, we give in to their demands on the one hand or create a protective 'nanny' culture around them on the other. We give in to them when we fail to hold them accountable. We create a nanny culture when we support Government prohibitions rather than educating our child in being responsible. Early unchallenged experiences of buck passing are a primary cause of our inability to accept responsibility. The remaining examples demonstrate the end result.


Way back when, I bought into an idea often expressed as: “The Universe will provide”. The theme was: "Have faith, relax, and wait until the Universe delivers what I need or want" (no need for me to strive and work hard). Another was: “If it is meant to be it will work out; if it isn’t it wasn’t meant to be.” Again, in this mindset I am a victim who thinks that a divine being is pulling the strings that determine what will and won’t work out for me. No blood, sweat and tears with this philosophy.

Less new age, more traditional was this one: “I will pray to God for what I want." Health, wealth, love, employment: a spouse, a new bike, a promotion, car, home or cure; all were available on direct request. Here, we pass the buck to an all powerful God to be the provider rather than take the necessary action to earn, seek out, or be worthy of what it is we want or need. Indeed, I held the idea that God was a mystical entity calling the shots over my life and the lives of others. No probleemo! Leave it to God. This of course was a neat abdication of responsibility for my state of health, general welfare or circumstance. Responsibility lay outside me and ultimate responsibility was in the hands of God, the Universe or fate… que sera sera. How juvenile was that?

Today I believe in God… but as Life. I am grateful to and for Life. I don’t say that my viewpoint is the truth… the truth remains a mystery to me, a mystery I am at peace with. I seek not from God but give thanks to Life for what I have – Life; to which I give as wholeheartedly and as energetically as I can. As to the Universe, I am in awe! And I know that I had better get off my backside and take action for what I seek. There are no free lunches.


Past actions testify that I thought I could sustain myself with whatever I wanted to eat and drink, lead a sedentary life, stress myself and assume that my body could handle the self inflicted abuse. I passed the buck to my body to deal with the toxic stuff I consumed, the physically inactive life I lead, and my stressful thinking. And if my body became overwhelmed with the daily intake of lifeless food, drink and thinking, I could hand-ball my failing health to the medical fraternity; who would prescribe all manner of remedies to fix me. If their pills and potions failed I could have the diseased parts replaced, zapped with radiation, sliced away or chemically poisoned. No worries mate!

After 64 years of that quality of thinking and behaviour what follows was the end result:

1. Overweight

2. Hypertension (high blood pressure).

3. Hypothyroidism (an under active thyroid).

4. Continuous diarrhoea.

5. Various perennial skin ailments.

6. High cholesterol.

7. Exhausted much of the time… old and worn out.

8. Cancer of the prostate

Like other ‘she'll be right mate’ Aussie males, I didn’t take care of myself. Didn’t grasp at a gut level (bulging bigger by the day) that I only had one body and it needed good care and maintenance. For which I was responsible and accountable. And more fool me, unlike most males, stored in the recesses of my memory was accumulated knowledge from earlier study on achieving and maintaining optimal health. This I ignored. Instead I put the burden on my body to keep me alive in the face of gross neglect and mistreatment. A bad mistake!

In the case of the cancer, the specialist presented the news, warning me that there was limited time to have the tumours cut, drugged, or burnt away - or they would metastasize. “When this happens,” she said, “you will die a slow painful death. “ I had already been told a few years earlier that I should take medication for my high blood pressure and my rapidly failing thyroid and would need to do so for the rest of my life. I had a range of creams for my skin conditions that gave temporary relief. And I also had blood tests, endoscopies and colonoscopies all without finding out why I had had 'the runs' for the preceding 5 years.

The cancer news jolted me to my core. I was scared. What to do? Having failed to take care of my health, was I now about to pass the buck once more? Was I going to leave it all to the medical, pharmaceutical or complementary medicine fraternities? Or was I going to meet the challenge of healing my body, of which the cancer and assorted other conditions were but symptoms of neglect and abuse… an irresponsible lifestyle? Had I really discovered the essence of responsibility back in ’92?

Apparently not quite! But from the deepest recess I remembered that the body, given the right conditions – optimal nutrition, appropriate exercise and a peaceful state of mind, will heal from any malady. I remembered books read in my twenties, and recalled a remarkable personal healing experience in my early thirties. Those readings and the natural healing event demonstrated the following: a 100% raw vegan organic diet, coupled with significantly reduced eating done in concert with fresh juicing, an energetic outdoor exercise program and a contented state of mind would, if practiced with daily discipline, lead to healing.

The decision was made; the path forward clear. For me, shifting the burden of responsibility for my health to others was no longer a viable option. I had faith that, as it had become sick with mistreatment, my body would heal, given time and cared for in the way I knew how to. If in doubt I would dig deeper.

Two years six months later aged 67, following a natural healing regime, my body responded in the following way:

1. Weight reduced from 83.7kg to 61.7kg: a drop of 22kg.

2. Blood pressure down from 135/85 to 110/60

3. Thyroid Function: TSH down from 27.90 to 3.12 (Healthy Range 0.40 – 4.00).

4. Normal bowl movements.

5. Skin conditions healed.

6. Cholesterol has reduced from 5.3 to 3.8 (Healthy Range <5.5*).

o LDL Cholesterol (the bad stuff) down from 3.8 to 2.6 (Healthy Range <3.5).

o Coronary Risk Ratio has come down from 5.3 to 3.8 (Healthy Range <5.0).

7. Feeling stronger, healthier and more energised than I can recall at any point in my life.

8. The test results show steady improvement.

Passing the buck for our health has become so commonplace that it looks as if it is the right thing to do. The norm! Taking next to zero responsibility for our health is part of our culture. It’s frightening!

We smoke; we use drugs. We consume alcohol, caffeine and sugar laden drinks. Some of us, maybe to salve our conscience, take make-believe health drinks; pasteurised, chemicalised, devitalised fruit and veggie juices and a mind boggling array of other containerised anti-health drinks. We eat make believe health foods; made with dead ingredients. We exist on food that has had the nutrition and nourishment cooked or processed to near extinction. We grow increasingly inactive, fat and unhealthy or emaciated and sickly. We line up in our hundreds of thousands each day across the nation at medical practices. Given pharmaceuticals for fixing our self induced failing health; we merely join the club of life time users. Others, disillusioned at the malfunction of modern medicine - and its clear inability to stem our nation's declining health, turn to the naturopath or homeopath, hoping that extracts of this or that tree, bark, root, fruit, shrub, vegetable or herb will do the trick. Or that this vitamin, mineral, enzyme, pro-biotic, anti-oxidant or protein supplement will remedy what Mother Nature has the inherent capacity to provide if only we bypass the dead-food dealers and go direct to the manufacturer; Mother Nature.

Unfortunately most of us (me included til recently) refuse to take the natural road that leads to vibrant, sustainable health. Instead, we live on a lifeless food diet. Some, trying to do the right thing, lace their diet with limited value vitamin and mineral supplements; trusting that these will compensate for a lousy diet. Millions, from babies to old timers, are ending up with serious disease. Hundreds of thousands are hospitalised and more of our aged are living a wretched, drug extended but a physically and mentally infirmed old age (many in soul destroying Care). From cradle to grave, we pass the burden of responsibility to an expanding legion of, dare I say it, make believe health providers (main stream or alternative) to fix the symptoms of an unhealthy lifestyle rather than eating, drinking and living naturally.

Becoming responsible for living very simply and naturally has healed 7 of my 8 ailments. Given time, and continuing to provide my body with nature’s natural medicine: organic nutrition, exercise and healthy thinking, the cancer will go the same way as my other lifestyle induced conditions. Passing the buck for my health has stopped.


Having seen how we shift the burden of responsibility for our health let’s look briefly at how we do the same thing with the wellbeing of our common home… the planet.

Polluting the air; degrading the arable soils; acidifying, contaminating and scraping the life from our oceans floors; heating up the atmosphere; killing the lungs of our planet – the forests; and, embracing the potential destruction of our food chain by genetically modifying it - that is just a headline grabbing few examples of our irresponsibility. And, for a second time, I acknowledge that there are others, infinitely more qualified, who will vehemently disagree with my views. But having listened carefully to both sides of the debate on each preceding point for over 50 years, I am unwilling to sit on the fence and in effect, absolve myself of responsibility. I don’t believe we can risk inflicting further potential harm that may take thousands if not millions of years to heal while in the process we destroy the animal kingdom (a kingdom in which we are clearly the destructive species).

Closer to home however is our misuse of water. For two hundred years Australians have refused to be accountable for undervaluing, wasting, poisoning and in other ways destroying our most precious resource.

In my home town Perth we argue the toss over how to deal with water restrictions. We ask “Is it best to use desalination; build more dams; pipe overland or ship it 2000 kilometres from our North; or plumb the depths of additional ancient and finite aquifers?” More of us should ask: “How do we conserve what we have?” Most cures, as with our personal health, address the symptoms not the cause - our chronically irresponsible use and abuse. Each solution passes the buck. We waste water everywhere we use it. In agriculture, industry, at all levels of government and in our homes and gardens. At present we still don’t have a real water shortage! What we have is a massive waste of water in every nook and cranny of our community.

Rather than take personal responsibility for educating ourselves and stopping the waste, aren't we (individually and collectively) shifting the burden of responsibility to our elected Government to solve the problem? It seems so to me. Our Government in turns shifts it back to the tax payer, us, to pay for what many see as unsustainable solutions. On this merry-go-round, arm in arm with the Government, we form a pact which ultimately shifts the problem onto the environment in one way or another. We build another ecologically damaging dam. Better still; we salt up our local sea while at the same time using massive amounts of CO2 emitting energy to run a desalination plant. We drain another ancient aquifer that takes a thousand years to refill, or we construct an environmentally harmful canal from the north to the south. Passing the buck, the thoughtless way of living, is never better illustrated than when we talk about life sustaining water.

Few of us see to the heart of the problem: our lack of careful and prudent use of this most precious resource, and pricing it in accordance with its economic and environmental cost. Instead, we blame 'climate change' or the lack of infrastructure planning by successive Governments. Most of us habitually look outside ourselves to solve the problem. Incongruous as it sounds, we ignore the fact that we live on the planet's driest continent! We need to respond to that, understand that, and respect that. We need to stop (as with our personal health) treating symptoms (in this case our need to please ourselves how we use water) and address the cause, our lack of adequate conservation.

As with all problems, sustainable solutions are available. There are highly skilled men and women who know exactly what needs to be changed within agriculture, industry, government and in our homes and gardens to conserve this most precious resource. We need to listen to them and to act. The buck can stop with you and me at work or at home for wasting water and for the other ways in which we are destroying our planet. What do you say? Will we, as custodians of our environment, embrace responsibility before it is too late? Being 100% responsible for our personal contribution would be a grand start!


The Australian Government, with the blessing of the Opposition, has committed our taxes by handing out a big chunk of this year’s anticipated surplus, $10+ Billion, to those they think will spend it quickly (and thus stimulate the economy and keep the so-called mindless masses pumping away on the consumption treadmill).

Our Banks, of which the four biggest are in the world’s strongest top twenty, have been underwritten by the Government; excuse me… the tax payer. More Government intervention is promised. Tax payers’ dollars are being pledged by our Prime Minister to prop up sectors of our economy that are finding the going tough. As I see it, we are thus removing the burden of responsibility from poorly managed companies and households and passing it to tax payers as a whole. What a bloody good scheme! Fail and get bailed out. This of course only happens if you are a car manufacturer, car distributer, farmer, bank or part of a politically sensitive sector of our economy. Too bad about the rest of the poor little sods dotted all over the country who will go broke! They don’t have enough political clout to be invited aboard the gravy train. And anyway, the train is nowhere near strong enough to pull additional carriages of freeloaders. The present heavy payload, having convinced each other and most of the population that by papering over the widening cracks in our economic system they can stop the dam bursting; will drown millions of us.

What beggars’ belief is that it was only months ago that successive Reserve Bank Chairmen and Treasurers said that our economy was going gangbusters but overheated, and that demand driven inflation was getting out of control! Things were, on balance, very good! Neither the Reserve Bank nor Treasurers seem to understand what causes inflation, which is an increase in the supply of paper money, not an increase in wages and prices. Those increases are a symptom but not the fundamental cause. So what’s happened? If our economies, Federal, State, Local, Business, Family and Individual, were soundly based and wisely managed, would so many now be facing implied (and in my view widespread) financial annihilation?

Instead of persisting with our Lemming-like rush toward total economic meltdown, might there still be time to take a stand for fiscal prudence? Is not the time right to let the responsibility for poor corporate governance stay where it belongs… with the boards, senior executives and shareholders? Is now the time to return to fundamentals; such as ensuring at all economic levels that incomes exceed expenditure? What a novel idea! You may think me a simpleton to suggest that.

What if the excess created at all levels of the economy, just for once, was saved and invested? Set aside for personal, corporate and national development on badly needed infrastructure, rather than being wasted on trying to sustain an unsustainable consumption-driven, debt fuelled, economic model. A corrupted system, in a drunken stagger, that must eventually implode and when it does cause devastation of the like we may have never seen before.

We are a fleabite population of 22 million with $1 trillion in Household Debt, $620 billion in Foreign Debt, and a Current Account Deficit of $60 billion a year. We cannot continue to shift the burden of responsibility to more and more debt that will become increasingly hard to pay back and eventually cannot be repaid. We will be bankrupted as a nation. We must pull our heads in, be accountable and responsible and start living within our means, as families, as local and state governments, as corporations and as a nation.

We have kidded ourselves in thinking we have been clever. Not so! We’ve just been lucky to live in Australia and be a part of a global commodity bonanza. Before it’s too late, let’s grasp this opportunity and take responsibility to get off the consumer powered treadmill and put our fiscal houses in sustainable order. However painful that might be at this time, it will be but a mild sniffle to the pneumonia we face down the track if we don’t act now. Buck passing has to stop with each of us. A sound economic outlook is forecast for those that apply common sense and accept responsibility for living within their means. Dire consequences await those shifting responsibility to the Government, believing that they have the power to spend our way out of trouble. With that strategy, they will do nothing but delay the inevitable… and in so doing, create even worse economic chaos and greater personal hardship for all but the truly wealthy (and there aren’t many that actually fit that category).


Driving home today I read an outdoor advertising billboard. It said almost everything I’m trying to say in eleven words: “It’s not coz we can’t. It’s coz we can’t be bothered!” Pictured beneath the words was a new toilet roll sitting on top of a dispenser with an empty cardboard roll left on the metal spindle. Below that were the words: “Chill.” Beside that was a picture of a popular brand of iced coffee. Further on I came across another of those ads. The words were the same: “It’s not coz we can’t. It’s coz we can’t be bothered!” This time it pictured a gift that had been wrapped as only a 5 year old could have achieved. In both ads the surface message implies: "Don’t get upset by what others do; just 'chill' with our iced coffee." In fact, it’s cool not to replace the toilet roll or not bother making a neat job of wrapping a gift, and "cool people drink our iced coffee." Trivial, you might say. But at a deeper level, the message is just another reaffirmation that it is cool to be irresponsible. The ad tunes into the growing level of irresponsibility, making it a badge of honour to be uncaring of others and unaccountable to do what is decent.


If you have made it to this point you will know that I have struggled with my own lack of responsibility. I still do. Like everyone, even at 67, I am still work in progress.

Critics of this piece might say that I am just a grumpy old man. That is certainly true on a bad day. Others, who understand the principle of Thought, might say I can only see the world through my thinking and my thinking is jaundiced toward irresponsibility. It is true, each of us can only see through the prism of our own thinking. It is equally true that once we have had a wakeup call we see the obvious… that which we were once blind to.

Australia, at this point, is on balance an irresponsible society. I trust that my grandchildren, great grandchildren (and yours as well) will live in a country where responsibility for one’s life – spiritual, physical, environmental and financial – will be the norm. If that comes to pass we will see people that are psychologically independent, deeply loving and thus interdependent, physically robust and fearless custodians of our planet - men and women who have moved beyond the mental prison of irresponsibility.

For that to materialise we must recognise that the buck ends with each of us. No more shifting the burden of responsibility. The future is up to you and me.

John A Wood

December 11th 2008

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Farm Up-Date

For the past couple of months, or so we have been blessed with the presence of  our friend John from Cleveland, Ohio, USA, who has laboured unceasingly since his arrival as he has endeavoured to overcome some of the back-log of work which has occurred over the years since the fire which destroyed our original home and most of the trees in our orchards. To say the least, we feel he has performed a minor miracle in what he has achieved, and cannot thank him too much for his every kindness.

In this photo John is to be seen picking  ripe sour-sops for our luncheon meal. The sour-sop is a member of the anona family and is related to the custard apple which is also of that very same genus. As the name implies, its is sour to the taste, and a great favourite with most. The custard apple on the other hand, is sweet to the taste, and has been referred to in some instances as the sweet-sop.

The Surinam cherry, pictured here on the right is only one of three or so of these bushes that are just coming into full bearing this year. Last year we were able to sample the first of the fruits, and the flavour at that stage was rather bland. This year the flavour is much improved.

I apologise for the poor quality of this photo, which is due in part to my lack of expertise. With the wet season being with us, it is the ideal time to plant out new banana suckers, and this photo portrays my latest endeavours and the planting of some twenty or so suckers  of  a number of varieties, including red daccas,sugars,ladies fingers,plantains,and monkey bananas.

I have been informed that there are up to three thousand varieties of bananas, with only a handful being developed commercially, and really only one - the cavendish - available in most countries.

This is another area of John's expertise which, ascan well be observed he has enhanced the units by the erection of the shades on the front of the units. Thank you John.

And if that is not enough, this next photo portraying the newly planted shrubs along the footpath to the entrance gate, which also another of John's miracles, should convince the most hardened sceptic of his value.

Effects of Cooked Foods

Cooked Food Effects

From Living Nutrition vol. 6

During the past few decades there has been much research done in the area of nutrition. Some of this research casts light on some important insights regarding the foods Mother Nature offers to us in its whole, raw state, and what happens when we tamper with them.

What exactly happens to food when it is cooked? What happens to the body if we eat cooked food? Some key points are covered in this article. Due to space limitation, we can only but touch on the topic here; however, a brief overview is given below.

Key Points Regarding the Effects of Cooking on Food and Health

* The food's life force is greatly depleted or destroyed. The bioelectrical (energy) field is altered and greatly depleted (as is graphically demonstrated with kirlian photography). Live and bioactive (raw) food is rendered dead and inert.

* The biochemical structure and nutrient makeup of the food is altered from its original state. Molecules in the food are deranged, degraded, and broken down. The food is degenerated in many ways. Fiber in plant foods is broken down into a soft, passive substance which loses its broom-like and magnetic cleansing quality in the intestines.

* Nutrients (vitamins, minerals, amino acids, etc.) are depleted, destroyed, and altered. The degree of depletion, destruction, and alteration is simply a matter of temperature, cooking method, and time.

* Up to 50% of the protein is coagulated. Much of this is rendered unusable. High temperatures also create cross-links in protein. Cross-linked proteins are implicated in many problems in the body, as well as being a factor in the acceleration of the aging process.

* The interrelationship of nutrients is altered from its natural synergistic makeup. For example, with meat, relatively more vitamin B-6 than methionine is destroyed, which fosters atherogenic free radical-initiating homocysteine accumulation (which is a factor in heart problems).

* The water content of the food is decreased. The natural structure of the water is also changed.

* Toxic substances and cooked "byproducts" are created. The higher the cooking temperature, the more toxins that are created. Frying and grilling are especially toxin-generating. Various carcinogenic and mutagenic substances and hordes of free radicals are generated in cooked fats and proteins in particular.

* Heat causes the molecules involved to collide, and repeated collision causes divalent bonding in order for new molecules, and hence a new substance, to form. In an ordinary baked potato, there are 450 by-products of every description. They have even been named "new chemical composites".

* Unusable (waste) material is created, which has a cumulative congesting/clogging effect on the body and is a burden to the natural eliminative processes of the body.

* All of the enzymes present in raw foods are destroyed at temperatures as low as 118 degrees Fahrenheit. These enzymes, named "food enzymes" are important for optimum digestion. They naturally aid in digestion and become active as soon as eating commences. Cooking destroys 100% of these enzymes. Eating enzyme-dead food places a burden on the pancreas and other organs and overworks them, which eventually exhausts these organs. The digestion of cooked food usurps valuable metabolic enzymes in order to help digest the food. Digestion of cooked food is much more energetically demanding than the digestion of raw food. In general, raw food is so much more easily digested that it passes through the digestive tract in a half to a third of the time it takes for cooked food.

* After eating a cooked meal, there is a rush of white blood cells towards the digestive tract, leaving the rest of the body less protected by the immune system. From the point of view of the immune system the body is being invaded by a foreign (toxic) substance when cooked food is eaten.

* A general augmentation of white corpuscles in the blood and a change in the relative proportions of different blood cells occurs. This phenomenon is called "digestive leukocytosis."

* The natural population of beneficial intestinal flora becomes dominated by putrefactive bacteria (particularly from cooked meat), resulting in colonic dysfunction, allowing the absorption of toxins from the bowel. This phenomenon is variously called dysbacteria, dysbiosis, or intestinal toxemia (toxicosis).

* A buildup of mucoid plaque is created in the intestines. Mucoid plaque is a thick tar-like substance which is the long-term result of undigested, uneliminated cooked food putrefying in the intestines. Cooked starches and fats in particular are a major culprit in constipation and clogging of the intestines.

* A build-up of toxins and waste material in many parts of the body, including within individual cells. Some of these toxins and wastes are called lipofuscin, which accumulates in the skin and nervous system, including the brain. It can be observed as "liver spots" or "age spots."

* Malnutrition at the cellular level. Because cooked foods are lower in nutrients, in addition to containing wastes and toxins, individual cells don't receive enough of the nutrients they need.

* Tendency towards obesity through overeating. Because the cells don't get enough nutrients they are so to speak "always hungry" and hence "demand" more food. Cooked food is also less likely to be properly metabolized, which is another factor in excess weight gain.

* From time to time the body experiences detoxification crises (also called purification or healing crises). This happens when toxins are released through the skin or dumped in the bloodstream for elimination by the liver, kidneys, and other organs. The symptoms may include headaches, fever, nausea, vomiting, colds, bronchitis, sinusitis, pneumonia, diarrhea, etc.

* The body can become so toxic that all kinds of particles, such as pollen, can cause detoxification crises, called "allergies.". An estimated 80 million Americans suffer from such "allergies."

* The immune system, having to handle the massive daily invasions of toxins and toxic by-products, eventually becomes overwhelmed and weakened. A key factor in the aging process.

* Some of the waste material builds up in the arteries and clogs them, leading to high blood pressure, atherosclerosis, arteriosclerosis, strokes, etc. - killing an estimated 50% of Americans.

* The wastes, toxins, mutagens, and carcinogens that build up within cells, as well as the daily onslaught of excess free radicals eventually cause some cells to become cancerous - killing an estimated 30% of Americans.

* In general, the natural aging process is accelerated by cooked food. People who switch to raw food often become biologically and visibly younger.

From Cancerologist Dr. Bruce Ames Regarding "Mutagenesis, Carcinogenesis, and the Degenerative Diseases of Aging"

Cooking food is plausible as a contributor to cancer. A wide variety of chemicals are formed during cooking. Four groups of chemicals that cause tumors in rodents have attracted attention because of mutagenicity, potency, and concentration:

1. Nitrosamines are formed from nitrogen oxides present in gas flames or from other burning. Surprisingly little work has been done on the levels of nitrosamines in fish or meat cooked in gas ovens or barbecued, considering their mutagenic and carcinogenic potency.

2. Heterocyclic amines are formed from heating amino acids or proteins.

3. Polycyclic hydrocarbons are formed from charring meat.

4. Furfural and similar furans are formed from heating sugars. Heating fat generates mutagenic epoxides, hydroperoxides, and unsaturated aldehydes, and may also be of importance.


International Agency for Research on Cancer (1993) Some naturally occurring substances: Food items and constituents, heterocyclic aromatic amines and mycotoxins (International Agency for Research on Cancer, Lyon, France).

Gold, L. S., Slone, T. H., Stern, B. R., Manley, N. B. & Ames, B. N. (1992) Science 258, 261-265.

Gold, L. S., Slone, T. H., Manley, N. B. & Ames, B. N. (1994) Cancer Lett. 83, 21-29.

Dr. Ames is a Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology and Director, National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences Center, University of California, Berkeley. He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences and was on their Commission on Life Sciences. He was formerly on the board of directors of the National Cancer Institute (National Cancer Advisory Board). He was the recipient of the most prestigious award for cancer research, the General Motors Cancer Research Foundation Prize (1983), the highest award in environmental achievement, the Tyler Prize (1985), the Gold Medal Award of the American Institute of Chemists (1991), and the Glenn Foundation Award of the Gerontological Society of America (1992). He has been elected to the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, the Japan Cancer Association, and the Academy of Toxicological Sciences. His 300 scientific publications have resulted in his being the 23rd most-cited scientist (in all fields) (1973-1984).]

Leukocytosis and Cooked Food

In 1930, research was conducted at the Institute of Clinical Chemistry in Lausanne, Switzerland, under the direction of Dr. Paul Kouchakoff. The effect of food (cooked/processed vs. raw/natural) on the immune system was tested and documented. Dr. Kouchakoff's discovery concerned the leukocytes, the white blood cells. Apparently, a well-known phenomenon occurred immediately after a person ate.

It was found that after a person eats cooked food, his/her blood responds immediately by increasing the number of white blood cells. This is a well-known phenomena called "digestive leukocytosis," which means that there is a rise in the number of leukocytes, or white blood cells, after eating. Since digestive leukocytosis was always observed after eating, it was considered to be a normal physiological response to eating. No one knew why the number of white cells would rise after eating, since this appeared to be a stress response, as if the body was reacting to something harmful, such as infection, trauma, or exposure to toxic chemicals.

A Remarkable Discovery

Back in 1930, Swiss researchers of the institute of Chemical Chemistry studied the influence of food on human blood and made a remarkable discovery. They found that eating unaltered, raw food or food heated at low temperatures did not cause a reaction in the blood. In addition, if a food had been heated beyond a certain temperature (unique to each food), or if the food was processed (refined, added chemicals, etc.), this ALWAYS caused a rise in the number of white cells in the blood. The researchers renamed this reaction "pathological leukocytosis", since the body was reacting to highly altered food. They tested many different kinds of foods and found that if the foods were not overheated or refined, they caused no reaction. The body saw them as "friendly foods". However, these same foods, if heated at too high a temperature, caused a negative reaction in the blood, a reaction that is found only when the body is invaded by a dangerous pathogen or trauma.

The Worst Offenders

The worst offenders of all, whether heated or not, were processed foods — that had been refined (such as white flour or white rice), or homogenized (a process in which the fat in milk is subjected to artificial suspension), or pasteurized (also seen in milk, flash-heated to high temperatures to kill bacteria), or preserved (chemicals added to food to retard spoilage or to enhance taste or texture) — in other words, foods that were changed from their original God-given state. Good examples of these harmful foods are: pasteurized milk, chocolate, margarine, sugar, candy, white flour, and regular salt. The researchers found that if these altered, chemical foods were chewed very thoroughly, the harm to the blood could be lessened. In addition, another amazing finding was that if some of the same food in its raw state was eaten with the cooked counterpart, the pathological reaction in the blood was minimized. However, avoid these unnatural, processed foods; replace them with delicious whole foods for optimal health.


Kouchakoff, Paul, M.D.; "The Influence of Cooking Food on the Blood Formula of Man"; First International Congress of Microbiology; Paris, 1930.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Vaccination & Potential Harm

Andrew Wakefield, Scientific Censorship, and Fourteen Monkeys; A statement by Jenny McCarthy and Jim Carrey

by Mike Adams, the Health Ranger, NaturalNews Editor

(NaturalNews) When it comes to vaccines, Jenny McCarthy and Jim Carrey get it. They see how the pharma industry is engineering a campaign to silence Dr. Andrew Wakefield in order to suppress the publication of startling new evidence linking vaccines to severe neurological damage.

At great risk to their professional careers, Jenny McCarthy and Jim Carrey have found the courage to dare to tell the truth about vaccines and autism. Despite the vicious attacks by the pro-vaccine zealots who will stop at nothing to destroy anyone who challenges conventional vaccine mythology, McCarthy and Carrey have issued a powerful, inspired statement that reveals the truth behind the Big Pharma smear campaign that is intent on destroying the reputation of Dr. Andrew Wakefield before he can publish the final results of this important new study.

NaturalNews reprints that statement here, unedited:

A statement from Jenny McCarthy and Jim Carrey

Dr. Andrew Wakefield is being discredited to prevent an historic study from being published that for the first time looks at vaccinated versus unvaccinated primates and compares health outcomes, with potentially devastating consequences for vaccine makers and public health officials.

It is our most sincere belief that Dr. Wakefield and parents of children with autism around the world are being subjected to a remarkable media campaign engineered by vaccine manufacturers reporting on the retraction of a paper published in The Lancet in 1998 by Dr. Wakefield and his colleagues.

The retraction from The Lancet was a response to a ruling from England's General Medical Council, a kangaroo court where public health officials in the pocket of vaccine makers served as judge and jury. Dr. Wakefield strenuously denies all the findings of the GMC and plans a vigorous appeal.

Despite rampant misreporting, Dr. Wakefield's original paper ( regarding 12 children with severe bowel disease and autism never rendered any judgment whatsoever on whether or not vaccines cause autism, and The Lancet's retraction gets us no closer to understanding this complex issue.

Dr. Wakefield is one of the world's most respected and well-published gastroenterologists. He has published dozens of papers ( since 1998 in well-regarded peer-reviewed journals all over the world. His work documenting the bowel disease of children with autism and his exploration of novel ways to treat bowel disease has helped relieve the pain and suffering of thousands of children with autism.

For the past decade, parents in our community have been clamoring for a relatively simple scientific study that could settle the debate over the possible role of vaccines in the autism epidemic once and for all: compare children who have been vaccinated with children who have never received any vaccines and see if the rate of autism is different or the same.

Few people are aware that this extremely important work has not only begun, but that a study using an animal model has already been completed exploring this topic in great detail.

Dr. Wakefield is the co-author, along with eight other distinguished scientists from institutions like the University of Pittsburgh, the University of Kentucky, and the University of Washington, of a set of studies that explore the topic of vaccinated versus unvaccinated neurological outcomes using monkeys.

The first phase of this monkey study was published three months ago in the prestigious medical journal Neurotoxicology, and focused on the first two weeks of life when the vaccinated monkeys received a single vaccine for Hepatitis B, mimicking the U.S. vaccine schedule. The results, which you can read for yourself here (, were disturbing. Vaccinated monkeys, unlike their unvaccinated peers, suffered the loss of many reflexes that are critical for survival.

Dr. Wakefield and his scientific colleagues are on the brink of publishing their entire study, which followed the monkeys through the U.S. childhood vaccine schedule over a multi-year period. It is our understanding that the difference in outcome for the vaccinated monkeys versus the unvaccinated controls is both stark and devastating.

There is no question that the publication of the monkey study will lend substantial credibility to the theory that over-vaccination of young children is leading to neurological damage, including autism. The fallout from the study for vaccine makers and public health officials could be severe. Having denied the possibility of the vaccine-autism connection for so long while profiting immensely from a recent boom in vaccine sales around the world, it's no surprise that they would seek to repress this important work.

Behind the scenes, the pressure to keep the work of Dr. Wakefield and his colleagues from being published is immense, and growing every day. Medical journals take extreme risk of backlash in publishing any studies that question the safety of the vaccination program, no matter how well-designed and thorough the research might be. Neurotoxicology, a highly-respected medical journal, deserves great credit for courageously publishing the first phase of this vaccinated monkey study.

The press has been deeply misled in the way The Lancet retraction, and Dr. Wakefield's mock trial, have been characterized. Led by the pharmaceutical companies and their well-compensated spokespeople, Dr. Wakefield is being vilified through a well-orchestrated smear campaign designed to prevent this important new work from seeing the light of day.

What medical journal would want to step in front of this freight train? Moreover, why now, after 12 years of inaction, did The Lancet and GMC suddenly act? Is it coincidence that the monkey study is currently being submitted to medical journals for review and publication?

We urge the media to take a close look at the first phase of the monkey study discussed above and to start asking a very simple question: What was the final outcome of the 14 primates that were vaccinated using the U.S. vaccine schedule and how did that compare to the unvaccinated controls?

The U.S. vaccine schedule has grown from 10 vaccines given to our children in the 1980s to 36 today, perfectly matching the dramatic rise in autism. The work of Dr. Wakefield and his colleagues deserves to be shared with the world to further, rather than censor, scientific progress.

Original source for this statement:

Up-Date From Jim

Hi John!

Of course you can publish my dribble on your blog....

I should also have mentioned that many other 'nasties' have disappeared fro=

m my body - like the constant aches in my knees and elbows, the 'turns' I w=

as almost experiencing everyday and the broken sleep... and a heap of littl=

e things! The fast worked many wonders and seemed to have kicked started my=

body in many facets...

Sent: Sunday, 7 February 2010 5:21 AM

To: John Fielder

Subject: Many thanks!

Hi John!

Please forgive the huge delay in correspondence - no excuse! I've been slack!

An update in my own health is needed...

Firstly many thanks for the time and care at the farm during October - gee, was it that long ago? I really enjoyed my days of reading and discussion with you. I missed your friendship greatly when I returned. In truth, except for Judy I just don't have any support at all for my 'strange' diet and 'weird' view of disease, nutrition and health. Accordingly, I keep my lifestyle pretty low-key and choose to keep to myself most of the time. I really missed having you to answer my questions about all the things that interest me and which I find so frustrating in this unreal world.

After the fast I was exhausted and it did take quite awhile to recover my full strength. Work was extremely enervating for me for a few months. I have maintained my raw food diet and all the stuff that you said to me is slowly unfolding.

You were so right about so many things John. I'm writing today because I wanted to tell you that slowly my memory seems to be returning. I haven't suddenly recalled everything but I have had a few awakenings over the passed couple of weeks. I was a bit disappointed that there were no sensational flashes of lightning or bright lights...!!! One day as I was in bed with Judy as we were talking... I just remembered an experience I had in China involving a beggar man in Xingtai, the city I lived in. It was just 'there' - no doubt as it always had been - and it just tumbled out unexpectedly. I suppose this doesn't really surprise you at all? However, this is something that has really been brought home to me about the way nature and our systems and healing itself usually works. There is a process occurring constantly and it just flows along (if allowed to) and there really are no bright revelations, just this constant movement, these wonderful cycles that flow around us and within us. What a wonderful thing life really is!

Unfortunately our manmade world craves sensationalism and instant gratification... and I have been badly brain-washed by this paradigm too... We think that if there is no instant 'fix' then nothing has happened... hence drugs, surgery and our convoluted view of healing. I'm still seeped in this perspective, it scars my understanding and warps my view of life too. But I am beginning to see that nature works through processes. My own healing has been slow and I bet it has been constant too, even though I can't see it.

Sssooooooooooooo.... now I am slowly regaining my lost memory... slowly and I believe my mind has improved also. No, I understand that I am not 'there' yet but I am moving in a definite direction and it just excites my heart and soul to soaring heights when I see that I am moving out of the mess I was once in. I'm actually very thankful that this process is so gentle. The accident was such a violent,savage slash into my being and it tore me apart in so many ways - but my healing has been so very gracious and respectful of my heart and of my feelings and I really am beginning to appreciate this process now. Even if I never regain all those lost years I feel that there is something wonderful in having had this process revealed to me.

Yes John, I have learnt a great deal through your care and I am so very thankful.

Life flows on and the opportunity for real health and longevity lies before us all. Health! - there's just so much contained in that one word. I know that nourishment and sustainence and healing and fulfillment are really such simple things and that they are within our grasp and that they are all around us. I know we complicate things out of all proportion.

I still admire Gandhi and Thoreau and all men who embrace a minimalist lifestyle and for this reason I admire you also John. I can see that your life reflects this gentle knowing also. Thank you so much for the assistance and the example.

So, I am just very comforted in having experienced that fortnight at Clohesy River Farm and I feel so very much blessed to have met you and felt the support that you offer to all who go under your care. I would dearly love to return but my fortnight with you was a major expense for Judy and I and, in truth, we could not repeat such for some time. Regardless I can see that the fasting process greatly accelerates healing. Maybe in time (without the fast) I may have had an improvement in my health but it really would have taken such a long ammount of time. I wonder if I would have given up on my diet if not for the encouragement that I received via the fast? Perhaps... but such a small fast was a great benefit for me.

One thing I have not yet experienced that you mentioned to me John.... I have not experienced the change that you spoke to me about when the taste of my food will alter - when my taste will awaken... I haven't experienced this as yet... this awakening of taste. Will it still come? Is it a certainty?

Anyway I just wanted to drop you a line and thank you so much for all the help that you have given to me.

I'll keep you posted on my recovery!