Epidemiology

Mass Epidemiology Experiments

People in the UK can be regarded as being engaged in mass epidemiological experiment, yet the experiments are unplanned and unmonitored, and continue on a scale so immense and with such unknown parameters that even the most informed find it hard to comprehend, and the most concerned do not know where to begin to take action.

Despite the very real danger that volatile organic compounds (VOCs) pose to health of the nation it is still difficult for the general public to make headway against the powers of industry.  The biotech industry has both the financial clout and political friends where as the public are disadvantaged in both respects. Furthermore, the public have a lack of specialist knowledge and up-to-date information.

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The Pragmatic View

For many years the accuser had to demonstrate a causal link with substances suspected of causing ill health before preventative action could be contemplated. This was an extremely difficult task for anyone to do, except perhaps scientists with expert knowledge of the subject. The European Commission takes a pragmatic view of claims of ill health made by the public, and unequivocally advocates that a precautionary approach should be implemented until the substance or agent accused of causing/promoting ill health has been proven beyond all reasonable doubt, to be non-harmful to health.  The legal responsibility of proving harm has clearly shifted from the accuser to the accused who must demonstrate harmlessness.

Although the accuser need not demonstrate a causal link, he must be able to provide enough evidence to suggest that a problem does exist. This would enable scientists to reach a reasonable and holistic preliminary conclusion about the potential harm that a substance/agent could present to the community. If the weight of evidence was strong enough, precautionary action would have to be taken to protect public health.  These precautions would be upheld until the accused could demonstrate harmlessness.

Paradoxically, the UK government’s interpretation of the precautionary principle appears to include cost benefit analysis - the concerning practice of measuring environmental and health benefits against monetary cost.

Despite the UK governments short-sighted and irresponsible approach to the precautionary principle and the findings of the under-funded Aberdeen University study led by Soutar, this website makes a serious attempt to provide enough evidence to support the view that, oilseed rape crops do present a serious health hazard to people who live in close proximity to rape fields.

Author - Armitage; copyright 2007

key words: sensitisation, immunogenic, asthmagenic, haptenic, haptens, synergism, tvoc, rhinitis, headache, asthma, rapeseed, canola, GMOs, immunocompromised, OSR, volatiles, volatile organic compounds, terpenes, attractants, alternaria, irritants, reactive airways dysfunction syndrome, chemical sensitivity, eczema, ozone, yellow peril, pungent, biodiesel, biofuel, rme, cap, set-aside, double low, allergy, armitage

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