A Hard Pill to Swallow


Although I am ecstatic that phthalates are mentioned in the New York Times piece "Puberty Starts Earlier Than It Used To. No One Knows Why", which explores the possible causes of early puberty in girls around the world, I am surprised and disappointed that nothing was mentioned about the effects of the use of steroid hormones with dairy and meat livestock.

I suspect that lobbyists and PR firms for the industry have done a good job of suppressing this information and creating countering websites that present the argument that the inconclusive evidence indicates there is no correlation.

The other concern I have is that much of the information, both scientific and journalistic, often dismisses a holistic approach to understanding the causes to problems and illness in our society. In other words, by taking the all-or-nothing approach (i.e., it can only be one thing), we dismiss the very probable conclusion that all these factors collectively contribute to our common ills.

Granted, this approach is a hard pill to swallow for Americans, if not most citizens of the Western World, because it simply means living a life that is far less convenient. It means eating less meat and dairy, eating organic foods, growing your own garden, as well as being aware and exposing yourself less to toxins in the environment, in our food and all the household products that make life far more convenient for us.

The list of lifestyle changes that can lead to healthier and longer lives, is inherently exhausting, but nonetheless and allthemore necessary.


Puberty Starts Earlier Than It Used To. No One Knows Why.

Some girls are starting to develop breasts as early as age 6 or 7. Researchers are studying the role of obesity, chemicals and stress.


“Dr. Juul has become one of the most vocal proponents of an alternate theory: that chemical exposures are to blame. The girls with the earliest breast development in his 2009 study, he said, had the highest urine levels of phthalates, substances used to make plastics more durable that are found in everything from vinyl flooring to food packaging.

Phthalates belong to a broader class of chemicals called “endocrine disrupters,” which can affect the behavior of hormones and have become ubiquitous in the environment over the past several decades.”