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Jun-14-2012 17:54printcomments

NPR Betrays Listeners' Children for Monsanto and Drug Money

NPR and PBS have a lot to learn.

Monsanto and NPR

(WASHINGTON DC) - Supporters of NPR were outraged last year when it began running "Marketplace," a show produced by American Public Media which is funded by Monsanto.

Food First says that "Both NPR and National Public Television have long accepted money willingly from corporations that make millions off the exploitation of family farmers and consumers alike. ADM - supermarket to the world - comes to mind. These so-called public media entities can be even more deceitful than private media outlets, precisely because they disguise their corporate influence. At least with overt advertising, most people can sort out the propaganda from information."

Now, NPR has truly crossed the line, politically, ethically, medically, and logically, in its piece entitled To Sniff Out Childhood Allergies, Researchers Head To The Farm. They have taken a broadcast about a study showing that farms kids are much less likely to experience allergies than kids who live in more sanitized environments, and flipped the message on its head.

The show begins with information on the hygiene hypothesis "Paradoxically, the theory goes, we're too clean," NPR reports. "It looks like with our modern conditions and cleanliness that we have fewer and fewer germs to fight off," Nish says. Our immune systems protect us by learning to fight off foreign invaders, whether they're harmless or not. We can't train our defenses if we don't get exposed."

It goes on about a recent study in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology showing much lower rates of allergies among Amish children living on farms in Indiana. The author of the study, NPR says, suggests "the reason may be because the children get exposed very early on to dirty environments, and to a variety of dust and germs." Even young kids are often in the barn, working with animals, and drinking raw milk."

A logical person might think, "So, maybe that's why what raw milk advocates are talking about when they say that raw milk have friendly bacteria in it that is good for the immune system." A person well read in what is happening about the hygiene hypothesis and how excited immunologists are about it might even have read the Yale study a couple of years ago showing that friendly bacteria protects against type 1 diabetes.

The findings, reported in the journal Nature, support the so-called “hygiene hypothesis” – the theory that a lack of exposure to parasites, bacteria and viruses in the developed world may lead to increased risk of diseases like allergies, asthma, and other disorders of the immune system. The results also suggest that exposure to some forms of bacteria might actually help prevent onset of Type I diabetes, an autoimmune disease in which the patient’s immune system launches an attack on cells in the pancreas that produce insulin...
In the Nature paper, teams led by Li Wen at Yale and Alexander V. Chervonsky at the University of Chicago showed that NOD mice deficient in innate immunity were protected from diabetes in normal conditions. However, if they were raised in a germ-free environment, lacking “friendly” gut bacteria, the mice developed severe diabetes. NOD mice exposed to harmless bacteria normally found in the human intestine were significantly less likely to develop diabetes, they reported.

Northwestern University is showing the same thing. Infants in third world countries are benefiting, just as Amish children here apparently are, from exposure to germs, but the Northwestern researchers is focused on how they are protected from even more serious chronic diseases.

A new Northwestern University study done in lowland Ecuador remarkably finds no evidence of chronic low-grade inflammation -- associated with diseases of aging like cardiovascular disease, diabetes and dementia.
In contrast, about one-third of adults in the United States have chronically elevated C-reactive protein (CRP). Acute elevations in CRP -- a protein in the blood whose levels rise as part of the inflammatory response -- are important for protecting us against infectious disease. But when CRP is chronically produced, it is associated with chronic diseases.

And a Canadian study of yogurt use in Africa by AIDS patients showed that yogurt (full of friendly bacteria) equalled AIDS drugs in raising T-4 levels and surpassed the drugs in easing stomach pains, reducing diarrhea, and helping patients gain weight.

But the NPR does not mention these studies, which are part of the flood of evidence coming in now on how essential bacteria is to health. Instead, it has imbedded in its broadcast two big messages to please its big financial sponsors - Monsanto and the pharmaceutical industry. Don't drink raw milk and take your children to the doctor for drugs.

For Monsanto money, NPR was very silent on what is happening to the Amish and others producing raw milk and how threatened raw milk and people's right to it (and food in general) is right now. And by whom? By Monsanto, which controls the FDA and is trying to get rid of raw (real) milk and raw cheeses against immense parental opposition (including parents' willingness to face jail). NPR left out that Monsanto via the FDA has used armed agents to terrorize the Amish and other raw milk dairy farmers. And NPR, in what was ostensibly a broadcast on health, left off that the Monsanto-run FDA is asserting in court, in a raw milk case, that people - including NPR's listeners - have no right to obtain the food of their choice and no right to their bodily and physical health.

NPR twisted its broadcast about Amish children drinking raw milk and having fewer allergies, to simultaneously damn the raw milk, countering the very point of its own piece. It slip slides all over the place, trying to get credit for a touchy-feely story on Amish children (even showing a little Amish child milking a cow) but using the story for another purporse, to put out a Monsanto and dairy industry message - don't drink that milk, stick to pasteurized. Yet the point of the study was the value of germs! And pasteurized industrial dairy industry milk approved by the FDA doesn't offer beneficial bacteria. It does, however, offers GMOs, pesticides, hormones, antibiotics and Crohn's disease bacteria. So, Amish families being terrorized for providing the beneficial raw milk to the public (including NPR's listeners, if they wish) are not just offering the only milk in the country that still has friendly bacteria in it. organic milk is super-pasteurized so though it is clean, it has no bacteria available to boost the immune system. Only raw milk from healthy farms offers both friendly bacteria and purity.

NPR did not forget the pharmaceutical industry's gift. (Monsanto is also pharma.)

It is interesting to watch how hard NPR tries to avoid saying something positive about raw milk (it boosts the immune system, just what raw milk advocates, researchers and doctors have been saying for some time) and then follows by ripping it apart.

Important news hidden by the barn and the cows: "Scientists don't know exactly what it is in raw milk, or in the barn, or on the cows, that helps boost the immune system. They're researching that now."

Now, comes the big gift to NPR's financial backers: fear. "But Holbreich cautions against drinking raw milk or serving it to your child. It contains too many dangerous, disease-causing bacteria."

Duh? Didn't the broadcast just say kids were healthier when exposed to germs? Didn't the broadcast say that raw milk is boosting the immune system, they just don't know how? And where are all the people falling ill from the diseases from raw milk? Nowhere. Certainly not the Amish with their large healthy families. So, where are all the disease-causing bacteria? Nowhere. You are 35,000 more likely to fall ill from other food than from raw milk. The health standards for raw milk are much higher than for pasteurized milk.

The broadcast goes on:

"There are other theories about why allergies are rising. Taking antibiotics early in life may be a factor. Tightly constructed homes with little ventilation may foster allergies. And today people stay inside for longer periods of time, not exposing themselves to the great outdoors." [NPR, being helpful to its funder, Monsanto, skips past Monsanto's genetically engineered organisms in food, GMOs, being associated with the rise allergies. And being helpful to the drug industry, omits that, unlike other kids in the US who face the CDC's vaccine schedule of 69 vaccines from in utero til 18, the Amish barely vaccinate.]

Just as NPR contradicted the story's very point that germs and raw milk are protecting kids from allergies, NPR goes on to contradict the broadcast's point yet again, and big time. For the sake of NPR's other financial backers, the drug companies, NPR's story about kids being healthy from being outdoors with animals and drinking raw milk, ends on a medical note: "Turn your children into patients."

The show completely contradicts itself about the health value to their immune system of letting kids be kids and just go outside and get dirty. The contradictions are highlighted.

"But if you have allergies, Nish says, you shouldn't despair. [Learning that germs and raw milk can prevent allergies is hopeful.] "There's good treatment out there and there's no need to suffer," he says. [Drugs will suppress the symptoms of what excessive hygiene has weakened, the immune system.]

"There's a host of medications to treat symptoms. Antibiotics are commonly prescribed. [Weren't antibiotics just mentioned as a potential cause?] There are over the counter anti histamines and decongestants. [There are side effects to decongestants, and antihistamines and much better choices for kids.] And there's a nasal steroid spray, which Nish says can help to decrease inflammation in your nose. Studies show the spray benefits some patients. [All of the steroid nasal sprays can suppress the immune system, just what raw milk and germs are boosting for Amish kids. The side effects of steroids sprays range from bothersome, to quite serious, to developing new diseases such as Cushings, to life threatening.)

But the closest thing to a cure, says Nish, is allergy shots – that is, injections of the actual allergic substance. They're given in small doses, he says, "to sneak it past the immune system," and slowly build up the body's tolerance to the substances that cause allergies. [Amish kids have so few allergies, because they have naturally been exposed from early on.]

After a few months, allergies are usually under control. And, after a few years, patients can usually stop the shots altogether.

Amish parents give their kids raw milk, dirt to play in, and chance to be children. NPR advises its listeners to give their kids doctors' appointments, antibiotics, decongestants, antihistamines, steroid drugs, shots, and a chance to be patients. NPR is becoming a pharma voice for vaccines as well, which is yet another area where the Amish children are different and healthier.

NPR and PBS could learn something from Robin MacNeil about real journalism when it comes to seeking the truth when seeking health for PBS watchers and their children.

Comments Leave a comment on this story.

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Concerned Citizen August 27, 2013 8:09 am (Pacific time)

Congratulations on your efforts to expose a dangerous and detrimental ill to our society. If you trace the negative comments to their sources it is almost guaranteed you will find Monsanto and "friends" behind their efforts.

Thank you! July 26, 2012 7:48 pm (Pacific time)

I'm sorry that there's a bunch of people here that don't wish to hear the truth about some of these things, I, for one am glad that the writer did this piece and they DID their research. For those of you screaming about vaccines, ever hear about the whooping cough epidemic that's directly linked to the vaccine? I've had several people that got their kids vaccinated and their kids came down with it, and the advertisements on TV pushing the vaccine??

Thos June 16, 2012 1:41 pm (Pacific time)

There is you agenda. Here I thought you were trying to cover news and a discussion about money or milk. Thanks for clarifying the "issue" for me.

Editor: "You agenda"- I am not sure, but mine is peace, responsibility,  accountability, honor and raising awareness of truthful circumstances.  We care about our readers, there are many, we don't want them to come away from any article that references Monsanto without knowing the full picture.  

Thos June 16, 2012 12:55 pm (Pacific time)

NPR is free to take advertising from anyone they want just as your web site does. Your article is drawing a straight line to Monsanto and drug money. Please extrapolate on the advantage to Monsanto and how this means NPR is selling out to them.

 Editor: Are you kidding?  Do you have any idea who Monsanto is?  Ever heard of the Vietnam War?  Ever heard of 4th gen Agent Orange victims, ever see any?  They're lovely children with two heads and four arms and all kinds of things of that nature.  Monsanto has never been accountable for these deaths and the general environmental degradation.  So they took their billions from killing Vietnamese babies and infecting soldiers and Marines and put that money into developing GMO food.  I swear, you would have taken money from Hitler in '37 and defended it, we know your kind.  And for the record, we would rather die than accept this kind of blood money.  

Monsanto is not in the milk business anymore so is the agenda to push profits for a different company? The issue you are discussing is a legitimate issue. That is why it's published in peer reviewed journals. The comments section is calling out the connection your title infers. There is no straight line between NPR and big business. This is just another attempt to fear monger the food system.

 Editor: This is a simple reaction to Monsanto's madness, and our anger is serious, and so is the anger of the Vietnamese government.  Just yesterday we carried the latest letter from Viet Nam decrying this abomination of an American sell out effort.

Have a raw milk discussion. There is value in that. But don't just do it by inflaming NPR and Monsanto. That connection doesn't make sense. But then again people won't tune in if you aren't making an inflamed discussion in lieu of a legitimate conversation.

Editor: Exactly how many friends that you cared about have you watched die from Agent Orange cancer?  This company is sickening and we are here to tell people about it and to make supporters of Monsanto to feel rotten in their hearts for supporting this TERRIBLE company Monsanto, but then money is the bottom line for NPR so what is the difference?  You cast your integrity into the fan blades.

Thos June 15, 2012 6:04 pm (Pacific time)

This reporting is irresponsible and should be stopped. Get an editorial board please. The context doesn't make sense. The above comments are dead on.

Shocked June 15, 2012 1:46 pm (Pacific time)

This article is trying to stir up a non-existent issue. Clearly this news outlet lacks editors. You should pull this article down. It's embarrassing your credibility. The above comments are stop on in their references. This author did 0 research. Then again that is the norm. Write the easy story in lieu of any facts.

Editor: Well aren't the NPR shills at work today?  Zero research is a ridiculous claim for you to make, you are just trying to insult the piece in the most hard way possible.  It quotes the sources!  There are many links and they are all relevant and back up what this writer is saying.  I admit you made me have doubt; I went back over this though and will again, but the OBVIOUS truth is that you don't like seeing Monsanto's already dirty name drug through the mud, too bad.  Monsanto is a terrible entity, NPR is sold out and you can live with it, others can't. is not sold out, we are whole and pure unlike the GMO garbage Monsanto is responsible for.  We are setting a positive example.  So I let you guys go f or a moment, but no longer.  This article is excellent and it troubles you because it calls a spade a spade. 

James June 15, 2012 12:17 pm (Pacific time)

I thought Monsanto sold it's Pharma side to Pfizer and the milk business to Eli Lilly.

sheesh June 15, 2012 12:00 pm (Pacific time)

There is no end to the Monsanto conspiracy theories, now extended to the raw milk debate. I suggest the FDA stop regulating raw milk. Also stop requiring vacinations, because Monsanto and the evil drug industry are probably pulling the strings there too. Eventually, the microorganisms and viruses will rid the world of our hysterical conspiracy theorists, and we can go on about our modern, science-based lives, sans Luddites.

Tyler June 15, 2012 11:27 am (Pacific time)

Disappointing article. It comes off as a Jenny McCarthy-esque anti-vaccine rant. Allergy shots aren't conspiracies and the science behind it isn't even that complicated. In the case of vaccines, weakened antibodies are injected into the bloodstream and white blood cells attack them. Because they're weakened, your body has no problem fighting the infection (unless you have an immunity deficiency like AIDs or are weakened from fighting another illness prior to the shot) and the white blood cells are prepared to fight the infection if it enters the bloodstream again. Of course, your body takes precautions when foreign antibodies enter the bloodstream, so it increases its temperature (fever/headache) and blood pressure, mucous membranes secrete mucus (coughing/phlegm), and your tear ducts open (runny nose). This anti-vaccine sentiment is putting millions and potentially billions of children at risk because a handful of ignorant parents think health professionals are out to get them. Sure, there are a few scum doctors who write prescriptions only to make money from pharmaceutical companies, but most of them just move to Florida and give oxycontin to addicts. Allergy shots work nearly the same way as vaccines and the reasoning for the "usually" in "patients can usually stop the shots altogether" is because not everyone has the same immune system. Some people just have weaker immune systems due to genetic faults and their bodies will never adapt to the antibodies.

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