Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Dream Lawsuit

Ordinarily, I don’t dream about the law even though the people who know me say I have a lawyer’s brain. The other night, though, I had a dream that I started a class action suit for people who have the symptoms of Type II Diabetes against all the food companies that use genetic modifications and or variations on corn syrup in their products.

It was a weird dream. I was the Veronica Hammil character (of course!), the brave, beautiful public defender speaking Truth to the powerful Food Establishment about the damaging effects of their chemical choices on the immune systems of those with Type II.

On a lark, and wide awake, I called my brother, Frank, who is an attorney, just to ask him if such a class action suit was possible. He mumbled to me about statutes of limitations, product liabilities, and rules of discovery. He knows his stuff.

Our conversation got me thinking though—about doing the right thing. Which the companies who messed with the natural chemistry of foods did not. I’m not going to name names because there are too many of them but I ask you to think on this.

Type II Diabetes is a disease of the autoimmune system unlike Type I Diabetes which is caused by a malfunction of the pancreas. In Type I, the carrier has no insulin, and needs it to survive. No one really knows why the pancreas quits sometimes, but it does. In Type II, the carrier usually has plenty of insulin but their blood cells are self-protected against it.

The best explanation I ever heard for Type II was from western-trained and wholistic M.D., Helen Wechsler. She said, “It’s like having a brand new car and a can of gas, and you can’t figure out why the car won’t go.” She went on, “Every single cell you have is wrapped in a sort of saran wrap that keeps the insulin out.”

When, many years ago, I asked her what caused the saran wrap, she asked me if I’d ever drunk diet soda. (Lived on it through high school and college.) Argh. She ranted for a few minutes after that. The list was very long. Basically, the only foods anyone should ever eat are live from the earth, according to her.

Here’s the thing about my dream lawsuit. My subconscious mind was looking for some place to park the blame for this disease in my world and in the world. Blame, dear one? Not so important. The greater question is: now that Type II Diabetes has become epidemic in the west, what are we going to do about it?

How about this? What if every single one of us who has the disease began to communicate to the food companies about why they are losing our patronage? A not-so-small group of citizens could bring about a huge change in the way food is created.

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