Belizean consumers were reassured and comforted this week to hear from an eminent nutrition expert that there is nothing wrong or harmful with rice produced in Belize. Indian businessman, Mr. Jitendra Chawla, also known as Jack Charles, has been making noises in the press to say that his private investigation had revealed a high level of aflatoxins in our Belizean rice.

This week Dr. Bernard Bulwer, a former Chief Medical Officer of Belize, now Pro-COR Moderator at Lown Cardiovascular Center in Brookline, Massachusetts and an intern at Mount Auburn Hospital, Cambridge, (Mass.) responded with a withering dismissal of Mr. Chawla, describing his aflatoxin claim as “self-serving scaremongering”.

Dr. Bulwer wrote on his Facebook page: “My fellow Belizeans, the real threat to your health is not, and has never been, rice aflatoxin-related (liver) disease. “Our biggest food threat is our near wholesale abandonment of many healthy traditional food choices, in exchange for the highly processed food found in supermarkets…. .. “The scientific and public health evidence is clear. Highly processed foods and sweetened drinks with their toxic trans-fats, artificial additives and excess sugar are direct causes of cancer, cardiovascular disease and diabetes.

“These are the No. 1 food-related killers in Belize”.
His advice to Belizeans: “Start eating more natural food. Avoid those foods that have labels on them (especially highly-processed foods, Start to grow more of your own food, even in the city.
“Home boys, start organize yourself in the community and start planting! Raise your own fowl. Go fishing!, and barter with your neighbours. (You) Who come from the country and have land need fi go back da country and plant… Stop being active participants in your own demise!”

Healthy eating has been an obsession with this Belize-born healer, who has been described by his peers as “a visionary and strategic thinker,” and a physician “ahead of his time.”
In one of his many books, Your Doctor Can’t Make You Healthy, Dr. Bulwer writes: “Most people kill themselves…knowingly or unknowingly. They are seduced into believing that doctors and scientists can always fix their medical problems, and the medical community at large has encouraged the belief that there will be a “pill for every ill”.
Commenting on the battle of the bulge, Dr. Bulwer says: “Excessive body weight lies at the hub of health problems…It is a manifestation of fundamental nutritional and lifestyle problems gone awry, and it can generate, perpetuate and aggravate the major killers in modern society . . . ”

In recent years Dr. Bulwer has distinguished himself by his leadership in designing the Ecostetescope Academy Project – a pioneering non-invasive diagnostic tool which helps the cardiologist to look inside the heart to see what’s going on in there. Leading experts at Harvard, Colombia, and the Cleveland Clinic have described Dr. Bulwer as the Leonardo da Vinci of echo-cardiology, and his academic peers, and the U.S. government regard him as a “person of extraordinary ability” based on his pioneering work in this field.

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