DEAR READERS: As a veterinarian and advocate of One Health, I cite scientific references in many of my writings because I am often told I am "going overboard" and "exaggerating" the seriousness of the issues that I address. Indeed, there are many people, including politicians and others with vested corporate interests, who would rather not know the facts and maintain business as usual. But in any democracy, this is not acceptable -- especially when the health of our children and of other species is put in jeopardy.
Relying on vaccines and pharmaceuticals to treat emerging zoonoses (diseases transmitted from animals to humans), and the mass extermination of the animal carriers of such diseases, is no solution. These treatments may be profitable for a few, but preventive measures must be put first. And the effects of climate change cannot be ignored.
Reducing our carbon footprints and energy use, especially for transportation and travel, are part and parcel of a One Health initiative. The telecommunication industry's expansion of corporate and personal internet services, which depend on proliferating, energy-consuming data storage and transmission centers, only exacerbates climate change.
An article by Laura H. Kahn and Richard Seifman, "It's Time to Get Serious About Preventing Pandemics," underscores the need for a more holistic approach by responsible international aid and health agencies. Kahn and Seifman state: "The good news is that the World Bank, with the World Health Organization, is about to launch a brand-new international multilateral financing mechanism called the 'Pandemic Prevention, Preparedness and Response' Financial Intermediate Fund (FIF) to provide long-term funding to address pandemics. FIF is targeted to reach $12.5 billion within five years. ... Unfortunately, the preparedness and response parts of the mechanism are receiving the lion's share of the attention and funding compared to the prevention part. ... We must include veterinarians and other animal health professionals who receive extensive education and training in zoonotic diseases, and environmental health experts, to be part of the pandemic prevention solution. So far, their involvement has been minimal, which jeopardizes the effort's success."
I would add a note of concern with regard to the pandemic-potentiating consequences of the documented cellular, immunological and other adverse health effects of nonionizing radiation from 3G, 4G and 5G telecommunications towers and satellites. For more on this topic, see the following journal articles: "Appeals that matter or not on a moratorium on the deployment of the fifth generation, 5G, for microwave radiation," Lennart Hardell and Rainer Nyber, Molecular and Clinical Oncology, March 2020; "Effects of nonionizing electromagnetic fields on flora and fauna, Part 1: Rising ambient EMF levels in the environment" and "Part 2: How species interact with natural and man-made EMF," Reviews on Environmental Health, May 2021.
See also this article from the Environmental Health Trust: ehtrust.org/in-historic-decision-federal-court-finds-fcc-failed-to-explain-why-it-ignored-scientific-evidence-showing-harm-from-wireless-radiation.
SCIENCE, ETHICS, LEADERSHIP ALL NECESSARY
A recent New York Times piece by science writer Ari Schulman about Anthony Fauci underscores an essential flaw in the U.S. public health system. As Schulman writes, "A science that people will follow must lead."
Science without ethics is hazardous; ethics without science is vacuous. Science informs politics, and ethics guide when politicians are committed to serve the common good.
The science and bioethics of a One Health approach to pandemic prevention must be adopted by the U.S. Public Health Service. A One Health approach calls for informed public involvement linked with animal health (animals being the primary source of new and old pandemics) and environmental protection without political interference. Such an integrative approach to pandemic prevention, rather than the marketing of ever-more vaccines and pharmaceuticals, is long overdue.
DEAR DR. FOX: Thanks for your cogent columns. You are a much-needed voice urging humanity to adopt responsible and spiritual living.
Also, I wish to thank you for your pet care advice. My dog's vet is impressed with how well he is doing as he approaches 14 years of age. He is convinced it is the food I prepare for him, using your recipe. -- B.C., Nassau, Bahamas
DEAR B.C.: I do appreciate your kind words of support. These are indeed challenging times for person and planet.
Readers, please note: My dog food recipe, which many of you are using and reporting significant health benefits, is posted at drfoxonehealth.com/post/dog-food-recipe.
(Send all mail to firstname.lastname@example.org or to Dr. Michael Fox in care of Andrews McMeel Syndication, 1130 Walnut St., Kansas City, MO 64106. The volume of mail received prohibits personal replies, but questions and comments of general interest will be discussed in future columns.
Visit Dr. Fox’s website at DrFoxOneHealth.com.)