Wednesday, October 12, 2011

More on Monsanto and its human milk patent

I didn't know yesterday that Monsanto manufactured a drug for the treatment of arthritis, a COX-2 inhibitor, called Celebrex (which came out sometime in the 1990's).  Searle,  the pharmaceutical business unit of Monsanto, and Pfizer marketed the drug.  So Monsanto's ownership of patent #5164374 has my curiosity working on overdrive.   Just previous to my post on Monsanto I wrote about a recent Nestle patent called, "Milk fractions and milk preparations for treating and/or preventing COX-2 mediated diseases." (patent #8012509).  And the Nestle patent states, "Particularly, high cyclooxygenase-2 [COX-2] inhibiting activity are provided by sweet whey from human milk and by several fractions from cow milk..."  I am not sure what the ingredients are for Celebrex, probably some chemically-derived lab invention but it is fascinating to me that Monsanto in the early 1990's had a good idea about the value of human milk components.  Of course if I were to say publicly that breastfeeding has protective factors against arthritis, I am sure that there would be a chorus of voices from the medical community that there is no proof.  Because of course, patenting is not necessarily scientific proof.  I am intrigued by Monsanto's patent and how I would never have guessed that Monsanto would have had a human milk component patent.  We, the public, are kept ignorant of the powerful medical possibilities of human milk.  Some breastfeeding advocates (the movers, the shakers and their PR bloggers) continue to push the idea that nothing has changed in the past 100 years, its same old-same-old..."breastmilk can't be duplicated, or made a profit out of, or removed from the control of woman..." I believe it is wishful thinking to believe that nothing has changed.  The whole game has changed with the genetic modification of foods (including infant formula) and drugs.  Just the impact of using human milk components genetically engineered in drugs is a major change.  As long as the US Government (FDA) continues to act upon the belief that genetically engineered is equivalent to what is made by nature, then our food system and consequently the media will continue to be corrupted by half-truths.  That corruption can and will destroy the health of many people.  But industry will make its profits.  The slogans of half-truths will continue to circulate.
Copyright 2011 Valerie W. McClain

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