Our Founding Executive Director - A Mighty Girl Indeed
Dr. Renee Dufault
Our mighty girl courageously retired early from the Public Health Service (PHS) and the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to blow the whistle on the problem of mercury in high fructose corn syrup. Dr. Dufault founded the Food Ingredient and Health Research Institute in 2010 and continues to work tirelessly to bring to the public's attention the problem of inorganic mercury and other heavy metals in the world's food supply. Exposure to inorganic mercury, lead and arsenic over time from eating many of the highly processed foods typically found in the Standard American Diet contributes to the development of western diseases and poor birth outcomes. Examples of diseases and disorders associated with dietary heavy metal exposures include autism, ADHD, Type-2 diabetes, heart disease, and Alzheimer's.
As a volunteer, Dr. Dufault serves as FIHRI's Founding Executive Director. She is responsible for FIHRI's development program, financial affairs, and fundraising efforts.During her PHS career she doggedly pursued the environmental fate of the missing mercury from the chlor-alkali industry. Upon locating some of the mercury in high fructose corn syrup she attempted to publish the findings, but was prevented by her superiors from doing so. After her honorable discharge from the PHS, she worked with a collaborative team to publish her findings and determine how this source of mercury exposure might interact with other epigenetic risk factors to affect learning in children.
After a lengthy review of the literature, Dr. Dufault and her interdisciplinary team developed a mercury toxicity model to explain these interactions. The mercury toxicity model made it through an exhausting peer review process and was published in the Behavioral and Brain Functions Journal 2009. http://www.behavioralandbrainfunctions.com/content/5/1/44 The model has been enhanced further in a new peer reviewed publication which is now available at the Clinical Epigenetics journal website http://www.clinicalepigeneticsjournal.com/content/4/1/6/abstractSince its publication on May 10, 2012, this article has been widely accessed by scientists all over the world.
Dr. Dufault is recognized as a biomedical expert in the areas of fructose, mercury toxicology, epigenetics, environmental hazard assessment.Her articles continue to be widely accessed, and in some cases, the most accessed of all time (Environmental Health Journal, Behavioral and Brain Functions, Clinical Epigenetics).She makes her living as an educator and researcher working primarily with under-served populations.
Dr. Dufault now teaches a popular online Healthy Diet course through the Food Ingredient and Health Research Institute. http://www.foodingredient.info/healthydiettutorial.html The content of this course or tutorial has been used in three different clinical trials to help participants switch to a healthy diet while reducing their weight, BMI, fasting glucose and/or inorganic mercury levels. Prior to teaching this course, for nearly tens years, Dr. Dufault taught an online community environmental hazard assessment course through the United Tribes Technical College.