Wetenschap - 1 januari 1970

‘Adding vitamins to staple foods can lead to enormous improvements in

‘Adding vitamins to staple foods can lead to enormous improvements in

‘Adding vitamins to staple foods can lead to enormous improvements in

health’

The ‘heretic of the home garden’ receives the Eijkman medal

Professor Clive West was a controversial figure in the exclusive world of
specialists who determine what our daily requirements are for nutrients
such as vitamin A, zinc or iron. This was not so surprising, because if his
calculations were correct, it would mean that the nutritional problems in
poor countries were considerably bigger than we believed. After years of
silent struggle the Wageningen professor has now been awarded the Eijkman
medal in recognition of his work and his contribution to our knowledge of
nutrient deficiencies.

West only realised how much of a heretic he was considered to be a few
years ago when he happened to see a letter of recommendation that a
colleague had written recommending he be appointed to the steering
committee of the International Vitamin A Consultative Group, the most
influential vitamin A advisory body. In the letter his colleague explained
that West had been excluded from meetings and other events for long enough.
“I was known as a troublemaker,

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