The Battle for Bacteria

bacteriaBy the Writers Collective and Friends of American Farmers

If you have ever been in a heated discussion with friends over orthodox medicine as opposed to alternative medicine, or supplements versus drugs, or the necessity to vaccinate versus the danger of vaccination, or over whether raw milk is safe or not, perhaps you have experienced the formidable wall that exists between two worlds. Strong beliefs on both sides seem irreconcilable.  

The struggle is actually over bacteria.

The orthodox medical world has made historic gains based on eliminating things – whether bacteria, viruses, pests, etc.  The forms of elimination include sterilization, pasteurization, radiation, pesticides, pharmaceuticals, chemotherapy, vaccination, antibiotics, surgery, etc.  

That elimination of threat rests on the hygiene principle, that cleanliness and isolation from “threat” are the means to health.  On many levels this approach is a military one, a war against something we are taught to fear, as we are encouraged to fear “terrorists.”  Methods and language often overlap – fighting cancer, bombarding it with radiation, wiping out infection with antibiotics, surgical strikes, cleansing an area of enemy, etc. Multinational industries have grown up around each form of killing, from weapons dealers to the pharmaceutical and radiation/nuclear industry which have immense vested interest in killing things as the means to solve problems.  And the more the “things” to be fought can be defined as urgent threats or the more kinds of “things” that can be defined as new threats, the more each industry grows.  More enemies and more diagnoses based on more fear mean more sales.

The problem is that the hygiene principle is limited in its view of nature, is based on fear, and has a boomerang effect.  In war brings more enemies.  In medicine, it is bringing illness.  While it has proven invaluable in helping us understand dangers from contaminated, standing water or why a surgeon going from patient to patient with unclean hands is harmful but the products and technologies sterilizing more and more things to gain health are leaving a host of even more serious health problems in their wake.

A Yale University study recently suggested that, in fact, we are inadequately exposed to bacteria which our immune systems need in order to function well and our isolation from that bacteria may be generating auto-immune problems.  They showed that friendly bacteria has value in the prevention of Type 1 diabetes and they are working on showing that bacteria in the gut (which accounts for 70-80% of the immune system) may have value in dealing with cancers. 

And yet, the continuing dominance of an outmoded hygiene principle (eliminate all threats) is associated with boomerang outcomes.  As Masanobu Fukuoka so eloquently put it, “If we throw Mother Nature out the window, she comes back in the door with a pitchfork.”  For example:

+Prophylatic use of antibiotics in animal feed in the US has led to a 48% rate of resistant bacteria in hospitals compared to a 2% rate in countries which do not use antibiotics in this way.

+The irradiation of breasts in women with breast cancer has been shown to create breast cancer in the remaining breast and mammograms themselves are now linked to breast cancer.

+The use of pesticides to eradicate mosquitoes or other pests is well linked to birth defects and cancers of many kinds.

+Jonas Salk, inventor of the IPV, testified before a Senate subcommittee that nearly all polio outbreaks since 1961 were caused by the oral polio vaccine.

+Dr. Robert Bell, vice president of the International Society for Cancer Research at the British Cancer Hospital, has said that “The chief, if not the sole, cause of the monstrous increase in cancer has been vaccination.” 

Pasteur, on his deathbed, challenged the very basis of treatments that rely on a false and static view of bacteria, viruses, and fungi.

Traditional vs. Alternative

The struggle between the old science and the new science, and between orthodox medicine and alternative medicine, parallels the struggle occurring between industrial farming and organic farming.  Renaming “alternative” medicine “organic medicine” might better capture what is going on since both are about supporting natural systems in ways that increase the capacity of those systems to ward off threats without toxins or destruction which lead to additional problems.

The public is concerned now about antibiotics, pesticides, and irradiation of food.  Each is a problem in itself, but what they have in common is that they all wipe out bacteria.  

But knowledge of healthy food and healthy farming makes apparent that when things are done right, there is an unbroken cycle of healthy soil and animals living normal lives outside on grass, eating diets that are natural to them, leading to normal, nutritionally rich food and then to health in people.  The “ground” for that cycle is healthy soil, not sterile or chemically-contaminated soil, with healthy soil defined by its abundance of microbes (bacteria).

And whether in growing healthy animals which produce healthy meat or eggs or milk, or in growing vegetables and fruit, the critical element in that cycle and what undergirds the growth, the functioning, the well-being of animals and plants – and thus of the safety (and nutritional availability) of the food – is abundant, varied and friendly bacteria.  

This is why an increasing number of people seek out real milk for its friendly bacteria, all left intact without pasteurization.  And even a public unaware of the essential and beneficial function of bacteria in soil or that it comes free in real milk, pays more for lactobacillus (bacteria) in yogurt and buys probiotics (bacteria) in pill form.  

Bacteria is the unrecognized battleground of the clash between two scientific paradigms.  

In an article entitled “Crops, ponds destroyed in quest for food safety,” the public sees the logical extension of the hygiene principle applied to natural systems and for most, it is disturbing. A disconnect with “food safety” is immediately apparent.  But they feel at a loss to explain what has been lost.  Many are left feeling angry at how insane these measures are, but for very few would it occur to them that the primary reason this compartmentalization is actually harmful is a broken web of microbial interaction and loss of varied bacteria.  

The paradigm based on the hygiene principle provides many forms of overpowering and killing parts of nature (externally or in the body), citing “cleanliness” as the prime basis for health.  The newer science, which the Yale study represents, is based on the idea that health comes not from eliminating things in nature or overpowering the body, but from a strong immune system defined by abundant friendly bacteria.  

Just as organic farming sees microbe-rich soil as the foundation for good food and health, this new medical science sees a rich abundance of friendly bacteria in human beings as the foundation for health.  The two paradigms’ distinct approaches to nature shows up in stark contrast with doctors opposing breast feeding as unhygienic.  Only later, did we learn how much damage was done, and that babies rely on exposure to what is in their mother’s milk to build their own immune systems. Immunity cannot be built on sterility.  

In a free market of scientific ideas, the newer science would win out over the older and more limited hygiene paradigm, since the older paradigm has increasingly created dangerous new problems (such as “super-bacteria”).  The newer science, in contrast, helps explain a rise in autoimmune diseases as well as dangers from eradication of friendly bacteria, and is providing a wealth of material on how the body, given what it needs, is capable of fighting off diseases on its own.  In that sense, it is not fear-based nor product-driven.

But the outmoded science has power (from billions of dollars in product sales) and fear (of disease) on its side.  

HR 2749: Fake Food Safety Bill

HR 2749, ostensibly a “food safety” bill, represents an extreme of the outdated, fragmented view of human health and food safety.  It was written and is pushed by industries selling the very products the public wants taken out of its food supply – pesticides, hormones, antibiotics, GMOs, and rendered animal waste.  But, these industries have control of a system in which science itself has been corrupted and the studies put out falsely condemn the organic paradigm of its competitor.  

Leaving industry’s own risky products untouched by HR 2749, its lawyers do not address actual food safety issues but play linguistic and legal tricks with “risk,” creating nonsensical and intentionally destructive regulations for food producers and those supplying food supplements (which do not destroy bacteria as drugs do).  Using “eradication” of risk (as bizarrely defined by industry), the bill would apply the scorched earth approach to food – eliminate organic food, organic farming, and organic food supplements.  Never mind that none of them harm but all, in fact, support bacteria which in turn supports the soil, animal immune systems, plant life, and human immune systems, and in all four, help ward off unfriendly bacteria, viruses and diseases.

The five products the public wants to be rid of eliminate friendly bacteria and lead to the growth of abnormal and antibiotic-resistant bacteria, while the food supplements threatened by the bill, protect friendly bacteria and can help restore it.

Organic farming and organic healing are up against tremendous financial forces working to control a system for the sake of sales of destructive products.  Through HR 2749, those forces hope to permanently lock in a dangerous industrial food and drug system.  It would be the theft of an undeserved win by a dying scientific paradigm with a view of nature (science) that has been proven fractured and dangerous again and again. 

What is most needed for food safety and yet most “at risk” from HR 2749?    Friendly bacteria.   

So when you hear that Amish dairy farmers could be put in jail by HR 2749 for selling real milk and supplement company owners could join them and organic farming will be forced to use pesticides, realize that this is a battle of paradigms – an industry with products that kill is promoting an outdated science of hygiene (sterilize everything) as a means to crush a new science, one filled with wonder at the interconnectedness of life and just now opening the door to immunologic discoveries of the health-giving power of microbes.  

HR 2749 is based on the same science that promoted bottle feeding over nursing, having prioritized “hygiene” and sales over the beauty and safety of nature’s complexity.  A mother and baby do not need a middle man and there is the rub and why “hygiene” must enter and why normal must be redefined as dangerous.  Bacteria is the gift the mother gives – not only safe but health giving.

Yale may have proven how valuable friendly bacteria is, but the Amish have had it right for centuries.  Bacteria in their milk is of immense health value.  Now, the Amish and others face jail as they stand up for all of us in protection of the health-giving wonder of normal bacteria.  

Stop HR 2749 Action Pages:

5 responses to “The Battle for Bacteria

  1. Wonderfully written:-)
    it all starts with available nutrients and bacteria, without that in correct balance,
    we have dead soils and unhealthy food.
    No till =chemically poisoned soil,hard pan,runoff contamination, pesticides, and sick crops, animal and people.
    I pick a carrot from the soil, brush it off and eat it, in 40 years+ I have never ever had a tummy bug from that, but commercial food has made me seriously ill , more than once.
    Mothers breast, opposed to perchlorate, melamine, fluoride, chlorine, and remnant drugs and possibly lead in the powder, and the water you mix it with???
    Do you have to think?? what is sane to choose.!
    Yet a clever PR and Ad Blitz can suck folks in with a catchy jingle and NO REAL Science.

    • yeah! we humans evolved with these micro-organisms – modern science’s positive view of sterile food is really dead food – and to achieve they want us to buy and use toxic chemicals.

      who needs them?

  2. Really well written. Hits the nail on the head. I have been teaching this principle, both in the sense of organic gardening and in the sense of healing our bodies for over 30 years. It’s so great to see it all put together this way.
    How can we defeat HR 2749?

  3. The article was mindblowing. You are right. We have created trouble ourselves. Misuse of Antibiotics and other so called life saving drugs led us to bring some new technology. Each time, when we make weapons against our enemies (bacteria), they appeared with some new kind of solution for that weapon.

  4. Check this out! Now there are usually many excellent videos and information to check into!

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