Medical professionals join the debate over the safety of our food supply with the claim that toxic foods are causing hard-to-diagnose chronic health problems in children.
Pediatrician Perro, former director of the pediatric emergency department at New York’s Metropolitan Hospital and attending physician at Oakland Children’s Hospital, and Adams (Vice Chair, Medical Anthropology/Univ. of California, San Francisco; Metrics: What Counts in Global Health, 2016, etc.) team up to document this phenomenon and to argue that the solution is a new model of eco-medicine that promotes the treatment value of healthy food. Genetically modified foods come in for especially close scrutiny. Perro’s practice provides clinical case studies illustrating the many health problems of children—allergies, asthma, rashes, gastrointestinal issues, autoimmune disorders, and cognitive malfunction—that frustrated parents have brought to her attention and that she has successfully treated. The authors also delve into the rise of agrochemical technologies and the current practices of industrial food production, especially with regard to GMO crops. They explore what biomedical sciences are beginning to learn about the connection between pesticides and organ systems, and they question the effectiveness of American Medical Association guidelines for medical practice, which they assert do not reflect scientific information. Physicians, they write, must think beyond the pill. The eco-medicine model calls for a recognition that our internal ecosystems can only be as healthy as our external environmental ecosystems. In their demand for a revolution in our food production system, as well as in our medical approach to chronic disorders, the authors acknowledge the need for scientists, educators, politicians, health professionals, and farmers to become involved, but they single out mothers as powerful agents of change.
An accessible read with a title designed to catch the attention of worried mothers and a message that will be vigorously challenged by a host of agribusiness and pharmaceutical industry spokespeople and segments of the medical profession.