Prince Charles to keynote Louisville health and food symposium

Prince Charles and Camilla Parker-Bowles

Prince Charles of the United Kingdom will keynote a health symposium in Louisville March 20.

The prince of Wales and his wife Camilla Parker-Bowles, duchess of Cornwall, “will
highlight the work being done by members of the local community and
charitable organizations to protect, preserve and promote the health and
well-being of the people of Louisville through community cohesion,
clean air and food literacy initiatives,” says a release on his site.

The release says the prince will speak “to an audience of health practitioners, business, faith and community
leaders about links between health and the natural environment.
Highlighting the same theme, the duchess will visit a food literacy
project for young people at a local farm. The project also offers young
people an opportunity to experience life on a farm in order to help
increase their knowledge of the connection between food and farming.”

The speech could include some of the same points that Charles made in a speech at the Future for Food Conference at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., in 2011, where he said, “We will have to develop much more sustainable, or durable forms of food
production,  because the way we have done things up to now are no longer
as viable as they once appeared to be.”

Kirby Adams of The Courier-Journal reports that the symposium will be held by the Institute for Healthy Air, Water and Soil, chaired by Christina Lee “Christy” Brown of Louisville, who is one of four board members of the England-based Sustainable Food Trust. Her son, Owsley Brown III, is one of three board members of the Sustainable Food Alliance, the trust’s U.S. partner.

Nico Hines of The Daily Beast reports that the Kentucky visit is being organized with the help of Gov. Steve Beshear, Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer (who has been active in food issues) and the Owsley Brown Charitable Foundation, named for Christy Brown’s late husband, the former chairman of distiller Brown-Forman Corp. Her son-in-law, Matthew Barzun, “is the U.S. ambassador in London,” Hines notes.

Hines’s story is largely unfavorable. It begins, “Prince Charles is taking his unusual views on health, previously described as ‘witchcraft’ and ‘quackery,’ to the United States.” Those descriptions came from a professor at the University of Exeter and the British Medical Association, which said in 2010, “Homeopathy is witchcraft.”

When the prince became BMA president in 1982, Hines reports, “He advocated a radical overhaul of the medical system in favor of
alternative therapies which he said had been successfully practiced for
centuries by faith healers using the patient’s ‘physical and social
environment, as well as his relation to the cosmos.’ Rather than
laugh off the private views of their new figurehead, the doctors ordered
a full inquiry into the efficacy of alternative medicine. After three
years and 600 submissions, it concluded any support for the use of these
therapies was purely ‘unscientific’. . . . Prince Charles has remained resolute in his controversial beliefs.” Some commenters on the story defend him.

The future king’s Louisville stop will come on the fourth and last day of an American tour that will include “stops at the
Armed Forces Retirement Home in Washington, site of the Lincoln
Cottage, where it is believed Abraham Lincoln wrote the last draft of
the Emancipation Proclamation. The royals will also visit Mount Vernon, home of George Washington, and the National Archives to mark the 800th anniversary of the Magna Carta,” The Courier-Journal reports.

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