Was Malthus Wrong?
You know for years I found the ideas promoted by Thomas Robert Malthus repugnant. It went without saying that we would smart ourselves out of overpopulation issues, right?
I mean the best and the brightest are working hard to help us live in the bright, shiny future right? So what could possibly go wrong? Here’s the current thinking…
Finally, after a 12-year delay caused by opponents of genetically modified foods, so-called “golden rice” with vitamin A will be grown in the Philippines. Over those 12 years, about 8 million children worldwide died from vitamin A deficiency. Are anti-GM advocates not partly responsible?
Golden rice is the most prominent example in the global controversy over GM foods, which pits a technology with some risks but incredible potential against the resistance of feel-good campaigning. Three billion people depend on rice as their staple food, with 10 percent at risk for vitamin A deficiency, which, according to the World Health Organization, causes 250,000 to 500,000 children to go blind each year. Of these, half die within a year. A study from the British medical journal the Lancet estimates that, in total, vitamin A deficiency kills 668,000 children under the age of 5 each year.
Yet, despite the cost in human lives, anti-GM campaigners—from Greenpeace to Naomi Klein—have derided efforts to use golden rice to avoid vitamin A deficiency.
So let’s consider this, what if Dr. William Davis, author of Wheatbelly, is right? That one of the big drivers of much of today’s ill health comes from genetically modified wheat? The argument for is that GM wheat saves lives. Fair enough, but what if the trade off is terrible pain, bowel disorders, cancers? To grant people longer lives but at the expense of terrible diseases? Shouldn’t people be made aware that this is the Devil’s bargain?
Or Gary Taubes contention that carbs, often eaten at least partially because they are cheap and plentiful, are a prime driver of metabolic syndrome?
Is it really so far beyond the pale to suggest that there might be an upper limit to population? I’m not saying there is, I’m just saying that the question doesn’t seem ridiculous on it’s face.
Here’s what I know, the more we adulterate foods, the worse people’s health gets. And we can no more capture the healthiness of good natural food than we can currently colonize other planets and the more we try the worse our collective health gets.
The harsh truth is this: something changed. Something made a fundamental change in people’s baseline health and it’s amazing to me how little modern medicine seems to care other than to create and market drugs they can sell.
Apparently lifestyle changes are too simple a concept for our current medical establishment to understand.