|By Robert Cohen Executive Director|
A Conspiracy of Silence They are not bad people, these co-conspirators. They merely follow rule number one of self-preservation: Never bite the hand that feeds you. In this case, hundreds of millions of dollars of milk funds fuel television and magazine ads. That is why no major media source will touch the Flo Jo story. Editors, reporters, researchers all know that the dairy industry does not get mad, they get even. On March 23, 1971, after receiving a $3 million cash bribe from dairy leaders, recorded on a Watergate tape, Nixon advisor John Connally said: "These dairymen are organized, they're adamant, they're militant...And they, they're massing an enormous amount of money..." Here is the Flo Jo autopsy. These are the facts: FLORENCE GRIFFITH JOYNER'S AUTOPSY Florence Griffith Joyner was an all-American hero. This female African American became an admired role model to all as a result of her Olympic achievements in track and field. She crossed ethnic and racial barriers, and her life became an inspiration to male and female, black and white, young and old. Flo Jo, as she was most commonly known, was wife and friend to Al Joyner and loving mother to her daughter, Mary Ruth (Mo Jo). She combined her athletic ability with great looks, personality and business acumen to build a financial empire that included her line of unique clothing. She was in great demand as a motivational speaker, and major corporations would seek her personal endorsement of their products and services by offering enormous financial inducements. We will also remember Flo Jo by her appearance as a model and spokeswoman for the dairy industry. She posed for a milk mustache ad, and in doing so might very well have been betrayed and killed by a product that did NOT do her body good. Nature's perfect food for baby cows is most certainly not nature's perfect food for African-Americans. Three- quarters of the human population of planet earth cannot tolerate lactose. Estimates of lactose intolerance for black people run as high as ninety-five percent. We shall never know if Flo Jo was aware of this fact. What we do assume is that dairy industry executives and dairy scientists must know how black people are so affected. FDA knows this truth and so does USDA. Rest in peace, Flo Jo. Here is the official explanation of your death, followed by contradictory evidence contained within your actual autopsy. THE DRUG CONTROVERSY Flo Jo was a magnificent athlete and had a beautifully well developed and sculptured body. She was 1.65 m (5 feet 5 inches) tall and weighed a solid 69 kg (152 pounds). Many people suspected that Flo Jo's magnificent physique, as well as her athletic success and subsequent death might have been caused by steroid or drug use. One task of the medical examiner's office was to confirm or negate this suspicion. An enormous collective sigh of relief might have been produced by all of Flo Jo's friends and family when the inquest and autopsy revealed no such steroid drug presence. In order to come up with a cause, the coroner examined both forensic and historical data. Many conversations between the sheriff's department and the Dairy Education Board revealed to me that an asthma link was not explored. The contents of Flo Jo's stomach were not rigorously examined, a remarkable omission in the case of any autopsy. Yet, the comments of the autopsy surgeon are quite revealing. The official cause of death was "positional asphyxia" due to "epileptiform seizure." The coroner had to fit this death into a series of circumstances. After rejecting the steroid drug theory, a timely explanation was critical. There had to be closure, both for the family and for enormous financial considerations which survived Flo Jo's death. Positional asphyxia is the same term applied to prisoners who die in police custody, handcuffed with one or more police officers on their backs. It is the label given to the deaths resulting from chokeholds. The medical examiner wrote that Flo Jo died by suffocation. He concluded that she had an epileptic seizure and smothered in her pillow. Grand-mal epileptic seizures can be violent events. They are rarely pillow-smothering events. The spasms included in such seizures often evidence an array of confirming symptoms. One treatment for epileptics suffering such seizures is to protect the mouth and tongue, which can suffer abrasions and bites. There was no blood found in Flo Jo's mouth and the official autopsy reveals: "No trauma is noted on the lips or tongue." There are many numerous signs and clues ignored by the coroner. During the autopsy procedure I personally communicated with members of the forensic team. I told them to explore whether Flo Jo reacted to casein, the most allergenic of all bovine proteins. Before his death, Dr. Benjamin Spock called this milk and cheese protein the cause of most allergies. Casein represents eighty percent of all milk protein! Casein is the same glue used to hold a label to a bottle of beer and the same glue used to hold together wood in furniture. Dr. Frank Oski, once the Chief of Pediatrics at Johns Hopkins University Hospital, called CASEIN the etiology of violent allergic reactions in greater than 50% of ALL children. African Americans cannot tolerate bovine sugars (lactose) or proteins, and have a more marked negative response to these milk components. THE AUTOPSY - CORONER CASE # 98-6262ME Residues of two drugs were detected in Flo Jo's blood. One was aspirin and the other Benadryl. Benadryl is an antihistamine. Flo Jo had histamines produced in her body. She was congested. She took Benadryl to relive her congestion. Why was it not clear that Flo Jo took Benadryl because she experienced congestion from mucus? I had many conversations with the coroner's office. "Look at the lungs," I pleaded. "Examine the contents of her stomach." I was told that this was not necessary. I wondered why not. If dairy products, particularly cheese, were found in her stomach, this could at the very least confirm the suspicion of a violent histological reaction to milk protein Page three of the autopsy contains the smoking gun: DIGESTIVE SYSTEM "The stomach contains 250 cc of digested material including some yellow flecks, possibly cheese." Flo Jo ate her last meal at 3:00 PM, pizza. Digested material? Had it been digested it would not have been recognizable! Two hundred and fifty cubic centimeters of material, fifteen hours later WAS FLO JO CONGESTED? Here is what the autopsy reveals about Flo Jo's internal organs: RESPIRATORY SYSTEM "The lobes of the lungs are light-pink-to-dark-purple with marked congestion and a large amount of frothy fluid exuding with pressure. The lumen of the tracheobronchial tree contains mucus and frothy fluid." Flo Jo's lungs were congested. She could not breathe. OTHER BODY ORGANS - ALL CONGESTED "The small and large bowels show congestion...the liver has a congested appearance... pancreas, congested appearance... the pyramids of the kidneys are congested... section shows marked acute congestion...cut sections of the adrenal glands show acute congestion...a large amount of frothy fluid is present in the larynx...cut sections of the thyroid gland show congestion...congestion is noted in the pancreas." On and on, organ after organ, filled with a glue produced by the body's defense to this powerful allergen and tenacious glue. CLOSING COMMENTS Flo Jo's death was a tragedy. Her life was a symbol of inspiration to us all. From death she cries to us with a powerful message which the medical examiner missed. Such a message places suspicion and blame upon an industry who hired her to betray those who trusted her with the dairy message. Milk did Flo Jo's body no good at all. Milk and dairy products do no good for those who have asthmatic reactions to casein. The medical examiner noted that those yellow flecks in her stomach were "possibly cheese." The medical examiner did not consider the fact that Benadryl was taken by Flo Jo to battle congestion. The medical examiner d id not consider a link between the congestion in her internal organs to the Benadryl or the common reaction to bovine proteins, particularly CASEIN, which represents eighty percent of all milk protein. Flo Jo paid for her ignorance with her precious and beautiful life. After Flo Jo's death, William Rhoden of the New York Times wrote: "Flo Jo ran like the wind; critics said she was wind aided. Flo Jo ran with power; they said it was drug aided. Flo Jo ran with style; critics said that with six-inch fingernails and bodysuits, her career was a triumph of style over substance. Now Florence Griffith Joyner is gone, dead at the age of 38, and there is nothing else to say." Yes, there is much more to say. Help defeat this conspiracy of silence. By sending this to friends, you may very well save a life.
Robert Cohen, author of: MILK A-Z
Executive Director (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Dairy Education Board
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