Saturday, August 30, 2008

Heavy Metal Medicine

A bit of extra traffic recently, a few new visitors, so a few random words about Rana. I like Nature. I like heavy metal. I like food. Naturally, I don't like heavy metal in food.

The words were not so random really, the Journal of the American Medical Association tested 230 Ayurvedic products - I hesitate to call them "medicines" because to use that word would surely have required controlled testing. Anyway about 20 per cent of the products had significant levels of lead, arsenic or mercury.

I have some sympathy with the local predicament. According to the LA Times: "the researchers and other experts surmised that the contamination had less to do with the manufacturing process than with the soils in which the herbs were grown." And around Bhopal at least, US corporations have contributed to toxification of a wide area.

But I have no sympathy for those who knowingly import and distribute poisons. Defending his products in the same paper: "Based on WHO standards, our products are perfect. They have not exceeded any limits." So said Kush Khanna (there's a Hindi joke in that name) who runs Bazaar of India in California.

The trouble is that WHO limits are 500 times greater than California limits.

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