There are some wise saying which keep ringing in my ears every day. One of them is… everything false will inevitably collapse someday. Another is… A wise man does not plunge for a swim in a vexious sea spewing tsunamis yet another says… everything must become new. I saw glimpses of them all in the thunderbolt judgment of a Lagos High Court   three weeks ago. The first impression which hit me from a summary of the judge’s decision was that Coca-Cola, Fanta and Sprite were preserved with chemical substances which were dangerous to health, and NAFDAC, the National Agency for Drugs control, was negligent on not warning the public about this. I didn’t believe the news flash at first. It wasn’t that I didn’t know that the so-called “soft drink”, like all processed foods and drinks, were dangerous to health. The question was: Who would tell this king that his mother was a witch? In Alternative medicine chats, it was always reasoned that whoever lifted a finger against these products in public would be “eliminated” by international capital. Even in the United States the food and Drugs Administration, equivalent of Nigeria’s NAFDAC, is in the pockets of Big Pharma and the giant food and agriculture concerns. And until recently, the funded medical practice in all sorts of ways to get medical opinion on their side. Dr. Robert Atkins, who would not agree to be pocketed, was ostracized. No radio or television station would grant him exposure. Newspapers and magazines distanced themselves from him in order not to damage their friendship with the food and drugs industry which brings them millions of dollars every year in advertisement income. IN the end, Dr. Atkins became a publisher and published his own books because no publisher would agree to publish them for him.

Back to Nigeria, someone asked me last week what I thought would now happen to Coca-Cola, Fanta and Sprite in the market. Immediately, I remembered these three wise sayings. …

WHAT IS FALSE

I learned from a spiritual work in the 1970s that “whatever is false will inevitably collapse someday” Falsehood means anything that is not in accord with the Laws of Nature. This may be a form of government, an economic system, imbalance in relationships or even the type of food or drink we consume to maintain our health. We humans did not create ourselves. We did not create our world either. Thus, we are creatures and subject to the Will of the Creator in His Creation. In my view, our Creator provided us with a bountiful vineyard from which we are meant to obtain our meals fresh and filled with life-force. Because we urbanized and needed to store food for the future, a food industry arose which now developed not only poisonous chemicals to grow food and store them, but even more poisonous chemicals to preserve them for many days, weeks and even years. Our organs of elimination (detoxification) were not made to remove from our bodies the terrible chemicals we now eat and drinks with food today. Over time these organs (the lungs, kidneys, the liver and the skin) are unable to cope, become ill or damaged and, therefore, allow accumulations of poisons in our bodies which cause cancer and many of the degenerative diseases now ravaging the Nigerian population in large quantum. Someday, the public will become aware of this and, individually every person will remove himself or herself from the rot, as I did about 30 years ago. The separation from falsehood may come through a revolution, an opportunity for which the Lagos High Court Judgment provided. But the Nigerian public is a dormant, educated-illiterate population. Up till now, many people have not heard of the Lagos High Court Judgment. Some who have heard are asking if it is true. When they learn it is, they resign themselves to fate, saying… “Afterall, something will kill a man”. Those who do not  wish to die ask about the options the Lagos High Court or the Government has provided if they are to stop taking these drinks, as if the judge and the government brought them to this earth or bear primary responsibility for their life and existence on earth. I expect the government and the court not to press this matter too far, because of the possibility that it may unhinge society. Unemployment will grow today if Coca-Cola, Fanta and Sprite have to go. Think not only of those corporate offices and factories, but, also, of those hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of women who sell these “soft drinks” nationwide. If all of them have to go, their exit will be a tip of the iceberg. For the same chemicals we complain about in these “soft drinks” are present in commercially prepared white flour snacks which go by different names, tined foods fruit juices, jams, pickles, salad dressings (these in particular contain large amounts of sodium benzoate), medicines and cosmetic vinegars, salted margarine, still beverages, olives, pastry and pie fillings, stoned vegetables… almost everywhere in the food industry. So, an attack on Coco-Cola, Fanta and Sprite is an attack on the food industry. Your guess should, therefore, be as good as mine in respect of how the on-going rippling of the food industry will end if, because of the Nigerian complacency, the time is not ripe for “falsehood” to vacate the stage.

 

A VEXATIOUS SEA…

Dr. Fijabi Adebo may not have realized he could cause trouble for  Nigeria’s food industry when, about eight years ago, his company, FIJABI ADEBO HOLDINGS LTD, approached Nigerian Bottling Company (NBC) for business. In March 2007, The company purchased large quantities of Coca-Cola, Fanta Orange, Sprite, Fanta Lemon, Fanta Pineapple and Soda Lemon water for export to the United Kingdom. The products were to be retailed to the company’s customers in the U.K. But the Fanta and Sprite products failed to satisfy health safety requirements of the Stock Port Metropolitan Borough Council’s Trading Standard Department of Environment and Economy Directorate. The health authority found that Benzoic acid and sunset yellow levels in the products were too high for human consumption and could cause cancer. The products were seized and destroyed. The U.K funding’s were corroborated by the Coca-Cola Union. Adebo Holdings Company thought that, being a member of the Nigerians Export Promotion Council, it could lawfully export Nigerian products abroad. In any case, NBC was aware the products were to be exported and should have made them comply with the standards of the U.K. The company said NBC was negligent and “breached the duty of care” owed to its valued customers. As for NAFDAC, it said the agency failed to ensure that NBC offered safe products for sale. As a result, asked the judge to compel NAFDAC to force NBC to include a written warning on the labels of these products. The warning is to read that the products cannot be taken with Vitamin C.

THE CRUX

This is the heart or crux of the mater. Sodium benzoate and vitamin C (Ascorbic acid) are said to form Benzene, a proven carcinogen (cancer-causing agent). Food processors use sodium benzoate in acidic foods to control bacteria, yeast, fungi and mild, different species of the same microbial family. On its own, sodium benzoate is touted to cause no harm in the human body if it is not taken with vitamin c. The trouble, however, is that, today, many soft drink manufacturers try to make their products nutritive by adding Vitamin C to them, irrespective of the fact that these drinks are already preserved with Sodium benzoate. In the United States recently, the FDA tested 84 soft drink products and found that 54 of them contained Benzene. Others had levels of up to 79.2 ppb, whereas national rules disapprove of anything above 5ppb in drinking water. Producers of the drinks get away because present limits are only on drinking water and not on soft drinks. Many critics of this double standard believe the producers of soft drinks have gotten away because they were able to over power the law-making machinery. At conference, they sponsor researchers to hold down the system and re-assure the public that all is well. In the state of California, the government asked soft drinks manufacturers in 2001 to keep sodium Benzene below 0.15ppb. But the soft drinks industry has done nothing about that. Even the so-called powerful American media was irresponsive for a long while. The ground-breaking research on sodium Benzoate, Ascorbic acid and Benzene took place in 1993 and was published in that year in the JOURNAL OF AGRICULTURE AND FOOD CHEMISTRY by researchers lalita K Gardner and Glen D Lawrence. But it wasn’t until 2005, by which time many people had died of cancer and other degenerative diseases that the American media began to talk about it.

NBL DEFENCE

I pity the NBL. It is fighting an industry-wide battle. The pure water and bottle water sub-sector is keeping quit. So are those in white flour snack business. The sodium benzoate is in “pickles, peppers, salad dressings, jams, most condiments cheese, ketch up, or diet or regular soda… mouth wash, toothpaste, cough syrup, cream lotion and hundreds of cosmetics products”. They are all keeping mute. The NBL admits that it sold its products to Fijabi Adebo Holdings Ltd. But it said this customer did not inform it that the products were to be exported. The inference on which the NBL predicated its defense, therefore, was that, if it had this information it may have advised against the export of these products. This was because Coco-Cola Nigeria was a different franchise from Coca-Cola U.K. Both derived their existence from Coca-Cola International and produced the products under different specifications of national or municipal laws. The weather in Nigeria, being hotter than that of the U.K, would naturally require a different grade of antimicrobials. In any case, says NBL, sodium benzoate content of Nigerian products were still within the international range, although they were higher than U.K specifications. It, therefore, did not see itself as uncaring for the health and wellbeing off its customers as the court judgment tended to portray it. NAFDAC itself has served a notice of appeal against the judgment which painted it in like terms and compelled it to compel NBL to insert a warning on its label that it was dangerous to consume these products with Vitamin C.

ROUGH WEATHER

There is no doubt that the weather is rough for the food industry. But it is doubtful if it would lose the battle in the end. Nutritionists know that consuming sodium benzoate and vitamin c together may cause cancer and other degenerative diseases. But so is consuming Sodium Benzoate with Vitamin E. Even if Vitamin C and Vitamin E are not  consume together with sodium benzoate, are they no free forms of Vitamin C and Vitamin E in the blood which can react with sodium benzoate taken independently to form Benzene? We shouldn’t forget that sodium benzoate is in hundreds of processed foods, cosmetics and probably beer. This suggests that little drops of sodium benzoate from diverse sources can form mighty oceans of sodium benzoate in the body which can then combine with vitamin c and vitamin E taken at separate times. Who can say that he or she does not take vitamin c and vitamin E food supplements with processed foods which, until now, he or she did not suspect to habour sodium benzoate? If NBL says it has not acted against any law by not including warning on the labels would it not be right to say so? Mr. Fijabi Adebo is not crusading for public health. He is fighting in court to recoup lost investment. It is the National Assembly and the Presidency which can conduct public hearing and brings up a law. NAFDAC ought to have spear headed this drive, following the trends abroad. Every day, doctors and lay people alike lament that more and more people are dying from all forms of cancer and other degenerative diseases, including eye problems. The sun has not begun to rise in the West and set in the East for us to link this trend to such a phenomenon. We must, therefore, look into the air we breathe, the food we eat and the water and drinks we consume. As we find sodium benzoate in most of them, we should be alarmed at the possible daily ingestion of it from varied sources and set new regulations. That is what they are doing in Europe and the U.S to always move on and leave us behind. Mr. Justice Adedayo Oyebanji, of the Lagos High Court, did a good job in my view, to put the public on its toes. Although judges are meant to interpret the law, their interpretations sometimes amounts to enactments. He has not told NBL to stop business. He has told it to warn the consumers of its products the risk they may be taking by consuming these products with vitamin C. I wonder what the judge would have decided if we knew that sodium benzoate could cause the same havocs when consumed with Vitamin E or when consumed independently. In www.naturalnews.com, we are advised:

“Sodium benzoate has the ability to deprive the cells of oxygen, break down the immune system and cause cancer. It chokes out the body’s nutrient at the DNA cellular level by depriving mitochondria cells of oxygen, sometimes completely shutting them down. Just as humans need oxygen to breathe, cells need oxygen to function properly, and fight off infection, including cancer.”

EVERYTHING MUST BECOME NEW

When I was striving in the 1970s to become a new man and came upon this admonition in a spiritual teaching, I almost gave up the search for the meaning of existence.

By everything must become new, the author referred to the fact that our world did not come into being without a purpose for being, that it is a work which is governed by certain laws, that humans are in this part of that world for a purpose and governed by these laws, that they find peace and happiness when they conform with these laws, that conformity is at the levels of thoughts, the spoken or written world, and the physical deed, that divergence from conformity brings pain and ruin because it is outside the Will of the Almighty Creator. Therefore such works of man as marriage, education, human relationships, the government, jurisprudence, and nutrition, for example, will bring pain and ruin if they are conducted outside the natural laws. Everything must become new calls for a new human order in which the laws of Nature provide the frame work for human conduct.

Everything must become new in nutrition as well. It is baseless argument to say preservatives are inevitable in the food industry of today’s world where urbanization demands that food be transported across continents and stored for goodness knows how long. Have we asked ourselves how the Egyptians under the management of former slave boy Joseph preserved food in seven years of plenty for seven years of famine and more, during which the farms became productive again? Those were 14 long years or more. Man was close to Nature beings in those days. Architect Lekan Adams, of Lagos, is richly endorsed with information and knowledge of the pyramid, as a storage powerhouse, much, much more efficient than the silos of today because its construction admits into it certain ethereal forces which can preserve anything for hundreds of years, if not more.

Please keep the three concepts discussed above close to your heart in anything you observe or do… Whatever is false will notably collapse someday; A wise person does not plounge into a rowdy sea for a swim, and everything must become new.