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VEGA News Item

 
Drugs or diet? - 18/05/2004
 
The veggie portfolio diets need special attention now


Letter to Independent, 14 May 2004
(Similar letter sent to Guardian, 16 May 2004)

Sir,

Regimens of wonder drugs (Don’t restrict heart drugs to those who can pay for them, Editorial 13th May, and article Drug that has saved thousands of heart patients on sale at chemist) are harmful in delaying salutary reforms in food policies.

The Cabinet Office a few years ago sought advice on farming and food policies from many research organisations combining recommendations for practicable reforms integrating revisions in agronomy and commercial enterprise in achieving good long-term standards of living – which would embrace the welfare of people and animals, as well as care for the environment – rather than unthrifty bouts of spatchcocked panaceas. Official uptake of the proffered advice has been tardy: the Department of Health is currently putting out for still more consultation its querulous policy document entitled Choosing Health? Choosing a Better Diet – Priorities for a Food and Health Action Plan, and recently published – and soon to be published – evidence from the National Diet and Nutrition Plan emphasises urgencies needing attention more profound than reliance on supplementary nostra coming up with dubious rations.

Medical journals and organisations are publishing information, recipes and menus on "portfolio" diets combining the elements of choice for healthy appetites, among which are examples tried and tested to render tastefully the benefits attributed to long-term resort to the alternatives of wonder drugs. These are initiatives that should inform the Department of Health and the Food Standards Agency.

Good Wishes,

Alan Long
Hon. Research Adviser  
 
 

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