Genetically Modified Foods Disturb Mouse Karma and Cause Teen Violence?

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Over at the Organic Consumers Association website, anti-biotech ideologue Jeffrey Smith argues that biotech foods cause anti-social behavior. As part of his evidence, Smith offers: 

… a cruel and unusual experiment with three mice. [Wisconsin high school students] fed them the junk food that kids in other high schools eat everyday. The mice freaked out. Their behavior was totally different than the three mice in the neighboring cage. The neighboring mice had good karma; they were fed nutritious whole foods and behaved like mice. They slept during the day inside their cardboard tube, played with each other, and acted very mouse-like.

The junk food mice, on the other hand, destroyed their cardboard tube, were no longer nocturnal, stopped playing with each other, fought often, and two mice eventually killed the third and ate it. After the three month experiment, the students rehabilitated the two surviving junk food mice with a diet of whole foods. After about three weeks, the mice came around.

Sister Luigi Frigo repeats this experiment every year in her second grade class in Cudahy, Wisconsin, but mercifully, for only four days. Even on the first day of junk food, the mice's behavior "changes drastically." They become lazy, antisocial, and nervous. And it still takes the mice about two to three weeks on unprocessed foods to return to normal. One year, the second graders tried to do the experiment again a few months later with the same mice, but this time the animals refused to eat the junk food.

Across the ocean in Holland, a student fed one group of mice genetically modified (GM) corn and soy, and another group the non-GM variety. The GM mice stopped playing with each other and withdrew into their own parts of the cage. When the student tried to pick them up, unlike their well-behaved neighbors, the GM mice scampered around in apparent fear and tried to climb the walls. One mouse in the GM group was found dead at the end of the experiment.

It's interesting to note that the junk food fed to the mice in the Wisconsin experiments also contained genetically modified ingredients….

The image

Interesting, but I wonder how Smith would explain the fact that as foods using ingredients from biotech crops have become ubiquitous, that crime rates, school violence, and even teen pregnancies have dropped steeply?

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  1. Ron, you watch 12oz Mouse?!?

  2. I blame it on Bugles. I split a 1 and 1/2 lb. bag one night at bowling and woke up at 3AM thinking I was halfing an acid flash back. One guy on my team thought he was having a heart attack, and a third, well, we’ve never heard from him again.

  3. I have no doubt this was a double blind placebo controlled study.

    lol

  4. Let me get this straight…

    The food we eat, GM or not, is awash in non-human DNA. Our GI tract is filled with trillions of bacterial cells, representing many thousands of species. Our own cells are constantly dying and getting reprocessed by our bodies. Multitudes of mutagens, not to mention natural errors by polymerases, attack the integrity of our genomes every moment of every day.

    But eating GM corn causes abnormal behavior and death? Any chance this “study” was peer reviewed? And by “peer” I mean someone whose biological training goes beyond the Organic Consumers’ self-righteous circlejerk.

  5. Those experiments are nothing. We fed our genetically modified foods to a frog, and it turned into a giant radioactive lizard. Thank God the Japanese chased it into the ocean, where presumably it died a natural death and won’t be bothering anyone any more.

  6. “Interesting, but I wonder how Smith would explain the fact that as foods using ingredients from biotech crops have become ubiquitous, that crime rates, school violence, and even teen pregnancies have dropped steeply? ”

    Good Karma?

  7. as foods using ingredients from biotech crops have become ubiquitous, … teen pregnancies have dropped steeply?

    Sick, sadistic bastards with their fertility-destroying GM foods. They want a bunch of mutant, trifurcated, infertile women running around. We all know where that leads.

  8. So … if the healthy mice sleep all day, how exactly do you determine that the junk food mice are being “lazy?”

  9. The neighboring mice had good karma; they were fed nutritious whole foods and behaved like mice. They slept during the day inside their cardboard tube, played with each other, and acted very mouse-like.

    Is this guy retarded? Is he writing this with a wink? Is he being funny? A sample size of six mice? Administered by high school students? And this guy writes serious piece based on this… this ‘research’?

    They behaved “mouse-like” and had…”good karma”? What kind of fucktard would write this drivel and not fear getting laughed at by the entire media spectrum?

  10. And yet, the rats living in the dumpster behind McDonalds and Taco Bell seem to do just fine.

  11. “And tomorrow, we’ll take some Percodan…just because it’s Saturday.”

    What kind of fucktard would write this drivel and not fear getting laughed at by the entire media spectrum?

    The kind that believes in karma.

  12. I don’t really think the GMO is making us less fertile, but if it is that is very disturbing. It would fit with THE main conspiracy theories out there…like in “Endgame”.

    I do worry about what is causign the massive increases in severe allergies in children along with the 500% increase in diabetes over the last 20 years and the ramp up in autism. My child has a severe milk allergy which has zero precedence in either of our families(ok no jokes about the mailman’s milk allergies).

    The over diagnosis line of argument jsut is not true…if you have young children you know it is getting worse over the last 20 years. Something is causing it and it is negatively affecting our health compared to when I was a kid. Yes I liek Julian Simon’s books and understand those arguments, but over the last 15 years there have been alarming new trends to the downside.

  13. They slept during the day inside their cardboard tube, played with each other

    And how can we be sure that this so-called ‘play’ was consensual? What if the female mice were being sexually harassed? Alert Feministing FemiMice-ing!

  14. The kind that says “whole foods”.

  15. I fed GM food to my kitten and he turned into a liger.

    I had one chip with GM corn, and now I’ve lost the capacity for love.

    One time, I stained the carpet with GM ketchup and every time someone tried to walk over that section of carpet, they tripped.

    GM food causes condoms to fail.

    GM food causes libertarian democrats.

    GM food is why Ron Paul worries about the Bilderberg group.

  16. And yet, the rats living in the dumpster behind McDonalds and Taco Bell seem to do just fine.

    That’s because the mold converts processed food back to a wholesome and all natural state… with good karma

  17. Maybe the mice weren’t drunk enough…

  18. I do worry about what is causign the massive increases in severe allergies in children along with the 500% increase in diabetes over the last 20 years and the ramp up in autism.

    My guesses, in order: Not being exposed to as many environmental allergens, fatness, and better diagnosis.

    The over diagnosis line of argument jsut is not true…if you have young children you know it is getting worse over the last 20 years

    What, having kids would make me know this? Mother’s intuition is pretty powerful shit then.

  19. Finally, this explains Ben.

  20. Gabe: A lot of recent research on “>hygiene hypothesis” goes a long way toward explaining increased allergies. Kids exposed to siblings, animals, and parasites have fewer allergies.

    Episiarch:

    Ron, you watch 12oz Mouse?!?

    Hidden depths.

  21. I didn’t have kids 20 yeras ago, so I wasn’t really paying attention then.

    Sorry.

  22. From now on, when I need to bolster an argument for which I have no evidence, I plan to cite to a Wisconsin High School classroom study.

    “It is widely known that most cancers can be healed by listening to hip-hop music and drinking Mountain Dew. Mrs. Schminkel’s 9th Grade Health Class, et al. Most scientists attribute this to the Extreme Awesomeness Factor present in Mountain Dew.

  23. The mice freaked out. Their behavior was totally different.
    The neighboring mice had good karma.

    Whoa, whoa, slow down! I can’t digest that lofty scientific terminology.

  24. Hidden depths.

    Awesome.

    And how can we be sure that this so-called ‘play’ was consensual?

    NutraSweet? Can you get on this?

  25. SPEAKING OF SCIENCE, THE URKOBOLD IS SORRY THAT HE NEGLECTED TO WISH EVERYONE AT HIT & RUN A HAPPY LAB WHORE DAY LAST WEEK. PLEASE FORGIVE HIM–HE WAS BUSY LAB WHORING.

    THE URKOBOLD WILL NOT FORGET TO MAIL HIS MAMMORIAL DAY CARDS, HOWEVER!

  26. I’m sure that the higher levels of mercury in some organically produced food would cure all the ills from genetically modified crops.

  27. Can you get on this?

    I just don’t swing that way, dude. It’s embarrassing to keep having to tell you.

  28. I just don’t swing that way, dude. It’s embarrassing to keep having to tell you.

    My ears hear but my heart won’t listen.

  29. The over diagnosis line of argument jsut is not true…if you have young children you know it is getting worse over the last 20 years

    If you have young children, you probably weren’t a parent twenty years ago, and have no basis for comparison.

    When you were single, you didn’t think about issues affecting children. Now you do, and it suddenly seems new and a bit overwhelming. But imagine how it would have been raising children during the polio epidemic of 1952.

  30. Re the rise in Kids allergies: As mentioned it would seem that it is largely due to the lack of exposure to allergens at a young age. The friends I have who have sickly allergic children are the ones who mollycoddle them and don’t let them play outside or rough or with animals etc etc etc. Every kid I know who does get dirty and play outside and with animals is fine and dandy.

    I know that this is just a personal take but I have read studies that say the same thing. Of course there is no money to be made from that argument so the Anti-GM people blame their personal devil. The medical profession makes more money treating these ills (including diabetes from being fat) that advising that little kids should climb trees and swim in the river.

    There was an article in Newsweek (no less) that mentioned a small but growing movement of people who were exposing their peanut-allergic children to minute amounts of peanuts and grow that exposure over time. In many cases the kids become largely resistant to peanuts.

    I am allergic to dogs when I first meet one but what I do — if I know that I am going to know that dog for sometime — is play with it heavily for hours and hours, suffer through the red skin, wattery eyes and (sometimes) difficult breathing and I get over it. I have two dogs of my own and have zero problems with them though I did when we first got them. For three weeks we are looking after our new neighbors dog and while I was allergic to the wee beastie at first, now she sleeps next to me in bed.

    No guarantees, your mileage may vary.

    Another problem may be less breast-feeding. Many Bronze Age people would go out of their way to have babies nursed by a variety of different women to pass on a bigger variety of resistances….

  31. I’ll also posit that if you’re born a mouse and live in a cage, at the mercy of nuns and small children, you already have bad karma.

  32. Dag,

    What if the female mice were being sexually harassed? Alert Feministing FemiMice-ing!

    Seriously, at this point all I’m getting is little white girl mice in those red Handmaiden’s Tale robes.

    Sort of a feminist dystopia Redwall.

  33. …well, we’ve never heard from him again.

    …and two mice eventually killed the third and ate it.

    Goddamn junk food’ll do it every time.

    I hope you’ve learned your lesson.

  34. Ron, you should warn folks before inserting a link like that. The Organic Consumers Association link just pegged my bullshit detector. Now I have to replace the meter movement* and get it calibrated.

    * Yeah, I have an ancient analog one. Go ahead and laugh.

  35. I, Kahn O’Clast,

    I do the thing with cats and dogs; mine are fine, but new ones trigger allergic reactions.

    But don’t think it works for everything. I’m allergic to shellfish, every time I accidently get some, I get sicker than last time. At this point I can’t even sit at the same table with people eating crab or lobster.

  36. And just think off all those mice that live on trash! the poor creatures…

  37. And yet, the rats living in the dumpster behind McDonalds and Taco Bell seem to do just fine.

    Threadwinner.

  38. damn it, atrevete beat me to it…

  39. It’s not the GMOs, it’s the refined sugar. Blood sugar spikes are bad.

    Anyways, the REAL danger is all the rainbows the government is putting in our water:

    http://www.break.com/index/insane-rainbow-conspiracy-lady.html

  40. Remember gabe, paranoia will destroy ya

  41. Where’s Dave W. to bring up HFCS?

  42. It’s strange. You think I’d be the one harping on HFCS all the time.

  43. I do worry about what is causign the massive increases in severe allergies in children along with the 500% increase in diabetes over the last 20 years and the ramp up in autism. My child has a severe milk allergy which has zero precedence in either of our families(ok no jokes about the mailman’s milk allergies).

    500% increase in diabetes — the increased intake of refined carbs; it’s known for instance, that a soda a day doubles your risk for diabetes, and fruit drinks are nearly as bad

    allergies — http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hygiene_hypothesis

    This is probably why E German asthma rates skyrocketed after the fall of the Berlin Wall, despite the fact the air got no worse. In the Communist days, kids got thrown into massive state daycare facilities where they got their drool and snot and dirt all over each other.

  44. “I’ll also posit that if you’re born a mouse and live in a cage, at the mercy of nuns and small children, you already have bad karma.”

    Yeah, I wonder what type of mice they were in a past lifetime to deserve such hell? perhaps they weren’t mice at all… the reincarnation of Sadam Hussein?
    I can wish/pray/hope for the same outcome for a few “ratas” I know…

  45. You think I’d be the one harping on HFCS all the time.

    Why? Are you allergic to that too? My dad is allergic to all corn and it’s in everything.

  46. Seriously, at this point all I’m getting is little white girl mice in those red Handmaiden’s Tale robes.

    But, in all honesty, that’s a fantasy you go to a lot, isn’t it? Now that would get you some bad mouse karma.

  47. Ron Bailey | September 11, 2008, 3:58pm | #
    Gabe: A lot of recent research on “>hygiene hypothesis” goes a long way toward explaining increased allergies. Kids exposed to siblings, animals, and parasites have fewer allergies.

    The hygiene hypothesis has pretty good support, but the potential for allergies to result from genetic modifications is certainly there. It is an aspect of the process that is, and should continue to be monitored.

    http://www.nature.com/ni/journal/v6/n9/full/ni0905-857.html

    GM food products and allergies…

  48. But, in all honesty, that’s a fantasy you go to a lot, isn’t it?

    Poor NutraSweet, taking fire from all sides.

  49. How can he tell what kind of karma a mouse has? I can’t even tell what my own friggin’ karma is until years have passed. Like when wife #2 and I divorced… not much ‘good’ stuff happening then, but man did it ever turn out to be great (karma?) with #3!

    (full disclosure re the food/karma link: I eat pretty much whatever crosses my path without much concern for ingredients. Sometimes it is alive and must be killed, skinned, and prepared, sometimes all that is required is opening a zip lock bag – though like SugarFree I must now pay attention to the carbs.)

  50. Poor NutraSweet, taking fire from all sides.

    And I haven’t even been sexually rejected by him like you have, so I’ve got no excuse.

  51. It occurs to me that on a planet with 6 billion+, for just about any new product, chemical, or organic molecule somebody will be allergic to it.* To be safe we need everybody to stop everything until we understand everything.

    It’s for the chillens.

    * I’d be shocked if somebody hasn’t complained about an adverse health effect from the helium leaking out of balloons.

  52. And I haven’t even been sexually rejected by him like you have

    I’m not used to it and it stings. I’ll get him for this.

    so I’ve got no excuse

    You don’t need an excuse.

  53. I’m not used to it and it stings.

    You were really looking forward to the furry mouse get-up, weren’t you? Repeat after me: it’s his loss, it’s his loss…

  54. My 5 year old was breast fed for 98% of his first 9 months…periodic attempts to introduce formula(which had milk proteins in them)…the nurses introduced milk right after his birth…while the wife was getting stitched up…anyway, now even a cheap hotdog from Friendlies which contains a miniscule amount of casein(a milk protein)…neccesitates ER visit or epipen to save his life.

    Our other two don’t have this and they did have a lot less coddling the first year…so it could be partly the overclean mom stuff…but I know enough other skinny kids with diabetes and peanut/egg/milk allergic kids that have no previous family history that I’m not buying it… i think it is either the vaccines or the GMO…who knows…but I’d rather pay for research on the growing epidemic than listen to more scaremongering about “climate change”

  55. JsubD: There is currently a study under way to document just that.

    It causes this strange effect

  56. My parents fed me nutritious whole foods. it was as close to a hippie, non-vegetarian diet as one could get in the 70’s and 80’s suburbs. And yet, I was still lazy and anti-social. Now that I eat more junk food, I’m much more sociable and I never eat my friends, or even enemies.

    One thing, I wonder, is where did the Dutch children purchase GM foods? Aren’t they mostly banned from production or importation there?

  57. i think it is either the vaccines or the GMO…who knows…but I’d rather pay for research on the growing epidemic than listen to more scaremongering about “climate change”

    But what if it is the climate change?

    ;^)

    If there really is an increase in the prevalence of allergies it is likely to have a large number of causes, each one specific to the child with the allergy. There is not good evidence available to suspect either vaccines or GMO given that both are closely monitored and distributed widely.

    People are studying these things closely.

  58. Don’t go getting down on all student science because of this crap.

    Student Finds Fast Food Ice Has More Bacteria Than Toilet Water

  59. To Wisconsin second graders. It’s the sugar dummies.

  60. J sub D
    Even hippies know that helium is an inert noble gas. Plus it floats up to the top of the atmosphere. It could cause problems if you breath it straight out of a balloon, but it’s harmless mixed in with air.

    I propose an experiment. Take two cats. Feed one processed lunch meat, the other organic grains and fruits. See which one is healthier after that.

  61. smith’s next serious article is going to be about This ladies findings

  62. You were really looking forward to the furry mouse get-up, weren’t you? Repeat after me: it’s his loss, it’s his loss…

    I…well…uh…ok, you win. I can’t come back at that. Well done.

    anyway, now even a cheap hotdog from Friendlies which contains a miniscule amount of casein(a milk protein)…neccesitates ER visit or epipen to save his life

    Gabe, have you considered that you may just be genetically inferior?

  63. I do worry about what is causign the massive increases in severe allergies in children along with the 500% increase in diabetes over the last 20 years and the ramp up in autism. My child has a severe milk allergy which has zero precedence in either of our families(ok no jokes about the mailman’s milk allergies).

    Gabe, certainly something think about with the “explosion” of ‘severe allergies’. As a parent with a young kid in school, I can’t go a day without getting goddamned flyer from the school warning about “no peanut zones” etc. I’m always shouting out loud in my living room “where were all these anaphylactic shock cases when I was going to school?”

    I’m wondering if we’ve created severe allergy epidemics, not by GMO’s but by overprecaution about exposing our children to substances like… peanuts. Our children are developing in increasingly sterile, hermetic environments and as such, don’t know the difference between some stray peanut dust and a real pathogen attack.

    As for autism, despite your skepticism, I still consider that to be in the realm of overdiagnosis.

  64. Not only over diagnosis defined by actually diagnosing children as autistic who simply aren’t, but also increased diagnoses due to broadening the defining symptoms of autism.

  65. Now that rainbow sprinkler thing? Some questions need to be answered there. Like what is she using, and where can I get some?

  66. As for autism, despite your skepticism, I still consider that to be in the realm of overdiagnosis.

    It is impossible to get good trend data on autism before the recent change in diagnostic criteria. There are some indications that there is an increasing prevalence, but nothing solid yet.

    I agree that over-diagnosis is occurring.
    Unfortunately that occurs in the context of under-identification.

    The paradox of developmental disabilities resulting from difficulties in diagnosis.

    I think some of the most interesting work on autism comes from Baron-Cohen et al.

    The vaccines-to-autism link recently failed another serious examination trying to find a connection.

  67. It would be interesting for researchers to use old diagnosis criterion in parallel with modern criteria to diagnose a possible autism candidate. If they recorded their findings, they could then report what diagnostic rates would be had older systems remained in place. That way some kind of metric as to how much real ‘increase’ in autism rate is taking place.

    Just spitballing.

  68. As for autism, despite your skepticism, I still consider that to be in the realm of overdiagnosis.

    Autism symptoms and J sub D’s childhood.

    Social skills

    Fails to respond to his or her name ?
    Has poor eye contact ?
    Appears not to hear you at times ?
    Resists cuddling and holding
    Appears unaware of others’ feelings ?
    Seems to prefer playing alone – retreats into his or her “own world” ?

    Language

    Starts talking later than other children ?
    Loses previously acquired ability to say words or sentences
    Does not make eye contact when making requests
    Speaks with an abnormal tone or rhythm – may use a singsong voice or robot-like speech ?
    Can’t start a conversation or keep one going
    May repeat words or phrases verbatim, but doesn’t understand how to use them

    Behavior

    Performs repetitive movements, such as rocking, spinning or hand-flapping ?
    Develops specific routines or rituals
    Becomes disturbed at the slightest change in routines or rituals
    Moves constantly ?
    May be fascinated by parts of an object, such as the spinning wheels of a toy car ?
    May be unusually sensitive to light, sound and touch and yet oblivious to pain

    I somehow managed to keep off taking the short bus. Do I get bonus points for speech therapy in first grade?

  69. Mouse behavior primer:

    -Sexually mature male mice frequently try to kill each other when put in the same cage.

    -Mice need to gnaw on stuff to control their teeth growth and provide nesting material and generally like to gnaw on cardboard.

    -Mice aren’t supposed to be passive when you try to pick them up unless they’ve been heavily socialized; how quickly a mouse gives up struggling after being picked up is acutally used as a metric for depression (the “tail suspension test”) in mice.

    I don’t expect great background knowledge or experimental design from school children, but still…

  70. Fails to respond to his or her name ?
    Has poor eye contact ?
    Appears not to hear you at times

    Me at a business meeting.

    Resists cuddling and holding
    Appears unaware of others’ feelings ?
    Seems to prefer playing alone – retreats into his or her “own world” ?

    Me when I’m drunk and watching Master and Commander for the 22nd time.

    Can’t start a conversation or keep one going

    Sounds like my dream date.

    May repeat words or phrases verbatim, but doesn’t understand how to use them

    A technique I use to make people believe I’m “listening to them”.

    Develops specific routines or rituals

    See Master and Commander for 22nd time. Drunk.

    Moves constantly

    Ok, dealbreaker.

    May be unusually sensitive to light, sound and touch and yet oblivious to pain

    Bloody Mary first thing in the morning fixes that right up.

  71. I work with mice in the lab. Mice living in groups (e.g. 3 mice in a cage) establish a hierarchy; putting 3 strange mice (especially males) together can lead to the behavior described: fighting and even killing their cage mates. You can’t tell what will happen until you do the ‘experiment’ of confining the mice together. This is with the mice eating regular lab mouse chow.

    The same behavior can occur if you split up a group. If you split 6 mice up who are happily living together, into two cages of 3 mice each, you can get conflicts including fights to the death. Dead mice will usually be eaten by other mice, this is just what mice do.

    In short, if you don’t take into account the group dynamics, it will be impossible to tell what the effects of feeding different diets are on the behavior of the mice.

  72. I raised mice for a short time and fed them official, store-bought rodent food. They sure weren’t nocturnal, they destroyed every cardboard tube I put in their cage, they often seemed freaked out/nervous, and I’m not even sure how you’d measure if a mouse is “lazy” or not. I mean, what, they call in sick to work and then spend the day drinking beer and playing video games?
    I only noticed fighting and cannabilism if I let a cage get overcrowded.
    They’re mice, not Disney cartoons, deal with it.

  73. “Across the ocean in Holland, a student fed one group of mice genetically modified (GM) corn and soy, and another group the non-GM variety.”

    The corn and soy were genetically modified in what way? Is the author suggesting that the GM foods are nutritionally deficient, or added a harmful chemical to the food?

    “GM” is a cover term for any of a number of possible modifications. It is possible that the particular type of modification produced substandard corn and soy, but that does not mean that all GM foods are substandard because they are GM. We’re talking about an amateur science experiment whose methodology, data, and conclusions are suspect.

  74. “”GM” is a cover term for any of a number of possible modifications. It is possible that the particular type of modification produced substandard corn and soy, but that does not mean that all GM foods are substandard because they are GM. We’re talking about an amateur science experiment whose methodology, data, and conclusions are suspect.”

    My brother is a Nobel Prize winning chemist (no shit). He once told me molecules made by nature and molecules made by humans are the exactly same. Sodium chloride is sodium chloride no matter how it came to be. It would make sense that the same would hold true for GM foods. People have feared the fruits of science for a long, long time.

  75. I don’t think that experiment was well-designed.

  76. If they recorded their findings, they could then report what diagnostic rates would be had older systems remained in place. That way some kind of metric as to how much real ‘increase’ in autism rate is taking place.

    The problem with this is that it assumes we had good systems for identifying autism in the past. We can’t get good trend data primarily because we didn’t have good prevalence data in the past. Until we invent the time machine, that problem ain’t going away.

  77. He once told me molecules made by nature and molecules made by humans are the exactly same. Sodium chloride is sodium chloride no matter how it came to be. It would make sense that the same would hold true for GM foods. People have feared the fruits of science for a long, long time.

    You might ask your brother to explain to you why this comment fails to be relevant to a discussion of GM and allergies.

    Or you can read the article I linked to from Nature above.

  78. Gabe, I will punch in the face any nurse who tries to give my baby formula. Good christ, man, they probably sensitized your child to it right then and there.

    We were built to take mother’s milk, not cow’s milk. Most of the world’s population is intolerant of cow’s milk – it’s one reason why there’s so many wonderful varieties of cheese throughout the world, as the culturing process removes most of the physiologically offending components.

    Also, in my next manuscript submission, I’ll be sure to cite studies from elementary and high school classroom. I may even cite my own study undertaken in Mr. Archer’s 7th grade science class, 1988.

  79. The problem with this is that it assumes we had good systems for identifying autism in the past.

    That wasn’t really what I was trying to get at. I was suggesting that regardless of the quality of our poor assessments, we could still ask ourselves if we’re seeing an increase in diagnoses, even with the poor systems.

    Unless of course you’re suggesting that you could see dramatic changes in diagnoses because of said poor systems. Then I understand your point.

    Gabe:

    the nurses introduced milk right after his birth…while the wife was getting stitched up…anyway, now even a cheap hotdog from Friendlies which contains a miniscule amount of casein(a milk protein)…neccesitates ER visit or epipen to save his life.

    Correlation is not causation. My daughter was mostly* breast-fed for the first three months of her life, and she and her mother so hated the act of breast-feeding, she was a formula baby after that. As of now, she has no food allergies that we know of.**

    *My daughter had a really hard time latching onto the breast. So on her first few days after birth, we had to give her formula because she lost 7% of her body weight. Basically, the choice came down to sticking to the breast-feeding regimen (listen to the brown-shirted granola breast-feeding nazi nurse) or get some damned formula in her and get her body weight up (listened to the more reasonable nurse who said: “You’re going to get a lot of pressure from certain people around here, but in the end, breast feeding isn’t for everyone”). She was tapered off breast milk after month three, and went full-formula from then on out.

    **FWIW, My daughter is lactose intolerant– nothing major (cows milk). I think she’ll survive. She’s now almost 7 years old and very healthy.

  80. I’m pro-choice on breast.

  81. My guesses, in order: Not being exposed to as many environmental allergens, fatness, and better diagnosis.

    Also much better medical care allows more kids with problems to survive and have children.

    But imagine how it would have been raising children during the polio epidemic of 1952.

    I was 5 at the time. I clearly remember my parent’s fear (which they wouldn’t explain) particularly after my cousin was stricken. The evening after we went down to suck the sugar cube (with the vaccine) we celebrated at a fancy restaurant.

  82. We will solve this problem by a crash program to irrigate all GM crops with Brawndo, the thirst mutilator. “It’s got what plants crave”

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