Poisons Aren’t Toxic to Everyone Equally

January 26th, 2003

To the Editor,

Kudos for revealing the diversity of our genetic heritage (“Poisons Aren’t Toxic to Everyone Equally” by Sharon Begley). Yes, some of these genes allow us to more efficiently guard against the most overtly measurable damage caused by pollutants. However, these bio-defenses, e.g. the enzyme paroxonase, necessary to the detoxification of many pesticides, do not exist for the profit of the Dow or Bayer corporations. Paroxonase regulates lipids (fats) for cardiac health and is likely implicated in other vital functions yet to be explored by science. When our bodily defenses are placed in the service of industry, expected to remove dangerous chemicals from our bodies, we sacrifice the ability to grow old “gracefully”. Our anti-aging capacities were intended to remove endogenous toxins produced during normal activities of digestion, respiration, exercise etc.

These resources, expended on our new functions as miniature waste treatment plants for industry, become insufficient to help us digest complex foods, keep fit or avoid developing diseases of overly stressed immune systems (e.g. asthma, lupus, Parkinson’s, M.S., rheumatoid arthritis). We abuse vital organs like the kidneys and liver which bear the brunt of human detoxification functions. Neurologists such as Dr. Kaye Kilburn have documented the abnormally early onset of cognitive dysfunction (memory loss, impaired executive functions) in our population from absorption of neurotoxic chemicals.

This is the ultimate in criminal trespass.

Barbara Rubin

Categories: WSJ

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