The Dairy Education Board
Diary for February 2000

By Robert Cohen Executive Director Text

February 2000 Hungerstrike Diary (1 February is day 87)
(SHORTCUT: Click on day to go there!)

02-01-2000 DAY 87 - Too late to close the barn door
02-02-2000 DAY 88 - More (unintentional) help from the dairy folks
02-03-2000 DAY 89 - Something nasty is encroaching into YOUR space
02-04-2000 DAY 90 - I WISH I SAID THAT...
02-05-2000 DAY 91 - The proper method to consume cow's milk
02-06-2000 DAY 92 - *Bio*Technology* - The 21st Century "Tower of Babble"
02-07-2000 DAY 93 - Crimes against the soil = crimes against everything
02-08-2000 DAY 94 - Dairy "nutfaq.htm" (Gotta be totally nuts to believe this faq)
02-09-2000 DAY 95 - Welcomed CARE package from down south
02-10-2000 DAY 96 - VERDICT! It's OK to say "I'll never eat another hamburger!"
02-11-2000 DAY 97 - Clarification on Howard Lyman begins a water fast
02-12-2000 DAY 98 - Support H.R. 3377... your right to know what is in your food
02-13-2000 DAY 99 - Is there a "MILKGATE" in OUR future?
02-14-2000 DAY 100 - On the "cutting edge" of bio-devastation!
02-15-2000 DAY 101 - The General Accounting Office... a citizen's prybar!
02-16-2000 DAY 102 - GE Labeling... and help force a GAO Investigation of FDA
02-18-2000 DAY 104 - Now I am a "lifestyle Nazi"? Think again, Dr. Williams!
02-19-2000 DAY 105 - I'm getting thin... and with a new beard... perhaps scruffy, too
02-20-2000 DAY 106 - From an educational ivory tower surfaces a "one track mind"
02-21-2000 DAY 107 - Nourishing Body, Mind, and Spirit
02-22-2000 DAY 108 - FREEDOM OF NON-INFORMATION (FDA Version)
02-23-2000 DAY 109 - New York Times and Breast Cancer: still clueless!
02-24-2000 DAY 110 - Lopsided Food Pyramid: Is it correctable?
02-25-2000 DAY 111 - This planet needs (and deserves) our help: Earthsave
02-26-2000 DAY 112 - Senator Boxer champions meaningful food labels: Please help out
02-27-2000 DAY 113 - CODEX Alimentarius: Don't let that name fool you... this is BIG!
02-28-2000 DAY 114 - CODEX: To go, or not to go.  That is the question.
02-29-2000 DAY 115 - Learn who is tweaking YOUR "food pyramid"

************************************** Tuesday, February 1 Today is the 87th day of my hunger strike. This summer, will the corn "be as high as an elephant's eye?" Human genes have been inserted into pig's cells and fish genes into tomatoes. Will corn stalks resemble elephant tusks, or is biotechnology just an ivory tower? Biotechnology and genetic engineering are here to save the world from hunger, or so Monsanto and FDA continue to tell us. That promise is a cleverly marketed lie. The new seeds produced by Monsanto actually contain the seeds for the farmer's destruction. Many thousands of dairy farms will cease to exist in 2000 because there is an enormous surplus of milk. Surplus milk means lower prices. Lower prices spell disaster for dairy producers. Last year, dairymen were getting over $17 for every hundred pounds of milk they produced. Did they really need more milk? Use of Monsanto's genetically engineered bovine growth hormone increases a cow's milk by up to 25%. The most recent price farmers received for 100 pounds of milk was under $10, and that spells bankruptcy. Last summer, American corn prices averaged $1.94 a bushel. It costs a farmer over $3 a bushel to produce that corn. Forty percent of America's crop was grown with Monsanto's genetically engineered seeds. Did America need more corn? Are the world's hungry people benefitting from the surplus? Last year, corn farmers drew 40 percent or more of their income from government subsidies or emergency aid. Two billion bushels of corn are currently being held in warehouses, stocked as surplus. Emerging world markets will seriously threaten farmers, as inventory increases and prices drop. Asia has been America's number one foreign export market, but, the Chinese will export 5 million metric tons of corn this year, and their freight costs will allow them to do it cheaper and quicker than American producers can. Europe has shown the United States that they want no part of our genetically engineered milk, cheese, meat, corn, or soybeans. Don't we get it yet? How many farmers will sell their stock this year and close their barn doors, long after it is too late for them to discover the consequences of Monsanto's new world? One company has seen the writing on the wall. Frito-Lay (a division of PepsiCo) has announced that they will no longer purchase genetically engineered corn for their Fritos and Doritos. Last year the company purchased 1.2 billion pounds of corn. This year, Frito-Lay is listening to consumer's concerns. Those who do not follow Frito-Lay's lead will pay the price. ********************* Wednesday, February 2 Today is the 88th day of my hunger strike. Today I dedicate my diary entry to a very courageous and passionate man, Dave Rietz. Dave Rietz is my webmaster. Dave is my friend. Dave owns the largest anti-aspartame site on the Internet and has been waging the anti-Monsanto battle with a vengeance. A lifetime of deception gave Dave his prostate cancer and over 200 hours of each month are invested by Dave to making a difference by alerting people to the dangers of Monsanto's poisons. Today I read an article that might have been funny considering its placement if one did not consider the horror to a man and his family after a diagnosis of prostate cancer. I look forward every month to receiving my issue of Hoard's Dairyman, a magazine subscribed to by 108,000 people in the dairy industry. This month's issue (January 25, 2000) contained a feature story written by a woman, Lorraine Merrill, titled "Why Do Farm Men Have More Prostate Cancer?" The author owns a 170-cow farm in New Hampshire. Merrill tells us that farm people are healthier than the general population because they smoke fewer cigarettes, drink less alcohol, and are more active than non-farmers. She also informs us that cancer of the prostate is the most common form of cancer in men, and that dairy farmers are nearly 10% more likely to develop prostate cancer than are non-farmers. Researchers are at a complete loss to explain why this phenomenon exists. According to the author, "Few risk factors have been identified." She cites ethnicity as a factor and writes that African-Americans run a higher risk than do Caucasian men. I closed my eyes when I read this, trying to imagine all of the African-American dairy farmers in Wisconsin, Nebraska, and Iowa. This biased milk-producer/author surprised me by writing: "Diet also may be a factor according to the National Cancer Institute. High fat intake, especially of saturated fats, is implicated. High fat diets in youth and young adulthood may be most significant-when few people are thinking about preventing prostate cancer later in life." If dairymen are producing a commodity (milk), would it not be a natural assumption to make that these same men are eating that commodity for breakfast, lunch, and dinner? Would it also be safe to assume that dairymen with higher rates of prostate cancer than the general population also enjoy higher rates of milk consumption than the average American male? Merrill interviews Douglas Reding, MD, of the Marshfield Clinic in Wisconsin. Reding was quoted as saying: "The influence of diet seems to be relative to where you live. For example, men from Japan have less prostate cancer, but, as they migrate to the American geography and diet, their incidence increases." This incredible article appeared in a pro-milk and dairy magazine. One wonders if dairy farmers will ever get the message. (WEBmaster comment: Any form of cancer sux! Thousands of things CAUSE cancer... only one thing is known to make it GROW... IGF-1 which is identical between cows and humans, and present in every sip of milk and bite of dairy. I quit my once heavy dairy consumption after learning the truth from Mr. Cohen back in 1998.. I still have terminal cancer... but the growth rate is MUCH slower. This buys me some precious time which I believe I am putting to good use helping others to learn the WHOLE truth. Thank you for any and all help... Dave Rietz) ******************** Thursday, February 3 VISUALIZE THIS Today is the 89th day of my hunger strike. Each person comfortably occupies, on the average, 125 cubic feet of "space." If you sit at your desk and include your computer monitor, keyboard, and printer, or sit at your dining room table, or drive in your car, or sleep in your bed, there is a five foot long by five foot high by five foot deep area that you call your own. This is your space. For purposes of today's diary entry, I ask you to visualize the 125 cubic foot cube that is, at any time of the day, you. Yesterday, a Washington State dairy farm agreed to pay a $500,000 fine for polluting streams and waterways with feces and urine deposited by the dairy cows within its herd. Washington State environmentalists sued the Sunnyside Dairy whose practices were anything but sunny. The group claimed that the dairy caused the Yakima River to become polluted, violating the Federal Clean Water Act. Yakima Valley in Washington is home to 66,000 dairy cows producing 900,000 tons of manure each year, according to uncontested data contained within the original lawsuit. That averages out to 27,262 pounds per cow, and that's no bull manure. The DeRuyter brothers, owners of Sunnyside Dairy, complained that they were singled out among hundreds of dairies in the county because of their success. HERE'S THE SCOOP ON THE POOP There are 9.2 million dairy cows working full time to produce 170 billion pounds of milk per year for American consumers. Those 9.2 million cows produce 257.6 billion pounds of manure per year. That's almost 706 million pounds per day of manure ("manure" includes urine and feces). One cubic foot of manure weighs almost 64 pounds. There are 7,956 pounds of manure produced every second of every day. YOUR SPACE Your space of 125 cubic feet equals the same volume of manure produced continuously every second by America's dairy cows. Imagine the never-ending assembly line of bovine excrement deposited into America's streams and underground waterways. GOT SICK? Last summer, hundreds of people became ill and a few people died in New York State as a result of contaminated body wastes entering underground water reservoirs. Cows are dirty beasts. Their body fluids contain substances that are hazardous to your health. You might ingest their toxins and bacteria in your milk or in water contaminated by their urine and manure. Elsie the Cow may very well be the source of your next illness. ****************** Friday, February 4 Today is the 90th day of my hunger strike. I receive over 1,000 EMAILS each day, and sometimes have little time to read them all with the same eagerness in which they were written. This morning I was up at 4 AM to do some Internet "housecleaning" and I found some real gems. I get by with a little help from my friends. Three letters gave me great pleasure. I cannot be the first to see everything that is related to dairy, so I welcome your comments. Each day that I learn something new I become more informed. Each new bit of info is a new tool. THE FIRST LETTER The first letter came from Mary Smith. While David Letterman recuperates from his quintuple bypass surgery (undoubtedly influenced by his diet of pizza and canned hams), Mary has proven herself capable of filling in for my favorite late-night talk show host: Mary Smith's Top 6 reasons that the FDA is taking so long with my info request: 6. They (FDA employees) are all at Kinko's getting copies made of their resumes. 5. They are all at Arthur Murray sharpening their skills on "The Sidestep." 4. They are all at the gas station asking for directions to the Rock of Gibraltar so they can all hide under it. 3. They are all back in kindergarten reviewing the fundamentals of dodge ball. 2. They are all at Beltway Tent and Awning looking for something big enough to cover their collective rear ends. And the #1 reason Robert Cohen's request is taking so long..... They are all at Barnes and Noble waiting for Mr. Cohen's latest book to come out to see how many FDA officials are named in it. THE SECOND LETTER The second letter came from Matt Kaufman. Matt found a survey of foods disliked by young Americans in the 18-29 year-old age group. Young Americans are very choosy. A survey of 1,178 revealed that 16.2% never eat seafood, 10.3% never eat poultry, and 10.4% never eat red meat and…are you ready for this one: 23% never eat dairy products. THE THIRD LETTER The third letter was written by Peter Phippen, and a copy was sent to Hoard's Dairyman, the dairy magazine. This letter was EMAILED to: "In your current issue a woman from my home state of New Hampshire has written a very interesting and provocative article on dairy farmers and the fact that on a national scale, men from dairy farming families have a 10% higher than the national average prostate cancer rate. This is astonishing. If it were for the nuclear arms manufacturing industry, the government would be paying some kind of restitution to them for this medical anomaly. In the article a doctor from Wisconsin is quoted as saying that diet could be a factor in this situation. I am very glad that you have published this article and see the need, now that you have opened the door on the subject, for a discussion of the real benefits of milk and dairy products as they pertain to a healthy diet. I read so much today on the health risks associated with consuming high fat and high cholesterol diets; that meat, dairy and egg products are eliminated from diets for people recovering from cancer, and living normal healthy lives in recovery without these foods. Books like Dr. Dean Ornish's "Reversing Heart Disease", or Howard Lyman's "Mad Cowboy", or John Robbin's "Diet for a New America", or the literature coming out of the Washington-based group of doctors, the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, and now your publication all saying the same thing. In the recently published "Eat to Beat Cancer" by Robert Hatherill, PhD., he quotes a medical doctor, when asked what is the one thing that one could change to make a positive improvement in one's health. His answer was to give up all dairy products. Dr. Benjamin Spock said the same thing. Dr. Frank Oski, head of Pediatrics at John's Hopkins University Medical Center wrote a book called "Don't Drink Your MIlk!" The list goes on and on. It appears that the food we think is most healthy and wholesome, may be the thing that is killing our nation, and driving us into medical bankruptcy. In his book, " Milk the Deadly Poison" Robert Cohen explains how all milk has a growth hormone identical between humans and cows and how this IGF-1 is implicated in every tumor growth in the human body, that it enhances the growth of cancer cells, which will eventually kill that person. Milk and now rBGH treated cows' milk contains very high levels of this hormone needed by the baby calf to grow big and strong. Unfortunately, cancers are growing big and strong too, and we humans are not meant to drink the mucosal secretions from any creature except our own mothers - her breast milk is exactly what we need as babies. Once weaned we do not need milk to live. Baby cows do not milk after a certain age, why do we? It is responsible for millions of deaths every year in the form of cancer, heart disease and stroke. I feel your magazine can make a shift and begin discussing the dismantling of the industry which contributes to the ill health of our nation, and the pollution of our waterways. We need to become responsible for our own and our planet's health. I know this all seems ludicrous to your perspective, but many, many people are becoming aware of these same facts and will be eating less and less dairy in the very near future. Many news organizations will not be able to turn a blind eye to these facts when enough people are convinced of the need to change our dietary perspective, and become informed on a national level, just like the cigarette and tobacco campaign of the last century. This century will see the end of the dairy and meat industries as we know them, since we are now becoming aware of the devastating health effects of consuming these (better left on the plate) foods. Thank you for reading my message. Please forward this to the appropriate person in your editorial staff." THANK YOU FOR ALL YOUR LETTERS! Keep that EMAIL coming! ******************** Saturday, February 5 Today is the 91st day of my hunger strike. Want to see some really neat pictures? Want to read a really good story? There is a new Internet site and some of their photographs are vivid. I suggest you check out: What a name! Leave it to PETA (People for Ethical Treatment of Animals) to come up with this totally offensive name and thoroughly revealing site. PETA offers a colorful leaflet, "What's Wrong With Dairy?" which you can reproduce by going to their site. Even better, buy a hundred leaflets for $5 by calling PETA at 757-622-7382, ext. 510. According to PETA, the most torturous aspect of the animal abuse industry is the dairy industry. PETA writes: "Male calves, the byproducts of the dairy industry, endure 14 to 17 weeks of torment in veal crates so small that they can't even turn around. Female calves often replace their old, worn-out mothers, or are slaughtered soon after birth…They are often kept in tiny crates or tethered in stalls for the first few months of their lives, only to grow up to become milk machines like their mothers." There is so much on this site about the detriments of milk and dairy products, and I recommend that you visit it today and let PETA know how you feel. For those of you with color printers, this site contains a drawing that downloads into a lovely poster or T-shirt: ****************** Sunday, February 6 YOU CAN'T TELL THE PLAYERS WITHOUT A PROGRAM Today is the 92nd day of my hunger strike. Environmentalists and pure food activists have become outraged by all that Monsanto stands for, blaming that company for many of the world's illnesses, from asthma caused by polluted air to cancers caused by tainted foods. Yet, Monsanto is merely one of numerous companies whose futures are firmly rooted in agricultural biotechnology and genetic engineering. I often refer to Monsanto as Monsatan, confident that I will never be brought to court for what I say or write because of the clear and incontrovertible evidence of their crimes against humanity. This is a company that has brought many "gifts" to mankind, including dioxins, Agent Orange, PCB, aspartame, the genetically engineered bovine growth hormone, and other genetically modified Frankenfoods. By focusing so closely upon Monsanto, I and other activists have lost sight of the other "players" who sit unidentified on the sidelines, pursuing their own unique biotechnological agendas. I, THE "EXPERT," IN REALITY KNOW VERY LITTLE I recently consulted my "2000 World Almanac" to see how Monsanto ranked against other chemical and pharmaceutical companies. The top nine chemical companies had a combined gross revenue of $98 billion dollars in 1998, and the top three companies generated more than 2/3 of that cash flow. Du Pont was first at $39.1 billion dollars. Dow chemical was second at $18.4 billion. Monsanto was third at $8.6 billion. Why have we been looking at just one firm while neglecting the others? What are the "big guys" up to? What role does numero uno play in the new world order? The top nine pharmaceutical companies had combined revenues of $137 billion dollars. Merck was first with $27 billion in revenues. Pharmacia-Upjohn was tenth at just under $7 billion. In 1999, Monsanto failed to merge with American Home Products (fifth on the list of pharmaceuticals) and will now merge with Upjohn. These days, Wall Street rumors have Du Pont seeking to acquire American Home Products. The giant multi-national corporations do battle for control of the world's chemical and drug markets, while the common men and women of the planet hardly take notice. One thing is for certain. Whoever controls the seeds used to grow our crops controls the food supply. Whoever controls our supermarkets controls the world. THE LARGEST SEED COMPANY IN THE WORLD Pioneer Hi-Bred is based in the United States and has operations in 21 nations. Pioneer Hi-Bred is no household name. I've just gotten off the phone with 20 adults randomly selected from the parent-listings in my daughter's elementary school. Not one of the 20 had heard of Pioneer Hi-Bred. This company controls 42 percent of the U.S seed corn market and 16 percent of the soybean market. Pioneer's corporate motto is: "Only those with great faith and the 'long look' can hope to succeed." What great philosopher wrote that corporate slogan? Today's DILBERT (comics section of your Sunday newspaper - 2/6/2000) reflects the sorry state of today's business world. Dilbert notes that tests indicate his company's products to be defective. Dilbert's boss responds: "Our corporate philosophy is 'quality is our primary goal.'" Dilbert assumes that he should delay shipment of that product until the errors are corrected. The boss informs him that the shipment should be made immediately so that the company can obtain the revenue. Dilbert reacts: "Gaaa! That's the opposite of our corporate philosophy!!!" His boss responds: "Now you know why there aren't any rich philosophers." Pioneer's 'long look' at the future includes a plan to genetically engineer all seeds. Their philosophy of vision and faith should include an apology to the Monarch butterflies who died by ingesting pollen from the new genetically engineered corn. In 1998, Pioneer Hi-Bred's visionaries created $1.8 billion in sales for their company generating a gross profit of $890 million dollars. More than 40% of their sales were from genetically engineered seeds. In 1998, Pioneer Hi-Bred was issued more patents for genetically modified organisms than any other company, gaining 108 exclusive patents. By comparison, Monsanto was ranked 203rd with 77 patents. Last year, the largest chemical company in the world, Du Pont, merged with Pioneer Hi-Bred. Du Pont CEO Chad Holliday called the union: "…One of the most important mergers in U.S. history." Rick McConnell, senior VP for Pioneer, said: "Crop germplasm…is like the chassis of a car on which we build valuable and useful options. We've got a great chassis. Du Pont and Pioneer are the mechanics." GENTLEMEN: START YOUR ENGINES Warning: The race has begun, but there are very few spectators attending this event. They've got the chassis and the mechanics and their cars are racing around the track. Unless we regain control, the world's people shall become more than mere witnesses. We will become the victims. We must all recognize that the powers that be exert enormous influence upon regulators and government officials. Secret deals are being made by the World Trade Organization, which does not take the rights of the individual into consideration. The one most basic right that we have is the right to know what we are eating. If Monsanto and Du Pont lobbyists succeed, genetically engineered foods will carry no label. America's milk has changed as a result of the new biotechnology. Lab animals got cancer from the genetically engineered bovine growth hormone. Lab animals treated with that hormone developed a vast array of cancers. Levels of existing hormones in milk have increased. The corn has changed. Monarch butterflies have eaten pollen from the new corn and died. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) stands between the common man and biotechnology companies. The FDA stands between health and safety, and a tragedy of unprecedented consequence and proportion. FDA has previously betrayed America on the health and safety of thalidomide and diethyl stilbesterol. FDA has erred on the copper coil uterine device, breast implants, new gene therapies, and countless drugs and protocols relying upon irrational and inconclusive animal research. FDA is now armed with Monsanto's enormous deception. The official FDA file number to my suit is: DOCKET # 99P-4613 WHAT YOU CAN DO Should you wish to voice your outrage at FDA's inaction, include that file number (DOCKET # 99P-4613) in the subject of your letter, and forward your email to: ****************** Monday, February 7 CRIMES AGAINST THE SOIL Today is the 93rd day of my hunger strike. The "battle cry" of biotechnology companies is that genetic engineering will end "world hunger." Evidence suggests that food surpluses do not alleviate world hunger. Surpluses produce lower prices to farmers and more government subsidies. American taxpayers pay the price. The result of genetic engineering is that farmers are being paid money not to grow additional surplus food. Biotechnology threatens to produce a global agricultural catastrophe. New plants have been modified in laboratories. Terminator genes have been implanted into plants with genetic knowledge to produce sterile seeds. Many scientists are concerned that the pollen from these plants will have a crossover effect by spreading this genetically engineered "knowledge" into surrounding fields. Today's New York Times (Monday, February 7, 2000, page A-13) contains a full-page ad placed by the Turning Point Project, 310 D Street NE, Washington, DC 20002 (800-249-8712). In that ad, the author writes: "Love of the land? It has been replaced by love of the bottom line, with grave ecological results." Turning Point makes the very strong point that family farms have given way to agribusinesses with absentee owners with no love or knowledge of the land. Turning Point eloquently writes: "Good topsoil is home to literally billions of bacteria, fungi, protocists and nematoads; thousands of ants, spiders, wood lice, beetles, earthworms, mites, among countless other creatures. Each creature has its job while moving through the soil, engaged in a natural 'pillage.' They feed on plant debris, they break it down by digestion, and they decay, merging their bodies into the nutrient mix. It's a miraculous symphony of a billion collaborations that, over millennia, build nutrients and soil structure (so soil can retain water and energy gathered from the sun) while creating the ideal environment for growing what is on your dinner plate." Nature's laws are at the same time both simple and complex, but man's interference in the gentle balance often yields unanticipated results. All of the errors from the "milk-hormone experiment" should have been a learning experience and a model for all of genetic engineering. Instead, those mistakes and warning signals have been ignored by Monsanto and FDA. The true crime has been committed, and FDA continues to explore the evidence of those crimes. FDA still has the opportunity to make things right by immediately revoking the genetically engineered bovine growth hormone from the market. By not doing so would compound the first crime, one of omission, into even more serious crimes of deception and betrayal. ******************* Tuesday, February 8 Today is the 94th day of my hunger strike. Jeni Cruts sent me a link to the single-most absurd website that I've ever viewed! This reminds me of a very off-color urban legend that made its way around the locker rooms of my boyhood primary school days regarding Oriental female anatomy. I don't know whether to be amused or angry. Ready for this one? According to the Ontario Dairy Board: Oriental women do not suffer from osteoporosis because: "The structure of the hip (primarily the femoral neck) is different in non-whites, especially in Asian women providing a resistance to hip fracture not found in people of northern European descent." Here are answers to some of the many frequently asked questions dietitians at Dairy Farmers of Ontario get about milk and nutrition: (totally faqued up! is now a broken link) Q: Are milk products fattening? A: No. Q: Should kids limit their fat intake? A: No, not necessarily. Q: Does milk cause ear, nose and throat infections? A: No. Milk does not cause mucus Q: Does cheese cause constipation? A: No. Q: If a youngster doesn't like milk, how can you ensure an adequate intake of calcium? A: Soups made with milk, chocolate milk or milkshakes. Plus, you can always offer them yogurt or cheese. Q: I am a breast-feeding mother with a history of food allergies in my family. Should I avoid milk in my diet? A: No, milk is an important part of a breast-feeding mother's diet. Q: I think my infant may be allergic to milk. What should I do? A: Don't try to diagnose this condition yourself. Q: Does sugar cause hyperactivity? A: Behavior is not affected by sugar. Researchers agree, it is the social situation in which a food is eaten, that often results in excitement not any one food. Q: Can fast-food be part of a teen's healthy diet? A: In moderation, all foods can be part of a healthy diet…instead of having a pop as a beverage, reach for a glass of milk. Q: Some people believe humans should not drink cow milk, moreover, that cow milk should only be consumed by cows. Is this a valid claim? A: No, this is not a valid claim... Just because other animals don't consume the milk of another species, is no reason why we shouldn't. These Ontario dairy producers are both ignorant and clueless. If and when they leave Canada, there might very well be a job waiting for them at FDA. ********************* Wednesday, February 9 Today is the 95th day of my hunger strike. Yesterday I received a "care package" from Florida. Inside were the best kinds of medicine-love, passion, friendship, sacrifice, and vitamin C. Regular readers of this diary must know that I've been suffering. One of my lungs was not working as well as it should have been after a recent bout of the flu. As my temperature exceeded 102, both of my parents were hospitalized, and I did what every son would have done in the same circumstance. I pushed aside my health and tended to theirs. I've been "paying the price" ever since. The letter attached to the gift box said: "Dear Robert, This is a small token to show our thanks and support for all your dedication to making people aware of the BGH issue. It seems there's a pretty small fraternity of us who are willing to put our money where our mouths are. And in your case, you've gone even farther. Giving up those banana splits can't be easy! These are the best oranges we have down here. Known as Honeybells, they're available only for a few weeks at this time of year. The juice is truly nectar of the gods. Enjoy them in good health! Thanks again…and God bless you for your commitment to the cause. Best regards, Steve and Jane" For those of you who do not know Steve Wilson and Jane Aker, meet two of my heroes. Steve and his wife Jane are/were two very courageous television reporters who worked for the FOX affiliate in Tampa, Florida. They invested a lot of time and energy on a story about the genetically engineered bovine growth hormone. When Monsanto got wind of their effort, the pharmaceutical giant sent attorneys to the Florida station and threatened litigation. The station manager would not allow Steve and Jane to air the segment as written and produced. Instead, FOX demanded changes. Steve and his reporter-wife would not compromise their values, and refused to change the story. The rest is history, and this very-publicized case, scheduled for June trial date, represents much more than journalistic integrity. It represents health and safety issues for all Americans. These two reporters who dared to tell the truth and refused to "sell out," are now without jobs and in serious financial straits. Litigation is expensive. The cost of shipping the box of Honeybells must have exceeded even the cost of those delicious oranges. I am enjoying a glass of that juice as I write this. Did the Wilsons have to take out a third mortgage for this gift, I wonder? After those extremely expensive legal bills, their generosity and sacrifice…and friendship are much appreciated. Thank you, Steve and Jane. I urge all of you to visit the Wilson's website, and read updates about their trial. ********************* Thursday, February 10 MAD COWBOYS Today is the 96th day of my hunger strike. Yesterday was a day of celebration. An enormous burden in the form of a lawsuit has been hanging over the heads of Howard Lyman and Oprah Winfrey as a result of a nationally televised episode that occurred four years ago. On that day, Howard appeared on "Oprah" and let America know that cows and cattle were being injected with the genetically engineered bovine growth hormone. Howard told viewers that meat was hazardous to their health. E coli and salmonella stories were followed by the potential horrors of Mad Cow Disease, and Oprah said: "I'll never eat another hamburger." The next day, commodity options on Chicago Mercantile Board plummeted, and meat traders lost millions. As a result, the meat producers sued. Howard and Oprah won the case but there was an appeal. The litigants had been anxiously awaiting a final determination. Yesterday, that decision came through. The District Court has ruled in Howard and Oprah's favor, Judge Edith Jones concurring. The U.S. Court of Appeals handed down its decision in their unanimous 3-0 vote. Today, Howard Lyman begins a water fast in celebration of that decision. For more on Howard Lyman, here is a column I wrote in tribute to the president of EarthSave and America's most famous vegan. If you have not yet read Howard Lyman's book "Mad Cowboy," I urge you to click on the link in the following column. ******************* Friday, February 11 CORRRECTION/EXPLANATION Today is the 97th day of my hunger strike. Tomorrow night I will be doing a live radio show at 9 PM EST. You can listen to that broadcast on the Internet at: On Thursday, I wrote, "Today, Howard Lyman begins a water fast in celebration of that decision." I should have explained that the first day of Howard's fast coincidentally fell upon the day after the judge's momentous decision. In November of 1999, Howard had actually planned his fast to begin on the ninth day of February. At that time, Howard pledged to me that he would fast for one week or longer and participate as a "long-termer" in protest of Monsanto's genetically engineered bovine growth hormone. That's when I added Howard's photo to the long term list. Should you visit the "long term" page, you will see photographs of more than 20 dedicated individuals who have pledged to fast for one week or longer. These are all very beautiful people and I love and respect each one. Their photos have been added to the site in order of when their fast was pledged. Many of you have written and disagreed with my comment that Howard Lyman is fasting to "celebrate" his court victory. At this point in time, I am absolutely certain that Howard is celebrating that decision with a glass of fresh water. I give Howard all of the credit for bringing truth to America about the dangers of meat consumption and his continued message regarding the benefits of eating a plant-based diet. I again extend my invitation to any of you whose names and addresses do not appear on our list of long or short-term supporters. Show Howard that you are with him. Show those who have joined the hunger strike that you are with us. Show the Food & Drug Administration that you reject their protection policy, which has been offered as a veil, which Monsanto hides behind. Join the hunger strike for one day. ********************* Saturday, February 11 Today is the 98th day of my hunger strike. Tonight I will be doing a live radio show at 9 PM EST. You can listen to that broadcast on the Internet at: Congressman Dennis Kucinich has introduced the Genetically Engineered Food Right to Know Act (H.R. 3377). That bill intends to amend the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act, the Federal Meat Inspection Act, and the Poultry Products Inspection Act to require that food containing genetically modified organisms, or foods produced with genetically engineered material, be so labeled. My office has been in touch with the Congressman and his aide, and will soon be contacting the 40 other members of Congress who have registered as co-sponsors in support of this bill. Your congressional representative should be supporting this bill. If you write to your congressman and get your friends to do the same, your activism will make a difference. Here is how to find your representative's name, address, phone, fax, and e-mail address by simply entering your zip code: I applaud the following courageous men and women of Congress who reject the enormous financial rewards offered by PAC-men and pharmaceutical lobbyists to betray their constituents. Here is an alphabetical list of those members of Congress who support the genetically engineered food labeling bill: Rep Barrett, Thomas M. Rep Bonior, David E. Rep Brown, Sherrod Rep Clay, William (Bill) Rep Conyers, John, Jr. Rep DeFazio, Peter A. Rep Delahunt, William D. Rep Doyle, Michael F. Rep Gutierrez, Luis V. Rep Hinchey, Maurice D. Rep Kilpatrick, Carolyn C. Rep Kleczka, Gerald D. Rep LaTourette, Steve C. Rep Lee, Barbara Rep Lewis, John Rep Lipinski, William O. Rep Maloney, Carolyn B. Rep Markey, Edward J. Rep Martinez, Matthew G. Rep McDermott, Jim Rep McGovern, James P. Rep McKinney, Cynthia A. Rep Metcalf, Jack Rep Miller, George Rep Mink, Patsy T. Rep Moakley, John Joseph Rep Nadler, Jerrold Rep Norton, Eleanor Holmes Rep Olver, John W. Rep Owens, Major R. Rep Pallone, Frank, Jr. Rep Rivers, Lynn N. Rep Sanders, Bernard Rep Schakowsky, Janice D. Rep Smith, Christopher H. Rep Stark, Fortney Pete Rep Udall, Mark Rep Waters, Maxine Rep Woolsey, Lynn C. Rep Wynn, Albert Russell ******************* Sunday, February 13 Today is the 99th day of my hunger strike. On Wednesday of this week (February 9, 2000), Bill Brey, president of the Wisconsin Farmers Union, on behalf of the National Farmers Union (representing 300,000 farm and ranch families), testified before Congress. The subject was the horrible financial state of the American dairy farmer. In his testimony, Brey pleaded with Congress to raise the amount of subsidy money from the current $350,000,000 a year to many billions more. Secret deals made in the closed corridors of Washington congressional offices deliver favors for cash, and the average consumer rarely, if ever, gets a glimpse as to how America really works. Currently, our government guarantees a floor price of $9.90 for every hundred pounds of milk that a dairy farmer produces. Remarkably, that wholesale price has dropped to a never-before seen price of $9.63 per hundred pounds, and may very well go lower. Farmers are expected to produce 170 billion pounds of milk in the year 2000. Based upon the $9.63 average price, that 27 cents difference translates to $459 million in additional subsidies. Brey's analysis presented to Congress showed that the basic formula price, computed for the average hundred pounds of milk, for the past five years, has been $12.78. He concludes: "Therefore, our members believe a support price of $12.50 per hundredweight would protect against the huge drops producers have experienced in the past few years." Let's do the math. The difference between today's price of $9.63 and $12.50 yields $2.87. Multiply that by 170 billion pound of milk (1.7 billion hundredweight) and the requested subsidy adds up to $4.9 billion. GOT CHUTZPAH? I am reminded of a Watergate tape made of Richard Nixon on March 23, 1971. The transcript of that tape revealed the President carefully choosing his words for the dairy representative's delivering a $3 million cash bribe. Nixon said: "Uh, I know…that, uh, you are a group that are politically very conscious…and you are willing to do something about it. And, I must say a lot of businessmen and others don't do anything about it. And you do, and I appreciate that. And I don't have to spell it out." Nixon was aware that the tape was running and was careful to what he said. After the men left, his advisor, John Connally, came in to the Oval Office and said: "They are tough political operatives. This is a cold political deal." At about the same time, price controls for milk and support prices stabilized cash flow for dairy farmers at the expense of the unaware consumer. The same thing may very well be happening today. Does a nearly $5 billion subsidy to the dairy farmers of America sound "udderly" ridiculous to you? ******************* Monday, February 14 Today is the 100th day of my hunger strike. It's Valentine's Day, but we might look back on the news in this column as the Valentine's Day Massacre. The Worst Nightmare has begun - Day 1 Monsanto said that it could not happen. The Food and Drug Administration said that it could not happen. Nobel Prize-winning scientists said that it could not happen. What happened? IT happened. On Thursday, February 10, 2000, the first news story was published in Alberta, Canada. Pollens to the wind, seeds to the fields, nightmares for the scientists who have brought us to the edge of bio-devastation. Genetic engineering has allowed Monsanto to create grains and vegetables resistant to their ROUNDUP pesticide. Entire fields have been sprayed and, in theory, everything was supposed to have died except for the corn or the soybean or the canola plants. Canola plants produce canola oil, but the original name for canola is rapeseed. The world has been raped by criminals wearing white lab coats. The insignia on those coats reads: "Monsanto." Phase one of a Stephen King-like nightmare is what's happening in the fields of Northern Canada. Unfortunately, the best laid plans of rats and men often go astray. Weeds now grow in those fields, and those weeds have developed an immunity to ROUNDUP. Will those weeds be controlled, or are they destined to spread and overwhelm Canada's 200,000 square mile area of arable grain and oilseed-producing farmland? Canadian agriculture canola specialist Phil Thomas said, "We knew it was going to happen. It was only a matter of when." DNA testing has confirmed that the weeds are resistant to Monsanto's ROUNDUP. Is this the last roundup for agriculture? Is this a wake-up call for America's FDA who maintains the position that such an event is not possible? Scientist Keith Downey, who created the biologically modified canola plants, said: "I don't think it means anything to consumers." Tolerance of the weeds to ROUNDUP has been blamed on the wind and the bees. The question we ask today is why did the world let this happen? Bob Dylan might have sung, "The answer, my friend, is blowing in the wind." ******************** Tuesday, February 15 Today is the 101st day of my hunger strike. America has a police force that most of her citizens have never heard of. Mention the name Government Accounting Office (GAO) and one might conjure up an image of a legion of bureaucrats with briefcases, calculators, and ledgers. GAO is staffed by investigators, detectives, and undercover operatives. GAO is America's equivalent of INTERPOL. When Congress wishes to investigate fraud or waste in government or criminal acts, they launch GAO investigations. Here is how GAO describes its mission: "The General Accounting Office is the investigative arm of Congress. GAO's mission is to help the Congress oversee federal programs and operations to assure accountability to the American people. GAO's evaluators, auditors, lawyers, economists, public policy analysts, information technology specialists, and other multi-disciplinary professionals seek to enhance the economy, efficiency, effectiveness, and credibility of the federal government both in fact and in the eyes of the American people. GAO accomplishes its mission through a variety of activities including financial audits, program reviews, investigations, legal support, and policy/program analyses. GAO is dedicated to good government through its commitment to the values of accountability, integrity, and reliability." It is time to contact GAO. We have passed the 100-day anniversary of the hunger strike. FDA has made a mockery of federal statutes by ignoring time limits placed upon Freedom of Information Act responses. FDA continues to stall the review of Monsanto's genetically engineered bovine growth hormone, despite new evidence of widespread fraud. FDA continues to deny the existence of the second 90-day portion of the Richard, Odaglia, and Deslex study in which laboratory animals got cancer from the same hormone now in America's milk, cheese, and ice cream. GAO must investigate a system that no longer works to protect Americans. Congress must request the GAO investigation. This week, materials were sent to forty key members of the House of Representatives requesting that they do just that. We can no longer tolerate FDA's actions, or lack of performance. We now accept the fact that political influences may be playing a role in FDA's indecision and lack of resolve. America is great. America has a series of checks and balances. The checks have bounced, and it has now become necessary for the General Accounting Offices to analyze the books, check the statements, and balance the account. ********************** Wednesday, February 16 Today is the 102nd day of my hunger strike. I have written a letter to my congresswoman, Marge Roukema, requesting that she support a bill that will require mandatory labeling of genetically engineered foods. I have also requested that she formally petition America's Congressional "police force," the Government Accounting Office (GAO) to open an inquiry into FDA fraud and deceit. Many of you have asked, "What can I do?" Now is the time for you to send the following letter to your congressional representative: Honorable Congressman/Congresswoman__________________ U.S. House of Representatives 2469 Rayburn Building Washington, DC 20515-3005 Dear Congressman/Congresswoman__________________: Every American has been given a bill of rights guaranteed by our Constitution. In the pursuit of freedom, all Americans have the right to know what is in their food. In 1994, Congressmen Sanders, Obey, and Brown introduced a bill that was intended to label milk and dairy products containing Monsanto's genetically engineered bovine growth hormone. Unfortunately, that bill "died" when the 1994 session of Congress expired. A subsequent investigation revealed that four members of the Dairy, Livestock, and Poultry Committee (Volkmer, Dooley, Gunderson, and Pombo) stalled the vote on that bill, which impacted Monsanto, while accepting PAC money from that firm. In fact, the twelve members of that committee accepted over $711,000 from PACs representing agricultural interests. I now request of you two favors. I ask you to support and become a co-sponsor of a similar bill: HR-3377. This bill responds to a new American outcry. This bill's intention is to place a label on foods containing genetically modified organisms. The second request is that you initiate a GAO investigation of fraud and contempt for the rights of the American people as now practiced by the Food & Drug Administration. Sixty-two days ago, on December 14, 1999, a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request (#99026306) was filed for some critical (and non-trade protected) communications between FDA and Monsanto. The Justice Department mandates a 20-day turnaround for Freedom of Information Act requests. February 14, 2000 marked the 42nd day over and beyond their lawful time of response. A citizens petition has been filed with FDA (petition #99P-4613) based upon new and never before revealed incontrovertible evidence that Monsanto created five "freak" amino acids when they produced their genetically engineered bovine growth hormone. Monsanto never told FDA. The "smoking gun" evidence can be found on the Internet: . FDA continuously has maintained that the genetically engineered bovine growth hormone caused no adverse effects in laboratory animals. Monsanto's "secret study" (authored by Richard, Odaglia, and Deslex) is referred to on the above Internet website. Should that study, which is clearly a trade secret, be made public, the individual releasing that report will be subject to ten years imprisonment and a $15,000,000 fine, based upon the Economic Treason Act that President Clinton signed into law on October 11, 1996 (Public Law #104-294). In their review of Monsanto's application, Canadian scientists found the adverse effects, which FDA originally missed. I urge FDA to review those omission and evidence of genetically engineered errors. American citizens are concerned. Last summer, protestors wearing Monarch butterfly costumes rioted in the streets of Seattle. They were wearing these outfits because Monsanto's genetically engineered corn pollen killed Monarch butterflies in a Cornell University study. Americans have a right to know what they are eating, and I respectfully urge you to support HR-3377. It is critically appropriate for GAO to investigate FDA's performance regarding biotechnology in light of the new evidence contained within my petition. Very truly yours, (Your signature) ********************* Thursday, February 17 - AIN'T LIFE A DITCH? Today is the 103rd day of my hunger strike. What could the Panama Canal possibly have in common with the following site? END THE THREAT OF BIOTECH Plenty! One hundred years ago, history was altered because a postage stamp was sent to every member of Congress. Today, a similar opportunity exists. Together, we can end biotechnology's threat by sending two pieces of paper; a letter, and enclosed photos to every member of Congress. TRUE STORY OF THE PANAMA CANAL In the late 1880s, the French attempted to construct a canal through the isthmus of Panama, but their effort did not end in success because of coruption, disease, and high costs. (Sounds just like America's Food and Drug Administration!) Between the failed French effort and the signing of an agreement between the United States and Panama (1903), other canal sites were considered, including a route though Nicaragua. What killed the Nicaraguan deal was a postage stamp, sent to Congress by a lobbyist for the Panamanian deal. That stamp depicted an erupting Nicaraguan volcano. It is said that one picture is worth 1,000 words, and that postage stamp marked "cancel" to any thought of constructing a canal through Nicaragua. MONSANTO SLEEPS WITH THESE MEN In that spirit, I ask you to print the following page and send it to your member of Congress. On that page are five photographs. The first is of Supreme Court Justice, Clarence Thomas. Justice Thomas was Monsanto's attorney at a time when the company was tinkering with genetically modified organisms. Monsanto knew the potential of biotechnology and called in favors to have their man nominated to the Supreme Court. In case those issues reach America's highest court, Monsanto will have a well-placed friend. The second photograph belongs to Michael Freidman, ex-FDA commissioner. As he was exiting the FDA in 1999, Mr. Freidman walked proudly through their revolving door, and now works for Monsanto. Third is C. Everett Koop. Dr. Koop is the respected and beloved ex-Surgeon General of the United States, who lobbied for Monsanto's genetically engineered bovine growth hormone on the day after FDA granted Monsanto approval. Koop attacked critics of biotechnology with his "second opinion" that genetically engineered milk is indistinguishable from wholesome milk. The fourth photo belongs to a current member of Congress, Cal Dooley. Dooley served on the Dairy, Livestock, and Poultry Committee, and helped to stall a bill that would have required labels on food products containing MONSANTO'S genetically engineered bovine growth hormone. In 1994, while serving on that agriculture committee, this congressman accepted $97,857 in PAC money from companies with agricultural interests. He even accepted PAC money from MONSANTO while stalling that food labelling bill. The fifth and final photo belongs to our esteemed president, William Clinton. Mr. Clinton praised Monsanto in his 1996 State-of-the-Union address. One wonders the cost of such a favor. If only the walls of the Oval Office could talk and reveal the intimate details of Clinton's undercover escapades. THE LETTER Please sign the following letter and send a copy to your Congressional representative. THE NICARAGUAN VOLCANO Along with that letter, print this page filled with revealing photo evidence to your congressional representative: This site will give you the name and mailing address of your congressional representative: ******************* Friday, February 18 Today is the 104th day of my hunger strike, and I am on the way to Gainsville, Florida for an EARTHSAVE-sponsored vegetarian conference. I have been called many things in my life, but nobody has ever dared to call me a Nazi. Nobody, that is, until a Jewish Internet magazine ("Jewish World Review") crossed the line of decency in their Wednesday, February 16, 2000 edition. I have been called a "lifestyle Nazi" by an author who misquotes my agenda. I have never pushed for a ban of milk and dairy products. I merely wish for America to learn that milk and dairy products are loaded with calories and contain dangerous animal fats, cholesterol, and powerful growth hormones which are responsible for America's obesity epidemic. I recently testified at a USDA-sponsored Washington hearing, and challenged the participants to observe the schoolyards. In poor neighborhoods, children are not starving. Quite the opposite. They are roly-poly kids, obese and well fed with America's number-one subsidized food, cheese. Here is the actual article. "Jewish World Review Feb. 16, 2000 / 10 Adar I, 5760 Walter Williams Lifestyle Nazis update IMAGINE HAVING A RESERVATION, showing up at a restaurant and being barred from entry. That's what can happen in some parts of Canada if you washed your hair with an herbal shampoo and sported a scented deodorant. Why? You threaten people's right to breathe clean air. "Oh, Williams," you say, "that's Canada; that can never happen here." Yes it can, and worse if we continue being wimps. I've always warned that a lifestyle Nazi's work is never done. People applauded the Nazi attack on cigarette smokers and the tobacco industry. Now lifestyle Nazis are coming after fat Americans. The editors of the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) wrote, "Obesity is epidemic." According to JAMA, the cause is "The availability of more food ... the growth of the fast-food industry, the increased numbers and marketing of snack food ... along with a custom of socializing with food and drink." JAMA points to the war against tobacco as the best way to fight obesity. The tactic is to talk about the cost of obesity to our health care and then terrorize and intimidate. The American Obesity Association calls obesity "a ticking time bomb" and demands "fat taxes" to fund anti-obesity education programs. Yale Professor Kelly Brownell says, "I recommend that we develop a more militant attitude about the toxic food environment, like we have about tobacco." U.S. Surgeon General David Satcher supports the association's obesity vision. Giving the keynote address at its recent conference, Satcher said, "Obesity is a major public-health problem and one that deserves much more attention than it receives." Department of Agriculture Secretary Dan Glickman is leading the agency's "anti-fat" campaign, which includes a planned "nutritional intervention" program in Mississippi. Lifestyle Nazis have troops in the non-profit world in their war against America's fat people. Michael Jacobson, director of the Center for Science in the Public Interest, calls for attack on the large servings at Chinese and Mexican restaurants, saying, "It's high time that the (restaurant) industry begins to bear some responsibility for its contribution to obesity, heart disease and cancer." The soft drink beverage industry, according to Jacobson, is also responsible for obesity and heart disease, not to mention caffeine addiction. Emory University law professor Frank Vandall said, "I can't rule out that America's fast-food chains will be the next target." Daniel Akst, writing for the New York Times, said, "It makes perfect sense for the victims of fast food ... to sue, and the sooner the better; they might even succeed at deterring substantial harm." Lest you think the lifestyle Nazis only have fat Americans in their gun sights, Mothers Against Drunk Driving tried to have beer banned at the new Verde Golf Club in Arlington, Texas. Their true, but hidden, agenda is alcohol prohibition. Robert Cohen, director of the Anti-Dairy Coalition, is pushing for milk prohibition, saying, "Milk products, like tobacco, are an enormous threat to the health of both children and adults, yet we see the dairy industry protected by constitutionally questionable laws while the tobacco industry is held accountable." Lifestyle Nazis have the support of all manner of kooks, quacks and lunatics, plus millions of taxpayer dollars. Most of them are based in Washington and have easy access to congressmen and bureaucrats anxious to do their bidding. You say, "Williams, what can we do about them?" As for me, I want to be left alone and here's what I say: If a lifestyle Nazi, politician or not, wants me to stop smoking or eat less, let him personally take the cigarette out of my mouth or the food off my plate. I guarantee you that when the dust settles only one of us will be standing." (Walter Williams Archives) ********************* Saturday, February 19 Today is the 105th day of my hunger strike. I am in Florida, and wrote this column on Thursday before leaving New Jersey's forecasted February winter storm. I have added something new to my protest, and my wife and kids are not at all pleased. It seems the threat of death by starvation is not as troubling to them as the threat of sandpaper cheeks. That's exactly what they have been getting this past week as my beard continues to grow. I will not shave until FDA revokes the use of Monsanto's hormone. The New York Ranger hockey team tried this a few years ago, refusing to shave until they were eliminated from the Stanley Cup playoffs. Many of the young skaters hardly had the opportunity to grow more than a shadow on their face. The way things look, I might soon be looking like Santa, but there's nothing about which to be jolly. Thank goodness for great satirists who give us all something about which to laugh. When I was in elementary school, MAD MAGAZINE was my favorite journal. I was pleased to find this recent internet link to MAD'S assessment of the genetically engineered bovine growth hormone: ******************* Sunday, February 20 INTESTINAL FORTITUDE Today is the 106th day of my hunger strike. Last week, I was slandered and libeled by a syndicated columnist, Walter Williams. Dr. Williams is an economics professor at George Mason University. In his column, Dr. Williams called me a "Lifestyle Nazi." I wrote a letter of protest to Dr. Williams demanding a retraction. In that lengthy letter, I included these comments: "African-Americans do no like the 'N' word, and Jews do not like being called their 'N' word either. You have done just that to me, and I am not at all pleased. As a college professor, your job is to teach students lessons in economics. You have slandered my good name, and unless I receive a retraction from you, I will make every attempt to teach you and every outlet for your syndicated column my new lesson in economics." Here is his response: "Dear Mr. Cohen, Thank you very much for your letter and its complimentary comments about my syndicated column for this week. You like so many other Americans are becoming increasing concerned about how the nation's tyrants and their busybody accomplices are trying to dictate to us how we live, eat and breathe. I thank you for your support in my battle against America's Huns and Vandals. It's encouragement from people like you that gives me the intestinal fortitude to keep up the struggle. Best wishes and keep the faith. Walter E. Williams " ******************* Monday, February 21 NOURISHING BODY, MIND, AND SPIRIT Today is the 107Th day of my hunger strike. This past weekend, I attended the first "Southeastern Vegetarian Action Symposium." Last September, Cynthia Cowen, EARTHSAVE'S Miami chapter president invited me to speak at her conference. I've attended many health shows and veggie festivals, but this one was extraordinary. Rooms, meals, lectures, workshops, panel discussions…all ran like clockwork, and the spiritual karma linking all participants together was what made this weekend very, very special. Although I had the opportunity to lecture three times, I also took advantage of being the "student," attending talks from some of the great teachers in the animal rights and vegetarian movement. Every opportunity I get to hear George Eisman speak is a gift for me. Eisman is a brilliant nutritionist and wrote the best selling book, "The Most Noble Diet." Immediately after listening to his opening lecture, I joined a standing-room only crowd to hear Doug Graham's nutrition and work-out wisdom. Doug is a chiropractor turned health and fitness coach. He is ninety-nine percent inspiration and perspiration, and one has to be impressed with Doug's energy level at his 6 AM morning workout class and his late-morning lecture. Graham is a raw-foodist and has trained many professional and Olympic athletes. Martina Navratilova was one of his many clients. I met, for the first time, well-known animal rights activist Karen Davis. She had the audience cheering during her presentation and finished to a standing ovation. What passion! I could listen all day long to philosopher and historian Rynn Berry relate tales of history's immortal vegetarians, from Albert Schweitzer to Leo Tolstoy. Antonia Demas was a student of T. Colin Campbell's at Cornell University. She's now changing the diets of children attending Miami schools. She teaches that vegetarian foods are more than just nutritious and delicious. Her results demonstrate that behavioral problems decrease and learning performances increase as a function of eliminating milk and dairy products from the diets of inner-city youths. So many wonderful speakers were there to inspire the conference attendees. Dawn Carr from PETA and Gene Bauston, founder of Farm Sanctuary, were two of the more passionate and informed presenters. Susan McCullom and Don Barnes were two more teachers who left strong impressions on me. There was at least a dozen other presenters, but many lectures overlapped, and the one negative was that I could not be in two places at one time. The conference was a mini-version of the upcoming North American Vegetarian Society Summerfest (NAVS), which I would not miss for the world. Many of the same speakers will be at the NAVS event. I'll be attending the summer conference with two of my three children, and if you have a free week, and wish to either change or re-confirm your lifestyle (as I did last year), you have got to make plans to attend this festival before they fully book their rooms. This year's conference will be at the University of North Carolina's 265 acre Blue Ridge Mountain Ashville campus from July 5th through July 9th. I'll drive there from New York (672 miles). The Summerfest is less than 200 miles from Atlanta, less than 400 miles from Cincinnati, and 650 miles from Chicago. For more information, call 518-568-7970 or visit their website: ******************** Tuesday, February 22 FREEDOM OF NON-INFORMATION Today is the 108th day of my hunger strike. America's freedoms, or lack of them, can be best symbolized by the illusion that citizens of the United States have a right to know what government agencies are up to. The Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) should be renamed the Bondage of Information Act because current policy places the average American in solitary confinement. I have filed a citizens petition to revoke the use of Monsanto's genetically engineered bovine growth hormone (rbGH). After filing my suit, Monsanto and Pharmacia Upjohn proposed a merger. I learned from a conversation with a senior level Upjohn executive that Pharmacia Upjohn now has an application before the FDA for approval of their version of rbGH. If FDA revokes Monsanto's hormone and approves Upjohn's version, America will be back to square one, and we will have accomplished nothing. With that in mind, on December 22, 1999, I filed a Freedom of Information Act request for "any and all documentation, including letters to FDA from Upjohn and letters to Upjohn from FDA regarding that application." I have just received a letter of denial for my entire request. That letter was signed by Lawrence Bachorik, Interim Associate Commissioner for Public Affairs. In that letter of denial, Mr. Bachorik wrote: "I cannot respond to your request since any acknowledgement, either of receipt of a submission or that no such submission has been received, would constitute disclosure of confidential commercial information." In other words, FDA will not even admit whether or not an application for a new version of the genetically engineered bovine growth hormone has been made. This barn door will be closed long after the animal is gone. FDA's policy allows the donkey to escape and makes asses of the rest of us. ********************** Wednesday, February 23 LEST WE FORGET… Today is the 109th day of my hunger strike. The New York Times Science section devoted a full-page story (Tuesday, February 22, 2000) exploring why African-Americans experience enormous risk and death rates from breast cancer. Author Alexis Jetter writes, "Scientists and public health researchers are looking at every piece of the puzzle, including the use of mammography and understanding the mechanisms that bring about tumor growth." The New York Times writer reviews even diet and considers racial stereotypes when exploring the notion that blacks eat more fried foods than their white counterparts. This isn't about living in the ghetto and eating fried chicken. This is about living in poverty and eating more and more "white" food, particularly the subsidized kind. It is a fact of life that many African-Americans, living in the inner cities of New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, and Detroit, are also living in poverty. Nations in which people live in poverty have children with ribs sticking out of their torsos. We've all seen the photographs. America is different. America's poor "enjoy" the most subsidized food in world history-milk and other dairy products. In 1960, the average American consumed ten pounds a year of cheese. Today, the average American is consuming thirty pounds a year of cheese. Every bite of cheese and every sip of milk contain a powerful growth hormone identified as the key factor in the growth of every breast cancer, insulin-like growth factor-I (IGF-I). The New York Times story does not consider the fact that milk and dairy products contain a hormone that has been identified as the key breast cancer factor, IGF-I. Genetically engineered milk contains increased levels of this naturally occurring growth hormone, but IGF-I can be found in the healthiest organic milk, and its presence is a danger to all Americans. African-American women are finding greater equality in the workplace and in society and subscribe to women's magazines. African-American women are now targeted by the dairy industry through milk mustache ads on billboards, magazines, and television. Does Cosmopolitan cause breast cancer? This absurd question might actually be a very important clue. Researchers from Silent Spring Institute, a nonprofit research organization in Massachusetts, recently surveyed 1,350 women - ages 35 to 75, asking questions about all aspects of their life. The study filled seventeen pages but included no questions about diet, according to Ruth York, director of the non-profit institute named after Rachel Carson's best-selling book. Ms. Carson died from breast cancer shortly after writing "Silent Spring." The Silent Spring Institute focused their attention on Newton, Massachusetts, an upscale community recently identified as being a "breast cancer cluster." They explored what they believed to be the "missing link." It couldn't be wealth, could it? Researchers had to make assumptions, so they looked at what wealthy people enjoyed and poor people did not. Here is what they discovered. The researchers found women living in communities hit hardest by the disease used professional lawn and dry cleaning services more often than those in less-affected neighborhoods. Does money cause breast cancer? Does having wealth cause tumors? The rate of breast cancer in Newton was 13 percent higher than the statewide average rate between 1982 and 1992. The study showed that women in neighborhoods with higher rates of breast cancer typically had higher incomes and education levels than women in areas with lower breast cancer rates. GOT BETTER HOMES AND GARDENS? GOT LADIES HOME JOURNAL? GOT COSMOPOLITAN? Middle to upper class women subscribe to such magazines. These women are bombarded with milk mustache ads, targeted by the National Fluid Milk Processors. Women with wealth and education have "LEARNED" that their bones will break unless they drink milk and eat yogurt. They have the money to buy more sour cream, cheese, and whipped cream. GOT IGF-I? Milk is loaded with a hormone that's been identified as the key factor in breast cancer's growth. Who can afford a steady diet of yogurt and rich cheeses? Women who live in Newton, that's who. Will the Silent Spring Institute ever get around to doing a study on milk and dairy consumption? I left Ruth York with that thought. The Silent Spring Institute relies upon your donations. Perhaps you can induce them to expand their "NEWTON" study and ask the right questions. Their phone number is 617-332-4288. How many portions of IGF-I laden yogurt does it take to grow a tumor? ********************* Thursday, February 23 Today is the 110th day of my hunger strike. In the best example of the "somebody's got to do it" adage, I have obligated myself to testify at the upcoming March 10th United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) hearing on the final report issued by the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee. Information from this report is used to build the famous "food pyramid." FOR WHOM THE TOLLS TELL Rather than make a written comment, I will leave my home on the tenth of March at 3 AM and drive five hours to Washington, DC, make my 3-minute comment, then drive back home. I invest time, energy, gas, and tolls to do my little bit in making a difference. School breakfast and lunch programs, food pyramids, and dietary guidelines are determined by an extremely biased process. The dairy industry exerts enormous influence on the members of this prestigious committee, and the conflicts of interest betray Americans with many millions of dairy industry dollars. THE DIETARY GUIDELINES ADVISORY COMMITTEE MEMBERS GOT CONNECTIONS. . . TO THE DAIRY INDUSTRY LOPSIDED FOOD PYRAMID The Dietary Guidelines Committee has issued their report to the USDA and Department of Health and Human Services with new recommendations for dietary guidelines to take America into the new millennium. Such important decisions should not be made by men and women with biases, particularly when some of the "esteemed" members are actually paid consultants for industries who will benefit from their recommendations. THE COMMITTEE There are eleven committee members. They include Doris Calloway, Ph.D., (Berkeley), Richard Havel, M.D., (University of California, San Francisco), Dennis Bier, M.D., (Baylor), Cutberto Garza, M.D., (Cornell), Shiriki Kumanyika, Ph.D., (Pennsylvania State College of Medicine), Marion Nestle, Ph.D., (NYU), Irwin Rosenberg, M.D., (Tufts), Sachiko St. Jeor, Ph.D., (University of Nevada), Barbara Schneeman, Ph.D., (Davis), and John Suttie, Ph.D., (University of Wisconsin). Two names immediately struck a raw nerve in this author. One was Dennis Bier and the other, Cutberto Garza. DENNIS BIER The Center for Food Nutrition recently held a convention. Dennis Bier joined the Dannon Yogurt company, Nestles, Campbells Soup, and numerous corporate biotechnology giants including Novartis, Pioneer Hi-Bred, and Monsanto. When Monsanto's controversial bovine growth hormone was about to be approved, Bier wrote a letter condemning Monsanto's critics. This was a favor, performed for Monsanto, who then highly publicized and marketed Bier's letter. That letter was filled with inaccuracies. Bier had blindly accepted Monsanto's representation that genetically engineered milk was indistinguishable from untreated milk. His say-so influenced congressional committees and FDA regulators. Last year, Bier received $8,769,710 in grant money from the USDA for his university, Baylor. CUTBERTO GARZA Garza has built a power base at Cornell University, an institution of great reputation that consistently maintains its integrity by refusing "pork barrel" dollars. Rumor has it that Garza receives in excess of $500,000 every year as a permanent line item from USDA. Garza's ties to the dairy industry are legendary. His influence places cheese and ice cream high atop the food pyramid, despite the evidence of the deleterious effects of milk and dairy. OTHERS REVEAL THEIR CONFLICTS Barbara Schneeman (University of California, Davis) is a major player in the California Food and Fiber Organization, a foundation started by the Kellogg Foundation of Battle Creek, Michigan? Anybody eat dry cereal? On October 6, 1997, Schneeman was a keynote speaker at the Fiber Foundation convention in Iowa. Sachiko St. Jeor (University of Nevada) recently attended the Chocolate Manufacturers & Confectioner's annual convention. St. Jeor became a spokesperson for the association and was part of a panel answering questions as to the health benefits of candy. When asked, "Should I give up candy on a diet?" Sachiko answered in the negative. Perhaps the new food pyramid should have a chocolate filled cherry on top? THE SYSTEM Biases and secret relationships should not dictate policy that will affect what children eat in America's schools, particularly children of color who are most affected by milk and dairy products. Well-respected doctors and scientists like the members of this important group gain positions to important committees, then bring along enormous baggage to such committees. Their favors to their financial masters often result in betrayal to those who they should really be serving. Should you wish to join me by making a public comment, you can call Irene Randale at 202-205-4872. Should you wish to submit a written comment, you can mail your letter to Shanthy Bowman, Ph.D., Agricultural Research Service, BHNRC/CNRG, 10300 Baltimore Blvd., Building 005, Room 125 BARC-West, Beltsville, MD 20705. ******************* Friday, February 25 Today is the 111th day of my hunger strike. I will be spending my weekend in the New York area giving lectures on Saturday and Sunday. EARTHSAVE On Saturday night, my family will be traveling to Huntington, Long Island to attend an EarthSave potluck dinner. There should be over a hundred people attending, and each family brings a dish or two in what turns out to be an incredible gourmet feast. For information about this event, call 516-421-3791. EarthSave International was founded 12 years ago by John Robbins, author of "Diet for a New America." In addition to promoting a delicious and earth-friendly diet, EarthSave supplies information and support to those who want to learn about how diet impacts upon their own personal health and the environment. EarthSave now has three dozen chapters all over America, and new chapters are starting all the time. For information about starting a chapter in your area, send an e-mail request to . On Sunday night, I will be giving a lecture sponsored by the New York State Green Party at Eco-Books in Brooklyn, New York (192 5th Ave., between 2nd & Union). For more information, please call Keith Gamble at 718-783-6131. New York's Green Party is supporting Ralph Nader as their presidential candidate. Their agenda is for there to be "ecological sustainability." In addition to advocating the monitoring and cleaning up of active and inactive hazardous waste sites, the Greens believe that as temporary inhabitants of the earth, we are not its owners, but its caretakers. We are charged with the immense responsibility of stewardship over all of the earth's resources. ********************* Saturday, February 26 Today is the 112th day of my hunger strike. California Senator Barbara Boxer has introduced a genetically engineered food labeling bill in the Senate (S.2080). I have discussed that bill with the Senator's aide, Lisa Moore (202-224-3553), and will be sending Senator Boxer information about Monsanto's fraud and deceit and FDA's continued inaction. Her bill is the Senate's version of Dennis Kucinich's proposed House of Representatives bill. As a senator, Boxer has a distinguished environmental record, having previously introduced legislation to restore America's wetlands and remove the threat of offshore oil drilling along California's coast. She authored the Children's Environmental Protection Act, and successfully amended the Safe Drinking Water Act to protect children, pregnant women, and seniors. She introduced the Clean Fuel Vehicles Act to encourage the use of fuel-efficient vehicles, has led the efforts to block unsafe nuclear waste dumps, and authored the Dolphin-Safe Tuna Labeling Act. Boxer's bill faces stiff opposition from the National Association of Food Manufacturers, the American Farm Bureau, and other food trade groups who are lobbying the Congress and Senate to reject American's right to know what they are eating. Unless we let our representatives know our thoughts, the Golden Rule will win the day. (Those with the gold, rule.) Let Senator Boxer know that you support her efforts: (no longer valid) Then, use the following link to obtain your Senator's phone number and EMAIL address. Ask him/her to support Boxer's Bill. ******************* Sunday, February 27 BREAKING THE SECRET CODE(X) Today is the 113th day of my hunger strike. I very badly need your advice. Let me tell you about an enormous honor that has been extended to me by our federal government. I have been selected to be a member of the American delegation to CODEX Alimentarius, the least heard of organization in the world. Don't let that name fool you. This organization has enormous power and will affect everything you and your family eat for the rest of your lives. CODEX was founded in 1962 by the United Nations and comes under the direction of the World Health Organization (WHO). Member nations of the CODEX committee will be determining the foods you eat and whether or not genetically modified organisms will be added to those foods and how and if they will be labeled. The American delegate to CODEX is Robert Lake, an employee of FDA. Last fall, Mr. Lake invited me to participate in a biotechnology conference as a panel member. In doing so, my appearance was televised on CSPAN and recorded by a team from the television news program 20/20. I and nine other Americans have been invited to attend the CODEX session in Tokyo from March 14 through March 17. The purpose of that session is to determine the American and world policies regarding foods derived from biotechnology. In a sense, I have been asked to become a participant in a jury-style process. As a member of the U.S. delegation, I am obliged to support the position of the United States with regard to all agenda items during the course of the session. What this means is that I will be involved in closed-door session debates, but ultimately pledge to support America's position. This represents a very real conflict for me. On one hand, America's traditional position has been to not support labeling. In that regard, America is in a minority when compared to other world delegations. On the other hand, perhaps I am deluding myself into imagining that my voice can make a difference in debate among the other American delegates and influence them in seeing that there is a logic in supporting the labeling of foods of genetically modified organisms. As one of the ten members of the committee, I will be breaking bread (breaking sushi) with very well known supporters of biotechnology. The other delegates include Jeffrey Barach of the National Food Processors Association, Kyd Brenner of the Corn Refiners Association, David Hettinga from Land O' Lakes, David Hegwood from O'Mara Associates (a consulting firm for the soy and cotton industry), Alex Jackson from the American Farm Bureau Federation (representing 200,000+ farms), C.W. McMillan who is a former USDA Assistant Secretary, Henry Miller of the Hoover Institution (an ex-FDA regulator who was on the original team that approved the first genetically engineered products), and Michael Phillips, the executive director for Food & Agriculture, a biotechnology industry organization. I would be the sole voice against genetic engineering. I am the lone critic and sacrificial lamb and the cosmetic addition to a committee that exists to show America that fairness is in play and that all sides are being considered. Two things bother me. First, my voice will be silenced because I must comply with America's official position. In advance of this meeting, I am fully aware of the many billions of dollars at stake to the organizations represented by my fellow delegates. Therefore, I am aware of their position. They support biotechnology and nothing will change their minds. The second problem is a financial consideration. Every member of the delegation, except for me, has an expense account. Each member flies first class to Japan and I fly coach. A requirement of all delegates is that we pay our own travel and expenses. I must pay my airfare and hotel bill. A call to Delta Airlines revealed that a roundtrip ticket costs $1260. Add to that $180 per night for the conference center hotel and expenses, and I'll be spending $2160, which I just am not able to afford. I have so many questions. Do I go into debt to finance this trip and satisfy my ego? Sure, I'm thrilled to be chosen for such an honor, but is it really an honor? Am I merely being used? I have worked very hard to let the world know my position on genetic engineering and, by accepting this position, will I be selling out? The Humane Society of the United States and other generous contributors have offered to pay a part of the cost of my trip. I could appeal to the thousands of people who get my e-mail message, but I first must determine whether or not this is something that I should do. Please let me know how you feel because I value your advice. Is my participation on this committee in your best interests? ******************* Monday, February 28 Today is the 114th day of my hunger strike. This morning, I spoke with Robert Lake and Michael Wehr of the FDA. These two men head America's CODEX delegation, and I have been invited to be a member of the US team. The invitation specifically states, "Please remember that, as a member of the U.S. delegation, you are obliged to support the positions of the United States with regard to all Agenda Items during the course of the Session." The key phrase is: "during the course of the Session." I have made clear to both of them that I am my own person, and if I go, I would respect the rules and regulations and integrity of America's position by not holding demonstrations or press conferences and by not making statements on the convention floor. However, I have also made it clear that I will be there to share information with other delegations, and what happens away from the eyes of the world will be my decision because I am an American and have the freedom to say what I feel. Here are some of your comments: Cheri wrote: You are a pawn in a very large game of Sharks in Business for Themselves and to Hell with the "Little People." Colin wrote: Come into my parlor, said the spider to the fly. Denis wrote: If it were my decision I would decline. Linda wrote: You'll be used! It is a way to silence you. Your voice will be worthless since the deck is already stacked. Jim wrote: DO NOT GO! You have it right, you are being used for the appearance of 'fairness'...You will show your position more clearly by NOT GOING. Kindrick wrote: I vote NO! Lyle wrote: Your presence would be window dressing so you may as well stay home. Peter wrote: The voice not at the table, is the voice not heard. You can change friends and acquaintances, strangers don't even get a chance to hear you. Belle wrote: NO! I don't think you should go! I think it's a setup to silence you and take advantage of your that I can be said that you have given THEM your stamp of approval. POLITICS! It stinks! Colleen wrote: Will you be able to look at yourself in the mirror and not cringe? Cynthia & Serge wrote: If you can go as a spy, & continue to follow your heart, then go. Dr. Ben wrote: A man convinced against his will is of the same opinion still!" If you ever want to change a sinner from his ways, you have to go to his domain! Vance Lemkuhl wrote: My favorite scenario, but the one that would get you into the most trouble, is that you arrange with a group of anti-GE-food demonstrators to pull some attention-grabbing public stunt in conjunction with you very publicly resigning from the delegation and denouncing the American stance. Nothing violent, necessarily: It could be something as simple as getting a bunch of squash and a bunch of LEGO robots and making the squash march down the street. Something fun. Kevin wrote It isn't your hunger strike that will kill you, sir, it is these creatures who have thrown you a rotten bone from a rotten dead animal carcass that's been given one too many growth hormone shots. Marcus wrote: I don't feel that the delegates you are going to be debating would change their tunes if you jabbed each one of them in the ass with a 6 foot tuning fork. The game you are being invited to play seems rigged from the start. If you are unable to make them see the light, I would not put it past anyone of them or any organization which we oppose to exploit the situation and advertise that 'Robert Cohen was a member of the American delegation which supported genetically modified organisms and the non-labeling of them in our food'. HERE IS WHAT HELPED ME TO MAKE THE DECISION. THANK YOU, ELYSE! Elyse wrote: The questions I always ask myself.... Will I rest in peace when I die? What will my children think of me when I'm dead? MY DECISION I will be going to Japan. I have been warned that I have many enemies and should consider many dozens of different scenarios that may be designed to do me harm. Just for the record, I will not be bringing peyote or marijuana to Japan and do not plan on returning with a stash of opium. I shall not visit any grassy knolls nor shall I eat the fugu (a poisonous fish that is a very popular sushi item). I do intend to take very careful notes and document "the process" so that it might become a learning experience for all of us. Many of you have offered to help with the expenses of my trip and have requested my budget. Some of you have offered to send "donations" to the Dairy Education Board (our non-profit organization) to help defray costs. The hotel room (6 nights) will cost a total of 108,000 yen, which is approximately $1,020 American. The lowest airfare that I have been able to find has been $1260 round trip. I am continuing my hunger strike and will be drinking just water , so my food expense is zero. I have been informed by my wife and three daughters that I am not to visit any geisha girl palaces so my entertainment expenses will also be zero. I have been told that the bus ride to and from the hotel complex will cost me approximately $30 each way. The total budget for this trip is $2,340. For those of you who have offered to send donations, mail to Dairy Education Board, 325 Sylvan Ave., Englewood Cliffs, NJ 07632. ******************** Tuesday, February 29 Today is the 115th day of my hunger strike. The Physician's Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM) has got to learn to market themselves better. Advice to Neal Barnard: Blow your horn just a little bit louder! Toot until everybody notices you. Winning a Nobel Prize requires marketing skills. If ever there was an organization deserving of mankind's greatest honor, the Nobel Peace Prize, it is Neal Barnard's PCRM! PCRM's latest effort involves the dietary guidelines that will dictate what foods are served to schoolchildren. In their suit, PCRM exposed enormous conflicts of interests held by the powerful members of the dietary guidelines committee: This month, the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee released its report and recommendations to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). That report declared that soy-based beverages (soymilk) are on par with cow's milk as a source of calcium. The Committee also declared that the foundation of a healthy diet includes vegetables, fruits, and grains. The USDA is not required to adopt this recommendation. Rather, they can pick and choose what parts of the Committee's report they will incorporate into the final Dietary Guidelines to be released in the summer of 2000. PCRM is urging those who give a damn to submit a written comment which includes these points: 1) Keep soymilk as a full alternative to cow's milk in the dairy group. 2) Rename the "dairy group" to the "dairy and soymilk group" or the "calcium-rich food group" and include this change in the Food Guide Pyramid. Your letters can be EMAILED to: Robert Cohen *************************************************************** Subscribe to the Egroup NOTMILK forum. Send Email to: