‘Big Farma’ is threatening our perfectly nutritious pills

I was watching the news last night and, in the middle of the constipation, heartburn, ED, blood pressure, diabetes and arthritis remedy ads there was a commercial for vegetables that claimed eating them might be the cure for constipation, heartburn, ED, blood pressure and diabetes. It said that eating vegetables may increase my heart function and improve my digestion, that it would lower my risk of getting cancer and that I would stay healthier longer.

How do they allow such quackery on television? At the end of the commercial it didn’t even say that I should contact my doctor before starting to eat vegetables. It didn’t say pregnant women should consult their physicians before eating vegetables. Is that legal? Have vegetables received FDA approval? Has there been any lab testing on them? I’ve been to my pharmacy a thousand times for heart medicine and blood pressure medicine and I’ve never seen once seen any vegetables on the shelf. But get this: You can buy them over-the-counter at practically any grocery store! You don’t even need a prescription! Would you take that chance? Would you risk it?

It’s all part of Big Farma’s diabolical plan to wean us off drugs and pills and make us eat roughage and unprocessed food. I couldn’t believe the smarmy marketing they used to get our kids hooked on vegetables. Apparently vegetables come in a lot of flavors – like children’s vitamins – just to make them taste good. What a sleazy ploy that is. Thankfully, most people don’t fall for it.

And what are the dangerous side effects of eating vegetables? Vomiting? Nausea? Dry mouth? Tennis elbow? Hair loss? We’ll never know. Why? Because there are there no warning labels on vegetables! How does Big Farma get away with that?

How many calories do they contain? They don’t tell us. There’s no nutrition label on a tomato. When I take a fistful of pills, I don’t have to worry about counting calories.

Most importantly, where do vegetables come from? Are they made in big, clean sanitary factories like my heartburn medicine? Are they made in giant, government-inspected facilities like my constipation medicine? I’m sure you’ll be surprised to learn the unbelievable truth – most vegetables come from the middle of dirt-covered fields! Dirty, dirty, dirty places called farms. Some of them, like potatoes, are even buried in the dirt. You don’t even want to know what some of Big Farma’s farmers spread on their fields to help them “grow” these products.

Many vegetables are crawling with insects. If you can believe this, it’s how many of them are “fertilized.” It’s disgusting, yet it doesn’t prevent Big Farma from making dubious health claims about them.

What are their interactions with real medicines? What are the risks involved? Is it OK to eat vegetables if you have high blood pressure? Diabetes? Heartburn? Are vegetables covered by your medical insurance? No. You have to bear the entire cost of your vegetables – 100 percent. If they were all that good for you, wouldn’t your insurance company pay for them? And how do vegetables get to market without going through the same rigorous, double-blind testing that got us Zetia, Vioxx and Fen-Phen? Would you let your family eat a bunch of untested vegetables? Do you want to be the guinea pig for that?

Jim Mullen is the author of “It Takes a Village Idiot: Complicating the Simple Life” and “Baby’s First Tattoo.” You can reach him at jim_mullen@myway.com

Copyright 2008, Newspaper Enterprise Assn.

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