The Wallach RevolutionThe Citizens Committee for Better Medicine is proud to present “The Wallach Revolution – (An Unauthorized Biography of a Medical Genius)”. The book is now available and chronicles the challenges, successes, and unique perspective of Dr. Joel D Wallach, a true pioneer in the field of science-based, clinically verified medical nutrition. (No portion of the content on this site may be exhibited, used or reproduced by any means without express written permission of the publisher.) Click HERE to get your copy of this brand new book!
Chapter 6 Page 4
The Cystic Fibrosis Discovery Suppressed by Yerkes Primate Center
At the outset, Wallach’s extraordinary discovery of the first ever case of cystic fibrosis in a non-human species generated excitement and a positive buzz within the Yerkes Center and in the Emory University medical community, but that did not last. A new veterinary pathologist at the Center, and a plain spoken native of Missouri not willing to deny the truth, Wallach had little interest in bureaucratic politics. The notion of being less than fully candid on a matter of critical importance to the tens of thousands who suffered from cystic fibrosis was for him offensive, as it would be for most people not caught up in the academic politics of a competition for status, self-preservation, and blame avoidance.
One aspect of his discovery was of immediate concern to Dr. McClure: the revelation that the feed given the rhesus monkeys in the NASA funded experiment had been altered in a way that caused a selenium deficiency. The person responsible for changing preparation of the feed was none other than Dr. Nelly Golarz de Bourne, the wife of the Center’s director, Dr. Geoffrey H. Bourne.
Dr. Nelly Bourne was the histologist and psychologist in charge of the NASA rhesus project at Yerkes. It was her decision to alter the monkey feed, and she would be to blame for a finding that the alteration resulted in a deficiency that compromised the health of all twenty-six NASA monkeys and the underlying NASA experiments. Dr. Nelly Bourne did not realize the significance of her decision to change the monkeys’ feed. In particular, she took no note of the fact that alterations in the preparation of the feed caused it to diminish selenium stores in the monkeys’ bodies and that selenium deficiency could produce adverse effects in the primates (in this case, inducing cystic fibrosis). With federal funding possibly implicated on a key project at the Center, endorsement of Wallach’s discovery would inevitably lead to serious questions about management of the NASA experiment, focusing unwanted and embarrassing attention on the wife of the Center Director.
Wallach thought that McClure and Dr. Geoffrey Bourne might find this issue problematic but he hoped the two men were intelligent and mature enough to deal with it. He fully expected that the finding would provoke highly critical remark from the many entrenched medical interests that had staked reputations and careers on the notion that cystic fibrosis was a human genetic disorder. Those within the Emory community, the NIH, and academia, those who had spent decades researching cystic fibrosis and publishing the conclusion that it was a genetic disorder, would perceive themselves under assault rather than assisted by Wallach’s earth shaking findings.