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Thursday, May 10, 2018

Dr. Bob Rich Reviews "What's Making Our Children Sick"

What’s making our children SICK? by Michelle Perro and Vincanne Adams

By Michelle Perry and Vincanne Adams
Genre: Nonfiction: Environment
2017, Chelsea Green Publishing
ISBN-13: 978-1603587570

Reviewed by Dr. Bob Rich

Dr. Perro is a pediatrician, so her book focuses on children. However, everything in this book applies to all humans, of any age. Probably it even applies to dogs, cats, goldfish, and animals free of human ownership.

Already, the preface is a powerful call to arms. Calmly, without hysteria, the authors summarize the theme of the book: “the systemic health failures among our children are a result of something even more troubling than the physical symptoms in their bodies; they are the cumulative outcome of being born into and living in an environment that has been made toxic by agrochemical industrialized food production... unless they are eating 100 percent organic food or homegrown vegetables from ecologically managed soil, they are eating toxic ingredients such as pesticides, hormones, and antibiotics... children carry toxic loads from the mattresses they sleep on, the soaps they use to wash their hands, their sunscreen, and their antibiotics. Add to that mix of toxic exposures the fact that much of their food is loaded with chemical toxicants, and you get very sick children--children who are being made sick from the inside out.”

Sections of the book explain in clear, plain language a wide variety of technical issues, and reading it is worthwhile for this reason alone. For example, I've only had a vague understanding of our gut bacteria until reading this book. You may not know much about genetic engineering; this is a good place to gain an understanding of the controversy surrounding this technology.

The authors focus in on the gut and its huge population of microscopic life. They show how mistreating this “microbiome,” or worse, poisoning it, relates to a wide variety of symptoms that are typically misdiagnosed. Instead of putting band aids on symptoms, the need is to treat the cause.
Perro & Adams advocate the use of “the five Rs for this: remove, replace, reinoculate, repair, and rebalance” to get gut health. The many case studies from Dr. Perro’s clinical practice show this to be spectacularly successful.

What damages the gut of so many children; so many people? “Our position is that GM foods are the key ingredient in the larger toxic pesticide problem, thus they cannot be separated” (p 120).
The book focuses on the USA. The occasional fact is country-specific, for example the horrendous lack of real regulation, but almost everything applies globally.

I do have a criticism. Two thirds of the book is organized along lines I find logical, but the opening one-third is... unusual. Time and again, the reader is told the overall conclusions, until they become utterly repetitive. This is interlaced with the evidence for these conclusions. The progression of evidence is fine, but the book would be far better to start with that, and gradually and inexorably lead to the conclusions. However, the content, the evidence presented, the scientific caution and rigor of the arguments, and above all, the many case studies, make this book essential reading, not only for medical personnel, not only for parents, but for all thinking people.



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