Thank You, US Food Industry, for Increasing Risk of Cancer

Jimmy Fallon writes spoof thank-you notes nightly. Today, here's ours. Thank you, US Food Industry, for increasing our population's risk of cancer more than 100 times the rest of the world. 

Robyn O'Brien learned about how food in the US is different than in other countries. In the US, citizens have a 400% increased chance of cancer and food allergies skyrocketing since the 90's when foreign characteristics where introduced into the genetic material of food crops.
Notice the power of her posturing, how she holds out her hand open when presenting the information.

Everything written here, with the exception of headings and subheadings is a transcript of Robyn's presentation at TedX Austin, 2011.

Increase of Food Allergies in Children
(3:15-3:44) From 1997-2002 there is a doubling of the peanut allergy. 1/17 kids under the age of 17 now has a food allergy. There has been a 265% increase in the rate of hospitalizations related to food allergic reaction.

"I Wanted to Know, What is a Food Allergy"? 
(3:46-4:49) Your body sees something foreign so it launches an inflammatory response to drive out that foreign invader. We must ask ourselves, is there something FOREIGN in our food that wasn't there before? YES.

USDA tells Robyn, beginning in the 1990's, new proteins were engineered into our food supply to maximize profitability for the food industry. No human trials were conducted.

Common Allergies
Milk, Soy and Corn - 3 Top Allergens, with the Most Engineering.
  • Milk allergies are the most common allergies in the United States according to Wall Street Journal and CNN. (4:50 - 6:00)
    • Beginning in 1994 in order to drive profitability for the dairy industry, scientists were able to create this new genetically engineered protein and this synthetic growth hormone and inject it into our cows to help 'em make more milk. The business model makes perfect sense - it's a brilliant one. 
    • At the same time, it was making the animals sick. It was causing ovarian cysts, mastitis, lameness, skin disorders. And for that reason, it increased antibiotic use in those animals. 
    • Governments around the world exercised precaution....They didn't allow it because it hasn't yet been proven safe. The US said, "it hasn't been proven dangerous, so we'll allow it." 
    • (6:16-6:30) Canada, the UK, New Zealand, Australia and all 27 countries in Europe didn't allow it when it was introduced in the US in 1994. 
    •  (6:41-6:52) One of the concerns around this growth hormone, this synthetic protein is that it elevated hormone levels linked to breast, colon and prostate cancer
  • Soy: (8:01-9:11) Shortly after milk was engineered with this new protein, scientists then engineered soy, and soy is also one of the top 8 allergens. 
    • Soy is primarily used to fatten livestock. 
    • Scientists were able to scientifically engineer soy that it could withstand increasing doses of weedkiller. The business mode...made perfect sense. You engineer the seed so that you can sell more weedkiller. 
    • And at the same time you've engineered something new into that seed so that you can patent it. So now you've got a patent on the seed AND you're selling additional weedkiller.
    • But once again, governments around the world said, 'No studies have been done to show if this is safe to feed to the livestock and feed to our consumers. So, we're going to exercise caution in order to prevent the onset of any disease that may result.'
    • In 1996 here in the US, we took a different approach.
  • Corn. (9:19-9:53) In the late 1990's as concern started to grow about the spraying of insecticides over cornfields, scientists were able to engineer insecticide into the DNA of a corn seed.
    • As a corn plant grows, it releases its own insecticide. As a result, corn was regulated by the EPA as an insecticide. 
    • (10:06-10:27) We had introduced the term "substantial equivalents." It is a conceptual tool ...used by the tobacco industry to facilitate the approval process of something for which no human trials have been conducted.  
    • And that was the justification given for WHY we were introducing these things in the US.

(6:54-7:43) Robyn turned to "remarkable organizations like LiveStrong and The American Cancer Society" because she wanted to know, 'What are the rates of cancer in the US v. the rest of the world?'
  • 1/2 American men and 1/3 American women are expected to get cancer in their lifetime.
  • 1/8 women has breast cancer. Only 1/10 are genetic which means 9 out of 10 of them are environmentally triggered. 
  • Someone moving from a country like Japan is 4 times more likely to get cancer. 
The Government is Using Our Tax Dollars to Pay for Food 
Other Countries Will Not Allow
(12:42) As I began to look into this and learn that we are using these ingredients in the US food supply that we weren't using in other countries...it drove me absolutely nuts how expensive organic food was. So I looked into the business model.
  • Our taxpayer resources are being used to subsidize the growth of these crops with all these chemicals. 
  • Crops grown through the organic process, which means without use of synthetic chemicals, those guys are charged fees to prove that their stuff is grown without it then they're then charged FEES to then label those things as grown without it and then ON TOP OF THAT They don't get the insurance or the marketing assistance that these guys over here do. 
  • Not only is their cost structure higher, but the farmers that are 4th and 5th generation farmers who have been feeding our nation for generations, because those seeds are patented, they need to start paying royalty fees and licensing fees.
How are American Companies Exporting Their Products
They have formulated their products differently. SO Kraft and CocaCola do not use those ingredients in other countries.

So I wanted to know, what ARE we spending on health care compared to the rest of the world?
  • 16% of our GDP is spent on managing disease.

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