This randomly updated commentary offers my unqualified guesses as to what medical research will one day confirm or discover. The following should in no way be taken as medical fact or substitution for qualified medical care; to the contrary, oftentimes my views will contradict prevailing wisdom. I post these out of curiosity to see, over time, which theories fall flat vs. those that pan out.
1. In view of the many scandals involving Chinese-made products as of late — to include everything from pet food and chloramphenicol-contaminated honey to lead-contaminated Mattel/Fisher-Price toys — it is my belief that researchers will speculate that the near-epidemic rise in autism may be linked, in part, to a longstanding trend of poor product safety. Underlying product safety problems is a lack of funding and accountability for watchdog agencies such as the Federal Trade Commission, Food and Drug Administration and others.
2. Within the next 25 years the Court will hear a conspiracy-of-silence-busting case regarding the lackluster effort the FDA and/or the USDA has made to prevent the spread of so-called mad cow disease, otherwise known as Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE), which is the suspected cause of variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (vCJD) in humans. Most of the American population will react in shock at the revelation that virtually no effort has been made to prevent the neurological horrors of vCDJ from striking consumers. But for those with eyes wide open it will be old, albeit sad, news. Creekstone Farms Premium Beef, in a 2004 effort to win back their wary overseas customers who don’t sit well with the reality that less than one percent of US beef cattle are screened for BSE, decided to voluntarily test its own beef products at their own cost — a move the USDA prohibited for transparently spurious reasoning. Why, you might ask? Because essentially, Big Brother doesn’t want private industry to cater to their health-conscious markets because in so doing they may shake consumer confidence in ordinary, untested cattle (the cattle the beef lobby is allegedly opposed to testing on the grounds that doing so will undermine profits — the same power-to-be-reckoned-with cohort that sent Oprah Winfrey running for First Amendment cover in a 1996 lawsuit filed by by the National Cattlemen’s Association). How ironic that the government agency sworn to put consumer interests first, is now the agency who is spearheading a Great Farce, which apparently holds that a don’t-look, don’t-tell policy is in our best interest. And we thought they worked for us! While they’re at it, perhaps the USDA should strong-arm the Mayo Clinic to persuade them to look the other way, too. In “Mad Cow Disease: Still a Concern“, the Mayo Clinic concedes that “because children are more likely to eat hot dogs and hamburgers, they may be at higher risk” for developing vCDJ.