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John Burns' Blog

ADHD; RCVS; UK plc; Poultry

Published: Friday, February 4, 2011

A paper in The Lancet about Dutch research into ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) in children found that improved behaviour was observed in 78% of children after five weeks on a “restricted elimination diet” based on rice, vegetables and meat (this sounds remarkably like the Burns diet philosophy!). No improvement was seen in children whose diet was unrestricted. No direct link with additives and colorants was found; it seemed that offending foods varied among the children.

This chimes with our own experience here. Many pet owners report improved behaviour  in their pets when they go on to Burns. It’s not very scientific so I know it’s not “proof”, but it seems pretty convincing to me.

A few years ago the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons Disciplinary Committee struck off a young German vet. He had been working in an abattoir and had falsified paperwork to pass a steer which was aged 30 months and one day. Anti-BSE regulations at the time required that the maximum age for beef was 30 months. I wrote to the RCVS to complain about being heavy handed and officious; the 30 month cut-off was completely arbitrary as no-one knew much about BSE and I imagine the young man would have been put under a lot of pressure from his employer. Of course they didn’t want to know.

An article in today’s Guardian brought this back to me. British abattoirs are now being compelled to fit CCTV after secret filming by Animal Aid revealed evidence of animal mistreatment. Felicity Lawrence writes that many meat inspectors are young female Spanish vets; it takes a lot of courage to stand up to the owners of the abattoir. 
Find out more at www.animalaid.org.uk

UK plc
Following my blog about the lack of British bike makers, Richard Clement has sent me an article (in Motor Sport magazine!) about Cooper bikes which are made in Sussex. They are hoping to revive bike making in the UK. For many years I’ve pondered on the thought that while other countries make goods such as hi-fi, bikes, motorbikes, cameras, and televisions (all the things people want to buy), British manufacturing has majored on tanks, fighter planes, warships…

… And following from that, James Dyson of vacuum cleaner fame has written an article in the Guardian this week. He says the UK economy needs strong R&D in technology in order to be able to manufacture and export. This is the same James Dyson who closed down his Wiltshire based factory with the loss of 560 jobs and moved production to the Far East. Dyson recently recorded a £190 million profit which represents a cool third of a million for each of those jobs.

Poultry World reports that the poultry industry is in dire straits. Producers of eggs and poultry meat are being squeezed relentlessly by high feed costs and low prices from retailers [supermarkets]. The hard truth is that the industry is founded on the need for cheap feed and low labour costs and that is not sustainable.  

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