Melatonin and EMFs

To the Editor of The Ottawa Citizen (was not published), July 27, 1997

There's a sinister connection between some recent news items.

While children are dying in horrifying watersports accidents, we read (Citizen, B1, July 21, 1997) that the Canadian Coast Guard and the government will not be ready to introduce regulatory restrictions on the use of personal water craft before the 1998 boating season.

Melatonin, the antioxidant and hormone, produced naturally is the brain, is known to be protective against breast and other cancers. It has been part of electromagnetic field research for more than 20 years. (Power lines are killing us; Citizen, A10, July 21). We know EMF exposure reduces melatonin levels in the body. Only recently has it been linked to increased incidence of breast cancer.

Scientists in Health Protection Branch and the National Research Council are complaining about the heavy arm of bureaucracy restricting their efforts to publish facts relevant to our health when such facts may conflict with commercial interests (several Citizen headlining articles recently).

Here are my comments and suggestions: It is conceivable that supplementation with melatonin might offset the effects of EMFs for those living and working in proximity to power lines. This should at least be investigated.

Health Protection Branch currently prohibits the sale of melatonin in Canada, although it is legal in the US. They have also not yet got round to approving chromium picolinate and chitosan (a natural fiber), nutrients with major benefits in weight management, both approved by the FDA. Maybe by the 1999 boating season. Obesity is now afflicting one in three Americans, and many Canadians including children (generally weaned on doughnuts and burgers.)

A leading nutrition company markets all three of these ingredients in their supplements in USA, although they exclude them from their products sold in Canada. After five year's use of their products and their recommendations for healthy low fat eating, I have total confidence in their scientific excellence, testing and ethics.

The spectre arises of coast guards seizing supplies of melatonin and chitosan bound for Canada on the high seas. Maybe that's why they don't have time to restrict the use of personal water craft. Let's encourage some unrestricted scientific expertise and common sense in decisions that affect our health.

Tony Copple