The article below was originally published in the Sun,
one of the UK's largest circulation newspapers.
Damages Babies' Brains
Mums who heat babies' milk in a microwave
oven are exposing them to brain and liver damage, scientists
warn in the leading medical journal The Lancet.
Researchers were shocked to find the
super-fast ovens turn proteins in milk into poisons which attack
Now they fear everyone who eats micro waved
food may be at risk because the same proteins are found in
snacks such as pizzas, curries, quiches and TV dinners.
Tests by children's doctors in Austria showed
that heating babies' milk at high speed in a microwave changed
its chemical structure abnormally. Protein-forming amino acids -
found in dairy products, processed foods, meat and fish - which
normally strengthen cells in the body, ATTACK it instead.
The brain, liver and kidneys are particularly
effected-with possible fatal results.
Dr. Gerd Lubec, who first discovered the
dangers, stormed: ``The manufacturers have done nothing. They
must carry out tests''.
Experts yesterday backed the alarming warning
to busy mums, who find microwaves a boon to heat milk quickly.
Leading pediatrician Dr. Elizabeth Poskett,
of Royal Liverpool Children's Hospital, said: "Babies' kidneys
and liver have to work harder than adults, and just the
slightest bit of damage can be critical."
Top food scientist Professor Richard Lacey,
who predicted last year's killer salmonella and listeria
outbreaks, revealed microwave makers have NEVER carried out
proper tests on foods such as milk.
Professor Lacey, head of the microbiology
department at Leeds University, said: "No parent should heat
their baby's milk in a microwave- they should always put it in a
"Everyone uses a microwave-but none of us
know what they are doing to our food.
"They are probably safe for jacket potatoes,
vegetables and soups- but I would NOT use them for anything
else, especially ready-made meals, or anything containing milk
He advised anyone thinking of buying a
microwave NOT TO - at least until more tests are carried out.
Britain's 10 million microwave-owning
families could be at risk - almost half the population.
And The Lancet article will rock the
microwave industry, worth more than 200 million pounds a year.
But industry spokesmen said yesterday they
were NOT following up the scientists' discovery.
Jim Collis, spokesman for the Association of
Manufacturers of Domestic Electrical Appliances, admitted they
had NEVER tested the effect of microwaves on milk.
He said millions of pounds had been spent
checking if microwave doors leaked high frequency waves used to
cook food and liquids.
But firms had no plans to follow up on the
He said: "There is no point. The tests bear
no relation to cooking in the home."
Gordon Andrews, chairman of the Microwave
Association, said: "We do not think there is any need to carry
out the tests. We are very skeptical about them.
Last night, outraged MPs called for the
Government to launch an urgent inquiry.
Dr. David Clark, Labour food and agriculture
spokesman, said: "It is very alarming. The Government must order
its own tests immediately."
Last month Government tests showed 32 out of
102 microwaves on sale FAILED to heat food thoroughly.
1000,000 A YEAR MAY END UP
Sun doctor Vernon Coleman
fears thousands could die EVERY YEAR from the
effects of food cooked in microwaves.
funeral by funeral."
(Niels Bohr, Nobel Prize-winning
He warns: The news that microwave ovens may turn the
ingredients in usually safe foods into potentially toxic
substances has to be taken very seriously.
With 10 million microwaves in use today, in a
few years they could be killing more people than cigarettes.
That's currently 100,000 a year.
But it could be ten, 20 or even 30 years
before the damage done by microwave ovens can be properly
I am absolutely appalled that manufacturers
have not fully tested them. Like everyone else I had assumed
that they would have conducted thorough tests to find out
exactly how they affected food BEFORE putting them on the
Microwaves are very different from ordinary
ovens. They cook using high frequency radio waves which
penetrate the food and make the water molecules inside whizz
around at high speed, creating heat.
Like most doctors I had assumed that a device
which worked in such a new and potentially hazardous way would
have been subjected to extensive tests before being put on the
market. Almost all other household products are fully tested for
safety before being marketed - and even then problems often
My advice to all microwave owners would be to
use their ovens only for heating vegetables and fruit and bread.
[Until such time as conclusive testing has been done, we only
warm our plates in the microwave oven. Ed.]
I would not recommend the use of microwaves
to cook any animal products such as meat, milk, cheese or eggs.
If you are thinking of buying a microwave
Wait until the manufacturers have made the
tests they should have carried out years ago.
(John Pullman, The Sun [UK], January 18, 1990)
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