Kenmare ND - Upside Down Under

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Upside Down Under

By Marvin Baker, a new weekly column in The Kenmare News


Mandan Milk Mystery II...

Posted 12/08/20 (Tue)

Finding statistics for multiple sclerosis is quite frustrating. Few numbers exist, but in 1993, one in every 350 people in Wyoming contracted MS.

What I was hoping to do was gather statistics from Nevada, Utah, Colorado, Wyoming, the Dakotas, Saskatchewan and Manitoba, and compare them with other high latitude states such as Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine to see if the incident comparisons were even close.

The theory is that MS levels would be higher along the path of nuclear fallout in the 1950s. That included North Dakota and a creamery in Mandan that had unusually high amounts of radiation in its milk in 1957.

There’s a lot of information out there about MS, what it is, new research, fund raising, living with MS, caring for someone with MS.

What’s absent are statistics and they’re critical in order to establish a link to the beta radiation strontium 90 that drifted over the Dakotas from 1951 to 1958.

There is, however, other information that suggests that MS may be related to cow’s milk and that any kind of radiation could worsen a person’s MS.

Following are some of the things I found while digging for statistics on MS in North Dakota, Saskatchewan and Wyoming.

According to the Government of Saskatchewan, there are 3,700 people living in the province with MS. Saskatchewan has a population of 1.2 million.

According to Statistics Canada, there are 340 cases per 100,000 in the prairie provinces of Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba. In Quebec, which is on similar latitudes, the incidence rate is 180 per 100,000.

Most of the literature about MS tells us that those of us at higher latitudes are more at risk.

However, Statcan says MS is absent above 66 Degrees North Latitude, which is the Arctic Circle. So how can it be a high rate in Saskatchewan when it doesn’t exist in the high Arctic?

The World Health Organization says Canada has the highest rate in the world at 291 cases per 100,000 people. It’s followed by Denmark at 227, Sweden 189, the United Kingdom at 164, Norway 160, Germany 149 and the United States at 110 to 140 per 100,000.

Ironically, Nevada and Utah, where nuclear tests occurred during the ‘50s, both have lower rates of MS while Wyoming has one of the highest rates in the U.S. That appears to be consistent with the drift of the strontium 90 from those nuclear tests.

There’s also other information that goes back to milk and/or radiation.

There are milk allergens that are alleged to be a trigger for MS in certain people. Milk is allegedly considered a product that aids in the onset of Parkinson’s disease.

Strontium 90 will attach itself to the bones and the blood if the infliction is in the spinal cord.

It is also known that X-ray radiation is risky for people with MS and Parkinson’s.

X-rays emit gamma radiation while strontium 90 is a beta radiation, yet the gamma rays will still increase the risk.

Finally, we established several weeks ago that soldiers who fought the fire at Chernobyl in 1986, developed MS.

It is also known that hundreds, perhaps thousands of children in the former Soviet Union developed thyroid cancer and other diseases from the strontium 90 that was released when Chernobyl exploded.

Thus far, nothing has emerged about MS from the Fukushima meltdown in 2011. But, there is evidence, according to the World Health Organization, that thyroid cancer among females has increased by 70 percent, provided they were exposed as infants.

That would put these girls in the Fukushima region at 9 or 10 years of age now; very similar to what happened in Kiev in the wake of Chernobyl.

Several other cancers have increased in children 4 to 7 percent since the explosion.

No other serious health issues have been reported but the WHO continues to monitor those people who received a dose of radiation from Fukushima for long-term effects.

However, the National Center for Biotechnoloy Information, reports that a 43-year-old woman developed MS nine months after her final radiation therapy for a brain tumor. The report only specifies that the radiation used was conventional and it can be assumed that it was gamma radiation.

What would be really interesting to know is what the health effects have been on the children who actually drank that laced milk from the Mandan creamery.