Pat Thomas

[New Ecologist editor.  The bottlefeeding article is truly excellent.]

[2009] Behind the Label: Calpol by Pat Thomas Researchers who analysed data on more than 200,000 children found strong links between their exposure to paracetamol as infants and the development of asthma, eczema and other allergies at age 6-7.
    Fever often develops during an infection. Although we generally think of fever as a bad thing, fever enhances the inflammatory response of the body, and certain components of the immune system work optimally at increased body temperature. Also fever helps to limit the growth of some germs that cannot grow well at higher temperatures.
    Suppressing fever with medicines like Calpol interferes with this essential mechanism.
    For children, fever can serve another important function. Our children are not born with mature immune systems and fever is one way of activating and 'educating' the immune system to respond when needed. Because of this, temperatures up to 39 C (102 F) don't usually provide sufficient grounds for action unless your child is prone to convulsions.

[2007 Monsanto] Burying The Truth by Jon Hughes & Pat Thomas

[2006] Suck On This by Pat Thomas Compared to breastfed babies, bottlefed babies are twice as likely to die from any cause in the first six weeks of life. In particular, bottlefeeding raises the risk of SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome) by two to five times. Bottlefed babies are also at a significantly higher risk of ending up in hospital with a range of infections. They are, for instance, five times more likely to be admitted to hospital suffering from gastroenteritis.
    Even in developed countries, bottlefed babies have rates of diarrhoea twice as high as breastfed ones. They are twice as likely (20 per cent vs 10 per cent) to suffer from otitis media (inner-ear infection), twice as likely to develop eczema or a wheeze if there is a family history of atopic disease, and five times more likely to develop urinary tract infections.
    In the first six months of life, bottlefed babies are six to 10 times more likely to develop necrotising enterocolitis a serious infection of the intestine, with intestinal tissue death a figure that increases to 30 times the risk after that time.
    Even more serious diseases are also linked with bottlefeeding. Compared with infants who are fully breastfed even for only three to four months, a baby drinking artificial milk is twice as likely to develop juvenile-onset insulin-dependent (type 1) diabetes. There is also a fi ve- to eightfold risk of developing lymphomas in children under 15 who were formulafed, or breastfed for less than six months.
    In later life, studies have shown that bottlefed babies have a greater tendency towards developing conditions such as childhood inflammatory bowel disease, multiple sclerosis, dental malocclusion, coronary heart disease, diabetes, hyperactivity, autoimmune thyroid disease and coeliac disease.

Behind the Label: Diet Coke

'Give Bees a chance' by Pat Thomas