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China Study author Colin Campbell slaps down critic

tcolincampbell.org | T. Colin Campbell PhD | 07/21/10

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Editor's Note: There has recently been a flurry of discussion prompted by an article by raw-animal-product advocate Denise Minger, which criticizes The China Study and attacks its author, Dr. T. Colin Campbell. Minger questions Dr. Campbell's personal motives and attempts to impugn his character.

Dr. Campbell recently took time to review Minger's observations and respond. You can read Minger's original article below, linked at the start of Dr. Campbell's response. 

Previously we at VegSource had looked at some of Minger's anti-Campbell rhetoric.  One thing we were struck by early on was the fact that Minger apparently removes comments on her blog from scientific researchers who point out the flaws in her reasoning and in her understanding of accepted research methods. In his report below Dr. Campbell notes an example of one researcher whose critical post was removed.

A cancer epidemiologist who says she posted criticism of Minger's methods last week on Minger's blog complained in a posting on VegSource that her critical post first appeared and then was removed from the Comments area of Minger's blog.  In fact, Minger herself posted on VegSource in response to this epidemeologist's complaint, and did not deny that the epidemeologist's critical comments had been yanked. After complaining on VegSource about the post disappearing, the epidemiologist's post apparently reappeared on Minger's blog.  (Minger subsquently said something about a "spam filter" being at fault.)

As the exchange showed, it was clear to the epidemologist that Minger was out of her depth, and she offered to give Minger some some assistance and teach Minger some proper methods of analysis.  In response Minger expressed excitement at hoping to attract professional researchers to help examine Dr. Campbell's data in the future, and see if they can aid Minger in proving Dr. Campbell is wrong in some way. Minger wrote that if she could enlist actual researchers who could help her poke holes in China Study data, "this could be a really great opportunity to grab the attention of the medical community."

About the only community interested in the kind of thing Minger is attempting would be the pro-beef Weston Price Foundation and the meat industry. Minger may find helpers coming forward from those ranks and offering their assistance; many have already tried unsuccessfully for years to attack and undercut the message of Dr. Campbell's life work. On their own website, the Weston Price people express how thrilled they are that Minger has joined in their attempts to discredit Dr. Campbell's work. (In fact, Minger is a fan of the Weston Price Foundation and recommends their work to others. You can read an expose about the Price Foundation at the end of Dr. Campbell's article -- which includes the revelation that Price himself, the founder, actually recommended a vegetarian diet to his family as the most healthy.)

Of course, Minger expresses no interest in publicizing any of her work when it shows Campbell is correct. 

We see this often; someone trying to build some credibility on their own by taking aim at the biggest target they can find in hope that they can punch a hole, thus showing themselves to be smart enough to take down the big guy. Unqualified to actually do any kind of study of her own, Minger hopes to find flaws in the peer-reviewed work of researchers from Oxford University, Cornell University, and the Chinese Academy of Preventive Medicine.

Except she's not up to the task of taking on professional researchers who have to work to the most rigorous standards in academia. These are slightly higher than standards for kids blogging on the web.

A critic's post pointing out some of Minger's errors disappears from her blog, and reappears when the critic starts complaining about it elsewhere on the web. Minger then publicly admits that she could use help understanding Dr. Campbell's research, because she doesn't have professional expertise to analyze and interpret the data she's pontificating about.

23-year-old Minger lists her educational and professional qualifications on her Facebook page as writer, Catholic school teacher, summer camp instructor, and "Professional Sock Puppeteer."

So we were mildly surprised that Dr. Campbell felt he needed to take the time to dignify Minger's musings with a response. Still, this is the internet, and I guess sometimes it doesn't hurt to respond, even if the attacks constitute no more than a mosquito bite.

So just in case there are individuals who might feel there was merit to any of Minger's scientific-sounding speculation, here is Dr. Campbell's response:


Reply to Denise Minger

by Dr. T. Colin Campbell, PhD, author The China Study

Ms. Denise Minger has published a critique of our book, The China Study, as follows.

The China Study: Fact or Fallacy? by Denise Minger - article found at: http://bit.ly/9s5pn8

It is both interesting and gratifying that there has been such a huge response, both on her blog and on those of others. This is a welcome development because it gives this topic an airing that has long been hidden in the halls and annals of science. It is time that this discussion begin to reach a much larger audience, including both supporters and skeptics.

I hope at some point to be able to read all of the discussions and the questions that have been raised, but present deadlines and long-standing commitments have forced me, for now, to focus on the most common concerns and questions, in order to respond in a timely manner here.

the-china-study2.jpgKudos to Ms. Minger for having the interest, and taking the time, to do considerable analysis, and for describing her findings in readily accessible language. And kudos to her for being clear and admitting, right up front, that she is neither a statistician nor an epidemiologist, but an English major with a love for writing and an interest in nutrition. We need more people with this kind of interest.

I am the first to admit that background and academic credentials are certainly not everything, and many interesting discoveries and contributions have been made by "outsiders" or newcomers in various fields. On the other hand, background, time in the field, and especially peer review, all do give one a kind of perspective and insight that is, in my experience, not attainable in any other way. I will try to make clear in my comments below when this is particularly relevant.

My response can be divided into three parts, mostly addressing her argument's lack of proportionality--what's important and what's not.

  • Misunderstanding our book's objectives and my research findings
  • Excessive reliance on the use of unadjusted correlations in the China database
  • Failure to note the broader implications of choosing the right dietary lifestyle

Before proceeding further, however, I would like to make a general comment about my approach in responding to Denise.  I believe Denise is a very intelligent person, and I can see how she might reach the conclusions she did; this is easy to do for someone without extensive scientific research experience.  Having said this, there are fundamental flaws in her reasoning, and it is these flaws that I will address in this paper.  Some might wonder, "Why didn't he go through her laundry list of claims and address each one in the same order?"  The answer is simple: these claims are derived from the same faulty reasoning, so it is this underlying problem that I will address.  I do in fact illustrate this point by addressing one of her claims regarding wheat, and the reader can assume that one could go through a similar exercise with all her claims.

A. Not understanding the book's objectives.

The findings described in the book are not solely based on the China survey data, even if this survey was the most comprehensive (not the largest) human study of its kind. As explained in the book, I draw my conclusions from several kinds of findings and it is the consistency among these various findings that matter most.

First and foremost, our extensive work on the biochemical fundamentals of the casein effect on experimental cancer in laboratory animals (only partly described in our book) was prominent because these findings led to my suggestion of fundamental principles and concepts that apply to the broader effects of nutrition on cancer development. These principles were so compelling that they should apply to different species, many nutrients, many cancers and an almost unlimited list of health and disease responses (e.g., nutritional control of gene expression, multi-mechanistic causation, reversal of cancer promotion but not reversal of initiation, rapidity of nutritional response, etc.). These principles also collectively and substantially inferred major health benefits of whole plant-based foods.

This earlier laboratory work, extensively published in the very best peer-reviewed journals, preceded the survey in China. These findings established the essence of what can be called biological plausibility, one of the most important pillars establishing the reliability of epidemiological research. [Biological plausibility represents established evidence showing how a cause-effect relationship works at the biological level, one of the principles of epidemiology research established by the epidemiology pioneer, Sir Bradford Hill.]

Unfortunately, this issue of biological plausibility too often escapes the attention of statisticians and epidemiologists, who are more familiar with 'number crunching' than with biological phenomena. The first 15-20 years of our work was not, as some have speculated, an investigation specifically focused on the carcinogenic effects of casein. It was primarily a series of studies intended to understand the basic biology of cancer and the role of nutrition in this disease. The protein effect, of course, was remarkable, and for this reason, it was a very useful tool to give us a novel insight into the workings of the cancer process. [Nonetheless, the casein effect, which was studied in great depth and, if judged by the formal criteria for experimentally determining which chemicals classify as carcinogens, places casein in the category of being the most relevant carcinogen ever identified.]

Second, this survey in rural China, based on a very unique population and experimental format (from several perspectives), resulted in the collection of an exceptionally comprehensive database that, to a considerable extent, permitted the testing of hypotheses and principles learned in the laboratory, both mine and others. By 'testing', I mean questioning whether any evidence existed in the China database to support a protective effect characterized by the nutritional composition of a plant-based diet. I was not sure what might be found but nonetheless became impressed with what was eventually shown.

The China project data afforded an opportunity to consider the collective interplay and effects of many potentially causative factors with many disease outcomes--the very definition of nutrition (my definition of nutrition is not about the isolated effects of individuals nutrients, or even foods for that matter). The China project encouraged us not to rely on independent statistical correlations with little or no consideration of biological plausibility. In the book, I drew my conclusions from six prior models of investigation to illustrate this approach: breast cancer, liver cancer, colon cancer (minimally), energy utilization/body weight control, affluent disease-poverty disease and protein vs. body growth rates. Using this strategy, I first inquired whether a collection of variables in the China survey (ranging from univariate correlations to more sophisticated analyses) could consistently and internally support each of these biologically plausible models and, second, I determined whether the findings for each of these models were consistent with the overarching hypothesis that a whole food, plant-based diet promotes health--I could not discuss much of this rationale in a page-limited book intended for the public.

Most importantly, I cannot emphasize enough that the findings from the China project, standing alone, do not solely determine my final views expressed in the book. That's why only one chapter of 18 was devoted to the China survey project, which is only one link in a chain of experimental approaches. I was simply asking the question whether there were biologically plausible data in the China database to support the findings gained in our laboratory, among others. Because of the uniqueness of the China database, I believed that the evidence was highly supportive. One of the unique characteristics of this survey was the traditional dietary practices of this cohort of people. Mostly, they were already consuming a diet largely comprised of plant-based foods, thus limiting our ability to detect an hypothesized plant-based food effect--thus making our final observations that much more impressive.

Third, in the book, we summarized findings from other research groups for a variety of diseases to determine the consistency of our model with their findings, according to my principles and concepts. One of the most compelling parts of this exercise was the fact that so many of their findings, although published in good peer-reviewed journals, had been and were continuing to be ignored and/or distorted, a very disturbing and puzzling phenomenon. This posed for me the question, why? My participation in extensive reviews of the work of others during my 20-year stint working on or as a member of expert committees gave me a particularly rich opportunity to consider these previously published studies. There still is, and for a long time has been, an intentional effort at various levels of science hierarchy to denigrate studies that speak to the more fundamental biology of plant-based diets. The fact that there has been resistance, oftentimes hostile and personal in the lay community, speaks volumes to me.

Fourth, and most importantly, there is the enormously impressive findings of my physician colleagues, which came to my attention near the end of the China project data collection period and which were showing remarkable health benefits of plant-based nutrition, involving not only disease prevention but also disease treatment (alphabetically: Diehl, Esselstyn, Goldhamer, Klaper, McDougall, Ornish, Shintani-and many others since the book's publication: T. Barnard, N. Barnard, Corso, Fuhrman, Lederman, Montgomery, Popper, Pulde, Schulz, Shewman). I cannot overemphasize the remarkable accomplishments of these primary care physicians. In effect, their work affirmed my earlier laboratory research. I should add that I knew none of them or their work during my career in the laboratory, thus was not motivated or biased to find ways to affirm their work.

It was the combination of these various lines of inquiry that made so compelling the larger story told in the book, at least for me. Denise mostly ignores these fundamental but highly consistent parts of my story. In that vein, I strongly believe that the findings of no single study in biology or even a group of similar studies should be taken too seriously until context is established. Biology is not for engineers and number crunchers, as important as they may be, because, compared to their systems, biological response is much more complex and dynamic.

B. The use of 'raw' univariate correlations.

In a study like this survey in China (ecologic, cross-sectional), univariate correlations represent one-to-one associations of two variables, one perhaps causal, the other perhaps effect. Use of these correlations (about 100,000 in this database) should only be done with caution, that is, being careful not to infer one-to-one causal associations. Even though this project provided impressive and highly unique experimental features, using univariate correlations to identify specific food vs. specific disease associations is not one of these redeeming features, for several reasons. First, a variable may reflect the effects of other factors that change along with the variable under study. Therefore, this requires adjustment for confounding factors--mostly, this was not done by Denise. Second, for a variable to have information of value (as in making a correlation), it must exhibit a sufficient range. If, for example, a variable is measured in 65 counties (as in China), there must be a distribution of values over a sufficiently broad range for it to be useful. Third, the variables should represent exposures representative of prior years when the diseases in question are developing. I see little or no indication that Denise systematically considered each of these requirements.

I should point out that when we were deciding to publish these data in the original monograph, we decided to do something highly unusual in science--to publish the uninterpreted raw correlations, hoping that future researchers would know how to use or not use them. We felt that this highly unusual decision was necessary because we were wary of those in the West who might have doubted the validity of data collected in China--we had several experiences to suspect this. But also, we believe that research should be as transparent as possible, simply for the sake of transparency, thus minimizing suspicion of hidden agendas. We knew that taking this approach was a risk because there could be those who, knowing little or nothing about experimentation of this type, might wish to use the data for their own questionable purposes. Nonetheless, we decided to be generous and, in order advise future users of these data, we added our words of caution--written about 1988--as part of our 894-page monograph. I also have repeated this caution in other publications of mine. It seems that Denise missed reading this material in the monograph.

As I was writing this, I discovered this comment from a self-described professional epidemiologist (PhD, cancer epidemiology) on one of the blogs (A Cancer Epidemiologist refutes Denise Mingers China Study Claims due to incorrect data analysis - 30 Bananas a Day!)--a comment that is relevant to the point that I am now addressing in this response.

I do not know this person but did find her comment interesting. After reviewing Denise's critique, she wrote the following for her (Denise's) blog, only then to see it quickly and mysteriously disappear.

"Your analysis is completely OVER-SIMPLIFIED. Every good epidemiologist/statistician will tell you that a correlation does NOT equal an association. By running a series of correlations, you've merely pointed out linear, non-directional, and unadjusted relationships between two factors. I suggest you pick up a basic biostatistics book, download a free copy of "R" (an open-source statistical software program), and learn how to analyze data properly. I'm a PhD cancer epidemiologist, and would be happy to help you do this properly. While I'm impressed by your crude, and - at best - preliminary analyses, it is quite irresponsible of you to draw conclusions based on these results alone. At the very least, you need to model the data using regression analyses so that you can account for multiple factors at one time."

This blogger is making the same point that I am making but I am puzzled why was it deleted from Denise's blog?

Lest it be forgotten, the main value of the China data set is its descriptive nature, thus providing a baseline against which other data sets can be broadly compared, either over time or over geographic space. I must emphasize: the correlations published in our monograph CANNOT be blindly used to infer causality--at least for specific cause-effect associations having no biological plausibility. Nonetheless, they do offer a rich trove of opportunities to generate interesting hypotheses, relatively few of which have been explored to date. In contrast, using models representing biological plausibility, which was determined from prior research, I simply wanted to see if they were consistent with the China survey data.

For the sake of understanding the downside risk of using univariate correlations, I'll use this imaginary conversation involving a few correlations that Denise thought were relevant to her personal allergy to wheat, although many other examples from Denise's treatise could serve the same purpose.

Denise makes a point concerning a highly significant (but unadjusted) univariate correlation between wheat flour consumption and two cardiovascular diseases plus a couple other diseases. In doing so, she infers that wheat flour causes these cardiovascular diseases. She also makes the point that "none of these correlations appear to be tangled with any risk-heightening variables, either." And further, she implies that I ignored this potentially important correlation, perhaps intentionally, because of my alleged bias against meat. I use this particular example here because others who very much dislike my views have pointed out on the Internet that this example cited by Denise represents evidence of my lack of integrity.

The conversation goes like this, after Denise reminds me of these univariate correlations.

"Denise, that correlation of wheat flour and heart disease is interesting but I am not aware of any prior and biologically plausible and convincing evidence to support an hypothesis that wheat causes these diseases, as you infer."

"Did you, by any chance, look for evidence whether there might be other variables confounding the wheat flour correlation, variables that change in parallel with wheat flour consumption? I presume you did because you said that 'none of these correlations appear to be tangled with any risk-heightening variables.'

"But just a minute, I found some, and they're all highly statistically significant (p<0.01 to p<0.001)."

"Higher wheat flour consumption, for example, is correlated, as univariate correlations, with

  • lower green vegetable consumption (many of these people live in northern, arid regions where they often consume meat based diets with little no consumption of vegetables). [By the way, Tuoli county data, to which you refer as my "sin of omission" intentionally were excluded from virtually all our analyses on meat consumption because this county ranked very high when meat consumption was documented at survey time, but much lower when responding to the questionnaire on frequency of meat consumption. That is, these nomadic people migrate for part of the year to valleys, where they consume more vegetables and fruits.]
  • lower serum levels of monounsaturated fats (possibly increasing risk of heart disease?)
  • higher serum levels of urea (a biomarker of protein consumption)
  • greater body weight (higher risk of heart disease?)"

"Interestingly, you might be interested to know that all of these variables are known from prior knowledge, i.e., biological plausibility, to associate with higher risk for heart disease."

"Denise, this is quite an oversight that could suggest the opposite conclusion from the one that you intended to convey. Or was this bias reflecting your personal preference for eating raw meat and avoiding wheat flour? Any thoughts?"

"Why did you highlight this relationship as a key example of my "sin of omission", being even more 'troubling than the distorted facts in The China Study and the details that (I) leave out?'"

Incidentally, aside from Denise's claiming there were no confounding factors, I might have taken her seriously when she posed a possible effect of wheat flour on heart disease, because it may be possible to gather prior evidence that could be considered as supporting the opposite point of view. In fact, this would be a proper use of univariate correlations, simply searching for those correlations that might hint of supporting evidence for such an hypothesis. If sufficiently convincing, then we could design a more analytical type of study. This exercise is called hypothesis generation, which is one of the virtues of the China data set. But Denise is doing something different, coming very close to almost randomly inferring causality without adjusting for confounding factors, without scanning the variables for analytical authenticity and without--to my knowledge--having prior evidence of biological plausibility for such an hypothesis.

Then, she uses this example as evidence of a "sin of omission" and a "distorted fact" on my part. Using these rather inflammatory words infers serious personal indiscretion on my part. Does she really mean this?

There are different ways of using univariate correlations in a database like this. It is not that these correlations are useless and should be ignored. Rather, it is a question of using them intelligently. By this, I mean first adjusting these correlations for confounding factors (if and when possible) then examining the individual variables of the correlations for authenticity. Depending on the reliability of these correlations, they may be used to guide whether a hypothetical, cause-effect model, perhaps having preliminary evidence of biological plausibility, is on the right track. The most critical expertise needed for their use is knowing the underlying biology, which is so often missing among trained statisticians.

The six models to which I referred in our book are those evaluated in this manner. Yes, when possible, I also used univariate correlations (along with statistical significance) in support of these models but only after we had preliminary supportive data for the model (only brief summarized in the book). Here are a few representative publications of those supportive data for the six models that we explored in our book:

Breast cancer (Marshall JR, Qu Y, Chen J, Parpia B, Campbell TC. Additional ecologic evidence: lipids and breast cancer mortality among women age 55 and over in China. Europ. J. Cancer 1991;28A:1720-1727; Key TJA, Chen J, Wang DY, Pike MC, Boreham J. Sex hormones in women in rural China and in Britain. Brit. J. Cancer 1990;62:631-636.)

Liver cancer (Campbell TC, Chen J, Liu C, Li J, Parpia B. Non-association of aflatoxin with primary liver cancer in a cross-sectional ecologic survey in the People's Republic of China. Cancer Res. 1990;50:6882-6893; .Youngman LD, Campbell TC. Inhibition of aflatoxin B1-induced gamma-glutamyl transpeptidase positive (GGT+) hepatic preneoplastic foci and tumors by low protein diets: evidence that altered GGT+ foci indicate neoplastic potential. Carcinogenesis 1992;13:1607-1613).

Energy utilization (Horio F, Youngman LD, Bell RC, Campbell TC. Thermogenesis, low-protein diets, and decreased development of AFB1-induced preneoplastic foci in rat liver. Nutr. Cancer 1991;16:31-41:Campbell TC. Energy balance: interpretation of data from rural China. Toxicological Sciences 1999;52:87-94).

Colon cancer (Campbell, T.C., Wang G., Chen J., Robertson, J., Chao, Z. and Parpia, B.  Dietary fiber intake and colon cancer mortality in The People's Republic of China.  In: Dietary Fiber, Chemistry Physiology and Health Effects, (Ed. Kritchevsky, D., Bonfield, C., Anderson, W.), Plenum Press, New York, 473-480, 1990).

Affluent-Poverty Diseases (Campbell TC, Chen J, Brun T, et al. China: from diseases of poverty to diseases of affluence.  Policy implications of the epidemiological transition. Ecol. Food Nutr. 1992;27:133-144).

Protein-growth rate (Campbell TC, Chen J. Diet and chronic degenerative diseases: a summary of results from an ecologic study in rural China. In: Temple NJ, Burkitt DP, eds. Western diseases: their dietary prevention and reversibility. Totowa, NJ: Humana Press, 1994:67-118; Campbell TC, Junshi C. Diet and chronic degenerative diseases"perspectives from China. Am. J. Clin. Nutr. 1994;59:1153S-1161S).

As I previously said, one of my interests in the China database was simply to see if there was evidence supporting the health benefits of a plant-based diet for these various models (and many more). The fact that we observed a slew of statistically significant results supporting this proposition, especially for a dietary experience having such low total fat and animal based foods, was quite remarkable. Did every correlation among our 100,000 show the expected? This was my comment, verbatim, already published in our book (that Denise did not acknowledge in her critique):

"Do I think the China Study findings constitute absolute scientific proof? Of course not. Does it provide enough information to inform some practical decision-making? Absolutely. An impressive and informative web of information was emerging from this study. But does every potential strand (or association) in this mammoth study fit perfectly into this web of information? No. Although most statistically significant strands readily fit into the web, there were a few surprises. Most, but not all, have since been explained."

In summary, Denise's critique lacks a sense of proportionality. She gives (with considerable hyperbole, at times) the analyses of the China data more weight than they deserve by ignoring the remaining evidence discussed in the other 17 chapters in the book. The China research project was a cornerstone study, yes, but it was NOT the sole determinant of my views (as I have repeated, almost ad nauseum in my lectures). In doing so, and except for a few denigrating remarks on our experimental animal research, she also ignores the remaining findings that I presented in our book. She seems not to understand what our laboratory research was showing. Using univariate correlations mostly without adjustment for confounding factors, qualification of variable authenticity, and/or biological plausibility can lead to haphazard evidence, subject to the whims of personal bias. Also, univariate correlations of this type can lead to too much emphasis on individual nutrients and foods as potential causes of events.

Also, as I already mentioned, she questions our omission of the Tuoli County data as if this was some sort of sleight of hand on my part (in addition to my comments above, I already explained this omission in one of my papers and on my preliminary blog). She over-interprets our very limited 'dairy' data which only includes 3 counties (of 65) that use a very different product from what we consider to be dairy. And she continues to characterize my views in reference to veganism and vegetarianism (I don't even use these words) as if I were motivated by an ideology instead of by my consideration of empirical data and biological plausibility.

Not only does Denise misrepresent and misunderstand the rationale for the science in The China Study, her choice of words do not facilitate what she hopes to achieve. Her overall message, often embellished with adjectives and subjective remarks, appeals to some questionable characters sympathetic to or subservient to the Weston A Price Foundation, a farm lobbying group whose advocates and apologists have accused me of being a "fraud", a "liar", a "buffoon" and (earlier) an associate of a "terrorist" organization. I doubt that this is what she wanted to achieve. These individuals, for much too long, have been carelessly using or even ignoring science to further their own interests, such as advocating for the use of a very high fat, high protein diet mostly consistent with the diet that has caused us so much difficulty.

This name calling means nothing to me personally but it does indicate their desperation with our message. They would be well advised not to use such tactics because it reflects on them, not me. Whether Denise intended this is not clear, but the results of her critique is clearly apparent.

I must repeat for emphasis that no single study (or even a group of similar studies) is perfect in its design, in its data collection or in its interpretation of results. From the perspective of developing a research career, I see two possible paths that a researcher may follow. One option proceeds from experiment to experiment by probing ever deeper into the details of one of those experiments that they may happen upon where precision of measurement matters deeply and where the findings can become useful at some future time-indeed, they may "happen upon" an observation that becomes their life's work very early in this process, maybe even at the outset.

A second option proceeds 'outwardly' to better understand the broader implications of a series of findings, or experiments. I did some of the first but eventually preferred the second, taking each finding not as something to refine into 'perfection' but to ask whether it was sufficiently compelling to suggest the next obvious experiment that eventually might lead to an important network of findings. Having done both, I strongly prefer the latter option because the whole, indicated by a network of findings, is often far more useful than its parts. I also believed that this second option had more potential to meet the interests of the public who funded our research. I also am very much motivated by the fact that there are far too many individuals needlessly paying a heavy personal price in their health for not having access to information of this kind that could have saved their lives, a moral issue for me. Under no circumstances was I controlled by what my personal preferences might have been!

In the case of our project in China, I believe that its design, its uniqueness and its execution are virtually without parallel in its quality-thanks very much to my colleagues. However, as trained people know, making specific inferences about causality is not appropriate in a study of this kind. The concept of 'ecologic fallacy', wherein a univariate correlation is improperly used to diagnose or to treat an individual person, is well known. In contrast, if one initially has a reasonably convincing and biologically plausible body of data and if the data are appropriately qualified, then using a study like to this to see if there is consistency, is appropriate This is appropriate in my opinion if the hypothesis being addressed represents a comprehensive causal effect where many factors are acting in concert and where there may be multiple ways of examining the data (e.g., multiple factors being consumed, multiple clinical biomarkers of factor tissue status, multiple methods of measurement and, perhaps, even multiple outcomes). This is what we did. We began with a collection of previously developed cause-effect models (previously published) that we could test for consistency with the China data. We found on balance considerable support in the China database for these models. As I've said many times, not all the evidence in the China database supported this conclusion, although the large majority did. To find this degree of consistency in a population mostly using a low fat, high fiber, whole plant-based foods with little or no processed foods--where I had thought that we would see little or nothing--was impressive. One cannot, as Denise has done, rely on univariate correlations to make conclusions, especially when they are focused on specific foods for specific diseases--it is too easy to find what one wants to find.

I know that this discussion between Denise and me is difficult to judge by readers of this exchange without having access to the raw data base and without knowing how to use or interpret it. Accepting this, therefore, I suggest that, in the final analysis, the reliability of any conclusion about complex cause-effect issues should be judged by its ability to predict health outcomes. In this case, the results of people using a diet of whole, plant-based foods, as shown by physician colleagues (previously mentioned, McDougall, Esselstyn, Ornish, Barnard, Fuhrman, et al) as well as by many of the readers of our book are nothing less than incredible. There is nothing else in medicine like it!

C. Denise's failure to note the broader implications of choosing the right dietary lifestyle.

I suggest that those people who are so hostile to this message take another look at their reasoning. There is far more to this story than the interpretation of the scientific data alone. There are major issues of health care and health care costs, there are serious environmental issues that have not been adequately communicated to the public, and there are political, social and ethical issues that must be considered. Of most importance, there are people who deserve to hear this message--namely, the taxpayers who funded this work. For me to do anything less than to report on these findings is both immoral and unethical. In the current discussions about this issue, I would urge that it is vitally important that all of us keep these ideas in mind, while being very careful not to promote ideas simply for the sake of defending one's own personal preferences. I strongly believe that discussion of these issues focus outwardly for the sake of all of us, not just inwardly for the satisfaction of personal ego.

My greatest mistake throughout this process may have been our acquiescence to our publisher's choice for our book's title. We suggested 200 possible titles, not one of which was 'The China Study'. But when we objected, he said that we already had signed the contract and this was his right and responsibility. We felt locked in, especially because we had already explored publication with about 10 other publishers, some of whom had offered advances (one very large), if we did it their way. Because we had refused to accept their suggestions (including at least half the book as recipes, going easy on the references and 'dumbing down' the language), it seemed clear that we had no other choice than to go along with our new publisher who accepted our way of telling this story.

Obviously, the title of our book has been misleading for some because of the inappropriate weight suggested by the China project itself. When these rather novel data are considered both in reference to biologically plausible, multi-factor models of causation and in reference to the large body of other kinds of studies discussed in the book, the China project database becomes very important. But relying on the results of this study in isolation, especially when unadjusted univariate correlations are used, is not appropriate.

I should conclude by noting the suggestion of the professional epidemiologist, cited above, who suggested that ultimately Denise may wish to publish her findings in a peer-reviewed journal but who presently felt strongly that the current version would not be accepted. I concur.

 


 

VegSource notes: For more information on the Weston Price Foundation, click here.

To read more recent deconstruction of Denise Minger's nonsense, here is another excellent critique:

Part I: http://healthylongevity.blogspot.com/2012/08/forks-over-knives-and-healthy-longevity.html 

Part II: http://healthylongevity.blogspot.com/2012/08/forks-over-knives-and-healthy-longevity_17.html

 



FACEBOOK COMMENTS:


85 Comments | Leave a comment

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Wow. He is "a gentleman and a scholar" as the saying goes, in the best sense.

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He is extremly polite, a real gentleman!

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Politely clear, clearly polite.
A gentleman of reason, a wise man of science.
This world simply needs more of such good folks.

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Dear Dr. Campbell,
I am myself not a statistician nor epidemiologist nor even an English major but an ordinary person.
The fact of the matter is that the more one is learned the more one can quote from treatises, monographs or research papers to justify meat eating.
Also, the more one is intelligent the more one's arguments in favor of meat eating can look and sound logical.
Finally, what matters is the conclusion. The meat eater will quite logically reach the conclusion of justifying meat eating by some means or other.
It is not for nothing that it is said even the devil will cite from the scriptures.

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Dear Dr. Campbell: As a consequence of acquired tastes, human animals continue to be in denial regarding all good works designed to create health or rather restore a human body's capacity to health - not withstanding the cruel and unconscionable experimentation on innocent beings in laboratories which neither you nor your colleagues can ever justify morally or ethically.
Ms. Minger and her ilk are simply hired guns.
It has been my experience that when presented with "the facts," those having a vested interest generally become defensive and tend to attack the messenger. Sadly, a major cause of our worldwide food shortage that is going to affect us all, sooner or later, is due to another unpleasant fact which is that most of the grains grown are fed to sentient beings who are in turn tortured and killed for the appeasement of human taste buds.

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Dear Dr. Campbell:

Thank you for being the voice of reason in such desperate times. While there seems to be no end in sight to ever-escalating healthcare costs and millions of Americans continue to die each year from preventable diseases, you bring knowledge, inspiration, and hope to us all.

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Thank you for your amazing book, all the work that went into it, and all the work you continue to do. You are one of my heros.

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I hope that Ms. Minger reads that reply. It is the best example of a professional bitch slap that i have ever had the pleasure to read. Mess with the bull and you get the horns.

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Thank you Dr. T. Colin Campbell for "The China Study". I am forever great full that;

1) I was lucky enough to have access to this information
2) That I kept an open mind and did my own research, which supports everything you discussed.

I have made it my personal mission to promote your work and try to inform others. Meat eaters are very set in their ways and will go to great lengths to support this way of life, that, I have learned the hard way. I gave up "preaching" to others as it's a waste of good oxygen. People need to realize for themselves and no doubt at some point in their life they will have that "ah ha" moment.

You certainly opened my eyes and most shocking was about dairy. I am forever thankful.
You are my number one hero!


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Hello dianedi,
One thing that you have to remember is that meat eaters are as addicted to meat as those who use heroin are to their drug.
Try to tell a heroin user, they should stop. They may find out once it is too late, but until then, they will stand firm in the idea that heroin is not damaging their health.
I have also learned to let people see the results by changes in me, then let them ask questions.

Bob Y.

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This constant attempt to distract and manipulate instead of facing the facts and addressing the issues is a clear indication of desperation and infantile misunderstanding. Someone cherry-picking comments from actual scientists is embarrassing and overtly anti-academic! Thankfully, Dr. Campbell took the time to clarify for any reader who might be confused or misled by these bogus, unsubstantiated claims! He is the epitome of a scientist who strives to tell the facts...not to manipulate, abuse or misinform the public based on ulterior (read financial) motives!

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Gorgeous and beautiful is Denise Minger,
Making her name as a blogging English major,
Attacking science while knowing nothing,
She's ready to be an expert Fox commentator!

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Oh. Poet-versifier!
Put in limerick form, it'd have been better!

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The media is mostly interested in "hype," not facts. The public has a hard time sorting out info they are not trained to understand, and have virtually no understanding of methodological questions. Otherwise, everyone would already be on a 100% plant-based diet.

Instead, the meat/dairy industry, abetted by the media, purposely creates controversy by using the kind of non-analysis that Denise provides. Such phony "controversy" kept the public from the facts about smoking for decades. Hundreds of thousands of people died as a result. Now the same thing is happening with diet.

Not to mention the 85,000 man-made chemical poisoning the planet. Industry apologists insist it is all safe. And they can hire "scientists" to create just enough controversy to stave off meaningful regulation.

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These attacks are a clear sign of the widespread success of Dr Campbell's work. His 35 years of research is nothing to sneeze at. And the positive results so many have had from changing to a plant-based diet after reading his book, is frightening to his opponents. The results are real and undeniable...backed up by standard medical tests. Remove the cause of illnesses & they go away. An animal food-based diet is the cause of the majority of common diseases. A low-fat plant-based diet is the answer.

His findings on the direct effect of dairy casein
on cancer markers is astounding...add casein, markers go up, subtract casein, the markers go down. It doesn't get any clearer than that. Get dairy completely off your plate if you want to be well. And while you're at it, remove the dead carcasses as well.

Dr Campbell is a gentle & humble man, with all the best intentions of sharing his findings with the world, in order to help people. He is not out for fame or wealth. He simply is sharing the truth.

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I read Denise Minger's (lengthy) original post. What struck me after a time was that her nuanced criticism of Campbell really amounted to arguing about how many angels can dance on the head of a pin.

I mean, what exactly was her overarching point? That meat is good for you? That meat doesn't cause cancer? What was her point?

Here's what we do know for a fact: meat consumption is bad on both a personal and ecological level. Especially factory produced meat which is what most people consume, and especially the quantity and frequency with which most people consume it.

How do we know this is true? From the overwhelming preponderance of clinical evidence gathered by McDougall and Fuhrman and a parade of other clinicians who treat actual human beings. And that's just the personal "badness". The ecological badness is also well documented as factory cattle production is a major contributor to methane production and in turn atmospheric deterioration.

So if Minger wants to masturbate about how the China Study fails to provide smoking gun proof of a correlation between meat consumption and cancer, then great. Who gives a shit? Even if she's correct, that observation does not mitigate the clinical evidence correlating deteriorated human health with a calorie dense (ie, fat-based) diet, nor the climatologists' evidence of ecologic destruction.

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Congrats and thanks for your sensible comment.

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Ah to be 23 and to arrogantly take just a few weeks to try and discredit years of research of a scientist over 35 years in the field - what fun!

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Of course, Shifrah, yes, of course!

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From Dr. Campbell's "last post" on the subject (found at http://campbellcoalition.com/?p=142&cpage=1#comment-36):

"I also don’t have time to answer superficial questions of others like ‘what is the detailed mechanism of protein induction of high cholesterol levels’"

I was the one who asked this question, but Dr. Campbell doesn't seem to have an answer. Does anybody here have some insight? Thank you.

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I don't know much of such scientific/physiological technicalities. But just tap on your chest and ask your own conscience - is it a good thing to eat meat? Finally, the whole thing boils down to that simple question. And your own conscience will give the correct answer.

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Hi Senaratne. If that's the case, then why does anybody even need T. Colin Campbell in the first place?

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Well, because it is important to have a factual basis for what is intuitively obvious, which was Senaratne's point.

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This "factual basis" is all I'm interested in, hence my original question. I would have expected Dr. Campbell to simply answer the question, since he feels that he has a factual basis for his hypotheses. Sadly, he chose not to (a strange attitude for a scientist and educator), so maybe somebody here can do so. Thank you.

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Why do you believe Campbell has some obligation to answer your questions?

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I don't. Dr. Campbell can chose to do whatever he wants. But he clearly has a goal of convincing people of the correctness of his scientific hypotheses as well as the associated lifestyle choices. And in order to do that he needs to answer questions like this. Considering the amount of effort he spent in explaining why he didn't want to answer the question, it seems like it would have been easier to simply say "see my paper here which explains it", or even "see page so and so in my book".

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It's not surprising Dr. Campbell doesn't answer the questions of people trying to attack and discredit him. I expect the man has a life.

You stated that a goal of yours in asking questions of Campbell is to "publicly torpedo his credibility." You said so yourself on your blog at

http://sparkofreason.blogspot.com/2010/07/cognitive-dissonance-not-just-for.html

And you claim that you accomplished your "mission" of torpedoing his credibility by asking a question which he didn't answer.

For real, Dave?

But let's be honest here. You are someone with an agenda, like Minger, to attack Campbell. Minger is an amateur who is looking around to see if she can also find some way to prove Campbell "wrong" about something somewhere.

On your blog and Twitter with your meat-promoting friends, you're decrying this and that... You aren't asking Campbell questions about his book. You're trying to work an agenda, you have a blog where you and your friends are rudely accusing Campbell of being dishonest.

Nice.

You have a right to try to do that; Campbell and everyone else has a right to see this for what it is, and ignore it, get his work done and have a nice life with his family instead.

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Again, you seem to be getting emotional. This is not an emotional issue. I never said Dr. Campbell didn't have the "right" do whatever he wants. But if he really wants to educate others that the lifestyle choices he recommends have a scientific basis, then he needs to answer questions. If he wants to ignore the questions and spend more time with his family, that's great. But he (and you) shouldn't expect the rest of the world to just roll over and accept his unconfirmed word as "truth" (as if such a thing existed in science anyway).

You may wish to read my blog more carefully. My goal is to make information available so people can make good decisions. My motivation in asking Dr. Campbell this question was two-fold: either get an answer (and for the 10th or so time, "I don't know" is a perfectly good scientific answer), or to show he was behaving as a dogmatist, evading the question because "I don't know" would create cognitive dissonance within his dogmatic belief system. Which conclusion do you think most people would draw given his behavior to date?

At any rate, if someone is attacking your credibility, the obvious solution is to demonstrate you HAVE credibility through transparency. Obfuscation is a strong clue that someone is basically saying "believe as I believe, because I told you so." If Dr. Campbell wants credibility, he needs to open up and start participating in the dialog. Doing so would provide considerably more credibility than being evasive and acting like his feelings were hurt, thus excusing him from having to present rational evidence-based arguments.

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Dave, you are the one with the credibility problem. It would in fact lesson Campbell's credibility to pay attention to or waste time with someone like you.

Campbell doesn't *need* to answer anyone's questions. Sorry, but you're a bit delusional. He doesn't need to answer questions from some high protein-promoting ignorant addled flack.

Campbell doesn't need to "open up and start participating in the dialog" in order to have credibility. Campbell already *has* credibility. Tons of it. You are the guy who is a grasping nobody with no bestselling book, no lifetime body of research, no association with an educational institution, just a little blog up there in Livermore with six people reading it, a pathetic desperate nobody screaming to be heard.

For Campbell to dialog with you would be akin to trying to dialog with one those homeless people who just stand on a street corner all day and night shouting obscenities and nonsense. They like to hear themselves speak, but they're not really saying anything, their brain's not engaged.

You have bizarre ego problems, Dave Dixon. You actually think that Colin Campbell, this highly decorated educational icon should deign to speak with this inconsequential pipsqueak.

Dave, you are nothing. And that's probably why you're doing this. You have no accomplishments you can point to, no real meaning in your life, and your ego problems blind you from seeing how ridiculous you really are.

Why don't you find some other windmills to tilt at. Let's see, what other fools errand can we send you on?

Think about it. You have a PhD in physics, but you don't work in that field. You probably got your degree from http://www.mail-order-degrees.com/

You somehow feel that if you can just waste enough of Colin's time asking him questions, that eventually you'll be able to disprove everything he's done in his life and show that Atkins and the Weston Price guy who died of a stroke at age 40, that they were all correct about low-carb, high protein diets.

Dave, my advice is to keep eating the way you're eating. My friends who ate high-protein over many years are now dealing with their cancer or funeral costs. Please don't change a thing baby.

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Hi Mark. You seem be getting more angry. I don't understand that. All I really want is an answer to the original question. I didn't even want to get dragged into a discussion of Dr. Campbell's behavior, since that is largely a matter of opinion and not science (though hats off to you for actually getting me off-topic).

I will wait for an answer to my original question. If nobody here knows, or if Dr. Campbell doesn't wish to step up and answer himself, I will go elsewhere to search for the answer, and come back here with what I find. It should be of general interest to all (including Dr. Campbell).

A couple of other parting notes: you've made a workman-like effort to "discredit" me based on "credentials". But I'm not selling anything here - I'm just looking for an answer to a specific question. I don't believe that asking questions requires "credentials".

And regardless of what you think of me, I would ask that you address Dr. Campbell as "Dr. Campbell", and not "Campbell". While I don't agree with much of what Dr. Campbell preaches, I do think he has at least earned the respect of his title.

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Oh. No. I just want call him Colin or Campbell! :)For convenience.

I am almost a fan of that great personage in the history of mankind, Prof. Sigmund Freud, father of the theory and practice of psychoanalysis.

But I just call him 'Freud'. :)

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I'm not angry, Dave. Just bemused.

Dave, you're a silly guy. You're attacking Campbell on your blog, then saying that you're above attacking. You want to talk about what you're posting here, but when I point out the nonsense you're posting on your own blog, I'm taking you "off-topic."

But what kind of topic is: "Colin Campbell won't talk to me! Waah waah waah!" "I have just torpedoed his credibility because he won't answer me."

Dave, I am schooling you on how ridiculous you are, and what a pompous twit you are.

You're lecturing me to call him "Dr. Campbell" and not "Campbell" stating you believe he's earned "the respect of his title." But on your own blog, you refer to him yourself simply as "Campbell."

What does that make you? Dishonest, pretty much.

Your motives are not pure, not about "science" (as if you should be considered some sort of expert, beyond the five people who read your blog).

I don't care what your opinion is on anything. You are full of shit, but your ego problem is that you actually think that people care what you think, or should care what you think.

You're just one in a succession of Atkins supporters who like to come hang out on vegetarian websites and pretend like you're merely seeking knowledge. In other words, you're a fraud. And all the baloney that you've just blown up Colin Campbell's credibility -- it's just delusional. It's somebody not living in a reality-based world.

And you're like the stalker who's best friends with the star. "She loves me!" when in fact if she knows anything about you, it's that you're an annoying insect.

Let this series of posts serve as a Google search result for people seeking information about Dave Dixon of Livermore, California with a degree in Physics. Then when someone wants to know more about you, they can realize you're a guy with an ego problem and some loose screws, who likes to troll vegetarian websites and harass real scientists with nonsense.

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Hi Mark. Do you have an answer to my original question, or not?

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Yes, David D. Dixon. I do have an answer to your original question. And the answer is that it's a stupid question from a self-important ass.

And if you ever do find the answer, don't come back here and post it. No one here cares what your ridiculous questions are.

We're more interested in hearing from researchers and people with nutritional expertise, like Campbell, Fuhrman, McDougall, Barnard, Esselstyn and the rest. People with real-world studies to back up their work. People on this site are not interested in hearing rants from a circle jerk of high-protein gimmick dieters.

How can I improve my risks of avoiding heart disease? Now that would be a much better question, and the answer lies with cholesterol and inflammation, or animal products and junk food.

Now get out of here you loathsome dishonest unbalanced person who is overzealous in the advocacy of your silly cause.

And stop inviting people to come over to your blog, as if there's some worthwhile or intelligent reason to do so. I've read a number of things you've written and can attest that you love to hear yourself speak, but have very little interesting or true to say. The half dozen fans of your blog are not like the people on this site, who have standards.

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Fine. I will look elsewhere for the answer. Thank you for your time. I apologize that the discussion seemed to have strayed from my original question, and that's partly my fault.

I'll also apologize for any perceived "attacks" on Dr. Campbell. The one thing I've taken away from this whole Denise Minger episode is a belief that Dr. Campbell is at least sincere in his beliefs, and not simply trying to sell his own brand of snake oil. I don't agree with him, but would be willing to find the source of that disagreement through discussion, if he changes his mind.

Sorry again to have caused upheaval here. I'll leave now before anybody else gets angry.

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Blah blah blah...

"...willing to find the source of that disagreement through discussion, if he changes his mind..."

Why should Campbell have any discussion with you? Yes, I'd like Obama to sit down and have lunch with me and answer all my questions about what he's doing. But alas, he has better things to do. As does Campbell.

Thanks for slinking back to your corner with your tail between your legs. It looks like you understand on some level that no one takes you seriously.

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I really don't know how to address you, Dave or spark! :)
Be that as it may, it seems to me that you are one getting emotional and trying to hide it in a garb of 'Scientific data'. But nudity shows, pardon my rude simile.
Now, my dear spark, aren't you emotionally attached to the almost religious 'dogma'that meat eating is the better policy? In the same manner a devout Christian is attached to the dogma Creation and the Almighty God?
Let me say only this much: dogmatic attachment even to any scientific data is still an attachment that can blindfold a person. It destroys scientific detachment that a scientist should essentially possess.

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"aren't you emotionally attached to the almost religious 'dogma' that meat eating is the better policy? In the same manner a devout Christian is attached to the dogma Creation and the Almighty God?"

No. If that were the case, then I wouldn't want to know the answer to my question "how does animal protein raise cholesterol." If presented with strong evidence of an underlying metabolic mechanism, I would be forced to choose between my beliefs, or invent rationalizations around why the undesirable answer was wrong.

Or I could just stick my fingers in my ears and shout "LALALALA". At any rate, were I strongly committed to dogma, the "smart" thing would be to not come here and ask questions that might shake my beliefs, but rather stick with the other "meat eaters" so we could prop up each others' confirmation biases.

BTW, I would invite any and all to come to my blog and ask tough questions. Like I said to Dr. Campbell, such open dialog is crucial in the search for the truth. And for what it's worth - I actually don't currently believe that eating meat is the only way to be healthy. I suspect it's the easiest way, but would also guess that a well-informed vegetarian (like those at beyondveg.com) could make it work as well. It's the "informed" part that is important, not the dogma of vegetarians vs. carnivores vs. ???

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Hi spark, I think Colin has said in clear terms that he was only trying to justify his own 'prejudice' through scientific data though he has not used that very word. If anybody is trying to justify an opposing 'prejudice'in the same manner, well, it's ok. Finally, the question is: which 'prejudice' is more reasonable.
Also, 'it is important to have a factual basis for what is intuitively obvious' as IGETIT has commented.

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The Campbell bashers have got it all wrong. Instead of spending time being negative and whiny maybe they should do something positive, I don't know, like write their own stinking book about how healing it is eating animals.

They just can't stand that Campbell accomplished something monumental and eye-opening about a plant based diet, so they are obnoxiously and desperately doing everything they can to refute it, without any wisdom & experience even amounting to Colin's little pinkie.

In the end it doesn't matter how much attention these refuters are getting from their supporters, truth is truth.

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OK, spark, neither Colin nor you nor anybody else can be supposed to be prepared all the time to answer all types of stupid questions. That is by no means 'a strange attitude for a scientist and educator'!

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Are you saying my question was "stupid"? All I did was ask a simple question. Why all of the annoyance?

I am prepared to answer all questions. Most of my answers will be "I don't know".

Let me give you an example. I was researching the metabolic connection between saturated fat consumption and blood cholesterol. I could not find any connection in the literature, and indeed even recent textbooks pretty much said it was not understood, despite 50 years of research. Then I saw an interview with Dr. Robert Eckel on the topic of saturated fat and heart disease. Dr. Eckel was a past president of the American Heart Association, so I figured if anybody would have the answer to my question he would.

Dr. Eckel was good enough to take the time to reply. It probably didn't take much time, either, as it was only a couple of sentences that boiled down to "We used to think it was saturated fat blocking LDL receptors. That was disproven, and now we don't know what the connection is."

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What is the question? I'll answer it.

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The original question was this: How many angels can dance on the head of a pin, while eating a hot dog?

Don't get into it with this "sparkofreason" guy, Dave Dixon. Going for a walk or watching a movie will do much more for humanity and the advancement of wisdom than wasting time with this troll.

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I am guessing he is serious so I see nothing else to do but ignore him. Aside from the fact that angels do not eat hot dogs that type of question has no place in this forum. Thank you four bringing me up to speed.

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Bunch of baloney to impress her friends over at Weston Price, who probably shoveled some of this shit her way. Kinda sad that twerp doesn't have a life, but apparently there are enough weak-minded folks out there in the anti-veg community that get excited whenever someone takes a swing at Campbell. Guess it gives her a charge that she's getting attention from those folks. The only people who would find this "interesting" are those who have little knowledge but plenty of bias. Hopefully Campbell won't waste more of his time giving this person some science education...and she can go back to touting raw meat and Weston Price Foundation nonsense, as she likes to do...

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That was quick. Campbell already has a primer lesson for Denise and her followers up on his site, see:

http://www.campbellcoalition.org/?page_id=203

Awfully nice of him to spend time giving Denise and others some education about this stuff. I know Denise will probably go rewrite her paper again a half dozen times, each time she learns something new and has her many mistakes pointed out. She just keeps trying and trying, and looks rather pathetic to anyone with judgement.

Thank you, Dr. Campbell, for spending some of your valuable time teaching this little nothing a thing or two about a subject she's never even taken a beginning course on!

Campbell delivers the death blow to Minger's latest arguments when he teachers her about the "biological plausibility" factor that comes into play when using univariate correlations. It shows that Denise totally wasted her time when she used univariate correlations in her ramblings. She is so far out of her depth, the only amusing thing is seeing how excited her mindless anti-veg fans get after she has wasted so many hours of her time creating a hambone, amateurish, meaningless "analysis"...

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Here are your answers, Denise:

1) Campbell et al. published numerous studies in the 1980's about the casein/cancer relationship in lab rat experiments. These studies were funded by NIH and spanned several years., published in major scientific journals. Campbell and his team found they could turn on and turn off cancer in rats by simply manipulating the amount of animal protein (dairy casein) in the rats' diets. You and Denise apparently are unfamiliar with this body of research. That's not Campbell's fault. There's nothing faulty about Campbell's logic, and your statement sounds like one of Denise's in her paper. You know the saying, "bullshit baffles brains" -- someone using big words or concepts to try to sound smart can sometimes take people in. But not around here.

2) Campbell distinguishes between his use of univariate correlations where a strong body of biological plausibility has been established, and what Denise did. Denise uses univariate correlations on a bunch of raw data where NO BIOLOGICAL PLAUSIBILITY HAS BEEN ESTABLISHED. See the difference? Campbell agrees that it is useless (i.e., what Denise has done is useless) to use univariate correlations on data just to fish around when there hasn't already been established a strong reason to suspect a relationship. The correlations found in what Denise has done are usually meaningless, according to Campbell's lesson about statistics. And Campbell gives several famous examples to prove that in his latest reply. Denise is engaging in a useless wank.

3) Denise has publicly praised the Weston Price Foundation and recommended their work to others. Weston Price is a crank organization with unqualified people (from any scientific perspective) championing meat (as Denise does) until they die at a young age from strokes, etc. Denise shot herself in the foot when she publicly praised and recommended Price's work. She showed her bias and lack of sound judgement. The fact that she has a following from the Price people that she obviously gets off on says a lot about her motives for launching this amateurish smear of Campbell.

4) Denise (and you) ignore the wide body of info and research Campbell lists in the majority of his book demonstrating how plant-based nutrition can prevent and reverse many common diseases. The China study stuff is a sort of brief background in Campbell's book that sets up the meat of the work. You and Denise would apparently rather not talk about that elephant in the room.

Finally, if your loved one was murdered and you wanted to get an investigator to find the killer, would you hire a guy who had been doing this successfully for 40 years, who was famous for catching a lot of killers? Or would you hire a 24-year-old dilettante, an English major who has never conducted an investigation, has nothing to show for any accomplishments in the world, and who has no real knowledge about investigating?

Apparently, you see the dilettante and the expert on the same par. That says a lot about your judgement.

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Also -- again, it's not Campbell's fault that you and Denise don't understand common scientific concepts like biological plausibility. You act as if Campbell is making it up for the first time himself, saying you have questions after Campbell's explanation, because it "doesn't make too much sense" or is an "existential quantifier." That only reveals how little you and Minger (unless you're the same person) know about well established scientific methods. You guys should be thanking Campbell for giving you a little education, then read some books and take some courses to learn more on your own. It's not Campbell's duty to educate you guys about how science works. Denise is woefully ignorant on the subject and keeps proving it every time she writes something new.

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Hey, being a sock puppet professional is not as easy as a lot of people think.

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1) Why don't you find and read some of the many studies on rats/casein, rather than coming here and asking for us to educate you about this. If you do, you will find that all rats were exposed to a known cancer-causing agent at the start. Thus all rats had the potential of developing cancer. The variable studied was diet, and the amount of animal protein (casein) in the diet was manipulated. Those rats eating a 20% casein diet (similar to the standard US diet of 20% animal protein) developed cancer. Those fed around 5% casein did not. It was a direct relationship, they tested against vegetarian proteins, etc. etc. They took rat populations which were fed high-casein diets and developed tumors, and some weeks into it, changed them to a low-casein or vegetarian diet. Those rats had their cancer turned off, and they survived much longer than the rats which continued on the high-casein diet. As for the possible mechanisms, much has been written, start reading.

There is a great deal of evidence implicating meat/animal protein and cancer (and many other diseases). It's not just about these extensive rat studies. But you and Denise have a point of view which you're trying hard to support, twisting logic to try to fit your desires.

This quote you put:

"If we observe that meat promotes cancer growth,
and we can find some real-world trend where meat consumption correlates to cancer growth, then meat must promote cancer."

Can you show me where Campbell wrote this please? I'd like to read his full statement with it.

3. Denise likes Weston Price in a few places, here's one:

http://www.giveittomeraw.com/forum/topics/weston-a-price?xg_source=activity

4. Yeah, your ignorance and Denise's selective focus does invalidate a lot, along with the fact that she doesn't know what she's doing.

5. If you want to discuss a specific comment Campbell makes, send me a link to it rather than you or Denise (mis)characterzing what he said to try to make him look bad.

Yes, the scientific method can be used by anyone -- even kids in middle school. That doesn't mean I am going to take some middle schooler's evaluations of an actual researcher's works. I don't buy a thing Denise says. She is so far out of her depth, and the fact that when her mistakes are pointed out (by researchers whose criticisms she deletes from her blog), and then keeps plowing ahead to try to find SOMETHING to tarnish Campbell, well it's pretty obvious to everyone what she's trying to do here, and it's pretty silly.

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1) I really don't care what you, some anonymous poster on the internet, has to say about your opinion on whether casein can promote cancer or not. Obviously it does, there's a ton of research, not from Campbell, about the relationship between animal protein and various cancers. Engaging in a discussion with you or anyone else about whether you believe that -- is a waste of time.

2) Yeah, I thought you made up that quote, which is why I called you on it. Debating with people who manufacture quotes is also a waste of time. You set up a strawman of your own creation, just to knock it out. Your interest in the topic is limited, not to read Campbell and evaluate his work, but to "read his responses" to Denise and try to make a judgement. That's not a very serious level of interest, but more like the Weston Price dweebs who want to read a little and then slam him if they can. It only appeals to other Weston Price dweebs.

I've read enough of Denise's crap to have formed a judgement about it, and about her character. I think probably the very things that appeal to you are what turn off most reasonable people who are looking at the subject. Did Denise changed] her policy about deleting critics, and let the comment onto her blog after the poster complained publicly here on vegsource? Funny how the woman's comment magically re-appeared on Denise's blog after the woman started complaining publicly about what happened.

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I have been following this thread from the beginning. I am 110% behind you all the way Mark. It's difficult to explain to others most of the time about the downside to eating animal proteins. It's like any bad habit, it's difficult to break, especially when the media / corporate commercials say the opposite.

The studies are most definitely out there, and yes, some studies do say that meat is a healthy choice, but people don't realize most are funded by these very industries. Look at the pharmaceutical industry, time and time again, they are caught hiring ghost writers to publish "scientific" studies, knowing very well the drug has very serious side effects. Studies are bought and paid for all the time. They make billions and are fined millions - so the downside is ????

Dr. T. Colin Campbell, as well as a few others, opened my eyes through their commitment to sharing these astounding facts, facts that remain buried deep from the public, all to protect these multi-billion dollar corporations, which are subsidized by the tax payers. I find it interesting that the price per pound of meat hasn't changed much over the last few decades.

I could go on and on about this, but I'm certain you are very well aware how this works. Follow the money I always say.

We are being lied to, and that is a difficult pill to swallow for the majority, but I must confess, it took a little time and research, but I am so glad I managed to choke down that pill.

People should ask themselves what if -- All government agencies, media and corporations stated that eating animal products promotes diabetes, heart disease, cancer, auto-immune diseases, well almost everything we have come to realize over the last 100 +/- years.

Job losses would include;
Animal agriculture,
Drivers to transport
Slaughterhouses,
Meat packing plants
Pre-packaged/convenience meals - processing
Fast Food suppliers (McDonald's, Burger King, KFC, etc)
Drivers to transport finished goods
Medical profession
Heart and Stroke Foundation
Cancer Society
Diabetic Association
Weight Loss Clinics
Research and Development for the above
Scientific experiments
Pharmaceutical industry,
and every other job that either supports the above, cleans their offices or their manufacturing plants, supports the technology required to run these facilities and so on.... the economy would collapse.
So why, would they want to keep the truth from the public? Hmmmm...

I encourage anyone reading this with any doubts to do a little digging of their own.


The Three Stages of TRUTH

1) Ridicule
2) Violent Opposition
3) Acceptance

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I seriously question whether requerent is acutally Denise. Hm, seems to be very aware of Denise's positions right down to the spam filter crap, but very unaware of Campbell's actual work.

No matter. You are the Fox News of nutrition. "On the one hand, these 5,000 climatologists say that global warming is real and that it's caused by human activity, but on the other hand, these 'researchers' who are part of pro-oil company think tanks say global warming is a fake. Who do we believe? One cancels the other out, it's a toss up!"

But no it isn't.

That's how Fox handles global warming, and how you and the rest of the meat-promoters and Weston Price dweebs would like to put it: "there is just as much credible research showing meat is not associated with cancer as the many studies showing it is." Yeah right. Go tell it on Denise's site, they love that nonsense over there.

You came to a veggie website, troll, and no one buys your crap. It's only the Weston Price and meat industry sites that try to offset the massive evidence that colon cancer, breast cancer, heart disease, obesity and a host of other problems are promoted by animal products. You're not going to get any receptive audience here with the kind of bullshit you're spouting.

And yeah, when you invent a quote supposedly from Campbell, and then try to ridicule that quote, and then it's shown that Campbell never said what you put in quotes, that you constructed it in order to make a point against Campbell -- that makes you into a Weston Price-type/Denise-Minger-type troll. You can't find a quote to make Campbell look stupid, so you manufacture one, just like Denise grasps for something in the Mount Everest of data Campbell put out, to try to say Campbell is a liar and a fraud. You and Denise operate the same way, dishonestly.

I suggest you beat it, requerent/Denise/whoever you are. Nobody here cares when you're pushing a Fox News tactic and lying about what Campbell said. There's no reason to debate with someone like you.

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Mark have you actually WATCHED Fox news? You might learn a few things about the way the liberal government is handling itself. Fox isn't afraid to tell the truth like the mainstream media is. Why else do you think it's the number 1 news network. YES #1. Because they give REAL information not a lot of fluff.

Do you really think CNN and MSN will actually admit to how much debt the Big O has put our country in?

Or how ridiculous it was to actually try to sue one of its own states for taking illegal immigration into its own hands after the feds failed to do their job correctly and illegal criminals are a HUGE problem?

Or how the Big O continues to blame the past administration for his very own failures?

How do you think the mainstream media would have treated the past president for ignoring the worlds largest oil spill in history? Don't you think if Bush was in charge and ignored the oil spill for even 5 days he would have gotten the heat? He responded to Katrina 4 days late and got thrown under the bus for that, but the Big O doesn't do a darn thing for 77 days and nobody blinks an eye.

So don't even go there about Fox news. Thank God for Fox news!

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Ahahahaha! This post makes me laugh. Obama putting us into debt, eh? When Bush took over, we actually had a surplus. When he left, having raped the government, putting us into fake wars, borrowing, bailing out the banking system, bankrupting the country, 9 trillion in debt...and you're worried about Obama trying to clean up this mess?

Oh yeah I forgot, Obama is a socialist communist fascist boogeyman who wants to rape your daughter. Hide da white wimmen!

Fox viewers need shock therapy. Only rightwing A-holes watch Fox. If it's the number one outlet, to you that's proof that Fox is right? That's just bizarre, Glenn Beck thinking. I'm really surprised to see a Tea Party a-hole like you on the veggie website, but I presume you're one of the meat-chugging trolls who showed up to support your friend Denise...

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Mark get your facts straight, they are all wrong. Also no need to be so angry and nasty. Your post was immature, inappropriate and rude.

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FOX News is a right wing propaganda network and was established as such by its current owner. The managing director is long time Republican operative going back to Richard Nixon.

But you don't know these things -- or anything else of rational value -- because you are a victim. You are a patsy, a chump, a "mark" -- the kind of Know Nothing that all con artists hunger for.

The really depressing thing about your needlessly wretched existence is that you are being manipulated by people who don't give a damn about you, and who in fact made your existence wretched in the first place. Ironically, you don't even make enough money to qualify as a Republican (the minimum buy-in is a net income of $500,000, and even these people at the low end are laughed at by the people you claim to revere).

Mark Simon's (brief) response to you is right on the money, but there is nothing in your background, experience or world outlook to allow you to understand it.

You're out of your depth.

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Blah blah blah blah...sounds like a bunch of liberal rhetoric....uninformed, angry, name-calling.

But you are supposed to be about "peace" and "tolerance"...it's too funny.

People like you are hypocrites...all loving and kind but ready to bash anyone against your agenda and politics. Nice try.

And for the record I am a Dr. Campbell supporter, but I guess it is beyond your 'vast' comprehension that there could actually be a vegetarian who might think outside of the mainstream media "box".

Good luck with yourself.

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I think at long last you may be right. Casein doesn't cause cancer and eating meat can actually be healthy.

What would really be helpful at this point is for you to conduct your own study to cement your conclusion.

I recommend that you adopt the following regimen:

1) 1 gallon of milk per day. And none of that politically correct "non-fat" stuff. Whole milk. (Make sure it's Pasteurized so you don't get sick.)

2) Lunch at KFC. I recommend their new "Double Down" ... looks good.

3) Dinner home. Start with a couple boxes of Swanson appetizers (your choice, but bake, don't microwave). Fire up the old grill and rustle up a 2 pound porterhouse, charred on the outside and rare on the inside. Give yourself an hour or so and then head for the Cheesecake Factory. You might want to watch the calories here, so limit yourself to two slices.

4) Exercise is not recommended as you will need to control the variables.

Start immediately. I'm thinking an adequate trial must be 5 years. Get back to us, will you?

Enjoy.

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Denise, you wrote: "Also, I'm not trying to make Campbell look stupid."

Don't worry, you haven't. You look very desperate, though, reaching through PubMed to find a study here or there to try to make some stupid point.

My advice is to quit trolling veggie sites like this one. People here aren't weak-minded sheep so you can't score points like you can on your raw whatever site.

I'm sure you're enjoying the attention you've gotten as a result of Campbell actually taking notice of you. But it's getting boring now, because you're full of shit.

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1)
Okay, let’s say you’re correct “that CC's evidence for it is not logically convincing” (your words). What conclusion(s) do you draw? In other words, what affirmative assertion are you making? For example, are you asserting that the typical American diet of excess salt, fat and sugar is health neutral? You tell me. What case are you making as a function of disputing “CC's evidence for [casein linked to cancer]”?

2)
“I would also recommend reconsidering your own point of view.” My point of view is that the typical American diet of excess salt, fat and sugar is unhealthy. My point of view is based on the overwhelming preponderance of clinical evidence that this view is correct. So, what about my point of view should I reconsider?

3)
“My only intent was to come here and link to Denise's article...” For what purpose exactly? In other words, what overarching conclusions should I be reaching assuming that she is correct?

4)
“...you failed to even remotely attempt to grasp what Denise's purpose is..” Her assertions are one thing. Her purpose in making those assertions is quite another. Her assertions can be (and have been) disputed. But her purpose? We can only speculate. I’m talking to you right now, and I have just asked you three times above: what is your purpose?

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Ms. Minger makes extraordinary claims, and extraordinary claims demand extraordinary proof. The strength of a conclusion is a function of the
quality of the evidence provided in its support and the a priori probability of the claim being supported. Suppose, for example, that a reasonably
reliable source tells me (a) that former President Bush choked on another pretzel and (b) that Dick Cheney has switched to the Democrat party. I would be much more confident of the truth of the first report than of the second,
even though the source is identical. The difference lies in the a priori plausibility of the claims.

In her Facebook profile, Ms. Minger lists one college: a community college in Flagstaff, Arizona, and notes that she is a "Professional Sock Puppeteer" - hardly comparable qualifications to Campbell's 50+ years researching and publishing on nutrition and health.

Because Ms. Minger's claims have a very low a priori probability, it means that potential biases and research flaws are more plausible as explanations for her claimed "findings" than is the truth of the claims.

The real mystery is why a "Professional Sock Puppeteer" would attack such well-defended findings of a noted expert that have already survived scrutiny by more informed, better trained and more thoughtful people, but I won't waste time investigating her motives - if I turn to her expertise in the future, it will only be to watch her play with her sock puppets.

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Agree heartily.

One little quibble: there is no such thing as the "Democrat" Party. Its actual name is the Democratic Party, originally named the "Democratic Republican Party" by Thomas Jefferson. But they dropped the "Republican" part after the Republican Party came about in the mid 1800's.

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I've been a vegetarian for about 4 decades, though for most of that time I used dairy, so I suppose that will invalidate me for many here. I know Denise from the Give It To Me Raw website, and she is a reasonable, intelligent person who happens to be a health researcher as part of her writing career.

At least the doctor had the decency to treat her analysis with respect and apparently found enough intelligence in it to take the time to respond.

Many of the comments here remind me why I avoid vegan oriented websites, where the natives rally like the crazed villagers in the original Frankenstien movie, ready to burn at the stake anyone who tries to have a reasonable conversation with them that might question any of their dogmas.

Above I can see this in action, dozens heaping scorn and ridicule on her, without knowing much about her or passing on slanderous rumors. This is exactly the kind of modus that I frequently see from a minority of vegan activists that really set a bad stereotype of all vegetarians and vegans, and turn off any constructive dialog from vegetarians to carnivores.

The anger and spite demonstrated, without much research into her writing or other social presence, brings to question if these vegan types have much intellect or spiritual growth to show for their evolutionary diet.

As a matter of fact, an overall look at her comment on Price, from a link posted by a hostile commentator above, shows this qualification:

"That said, I think they push the animal products a little too hard -- further than what Price actually recommended after studying those isolated populations. One of the most robust groups he saw, the Gaelics, also ate the least amount of animal products... just fish, and no dairy or game meat. Yet the WAPF tends to recommend high amounts of meat/dairy/butter/cream/eggs etc. for good health, and they cherry-pick some of Price's findings to support that."

I find most of her comments on GITMR to be equally balanced and intelligent. She shows no bias in discussing either vegetarianism or omnivorism, and approaches both with an open-minded honesty.

Perhaps the reason she dared, as a layperson, to look into the China study, is because this book is often quoted by vegans on both GITMR and 30 Bananas a Day, the latter another bastion of vegan hysteria and hatred of omnivores.

Because GITMR is somewhat an open forum, without the latent angst and hostility of the aforementioned vegetarian sites, there are actually balanced, constructive dialogs between all food camps, and people that descend to innuendo and venting their hatred, justified or not, don't last long there and usually end up on 30BAD where lynchings such as the above comments are encouraged.

I'm disappointed in you vegetarians. There is much less chance of reaching omnivores with these kinds of juvenile mob diatribes, and I doubt if I will spend much time in this site unless I want some train wreck entertainment.

Unfortunately in the debates that go on in public forums, we lay people have to hack through scientific and medical writings and try and make some sense as commoners. To the uninitiated, these theories from the ivory towers of science often appear contradictory or obfuscating.

For example while people are railing about casein being such a stimulant of cancer, there are many other studies showing sugar as the primary food source of cancer, and many recommending eliminating all sources as a possible strategy for treating it. I'm not advocating this here, just showing how isolated factors can appear to prop up any argument.

The trouble with so called science and statistics is that even with accepted practices you can find a study to support almost any conclusion: wine is good for you/wine is bad for you; chocolate is good for you/chocolate is bad for you. These kinds of stories drop almost daily in the popular media, culled from peer reviewed scientific journals.

Guess what vegan activists... if you condone the emotional hate meltdowns like the above, you will probably repel all the curious omnivores like the ones writing above, and your message will stop at your own tiny population, never reaching the masses. I have met the enemy and it is us.

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I just think it's just sad that Denise Minger and others associated with the Weston Price Foundation are attempting to smear Dr. Campbell's name and his work. Of course they would like us to all go on eating meat forever, they are in the business of promoting it. I'm sorry Dr. C even has to reply to these people, but they are afraid now that the veil has been lifted and will do anything to keep people from seeing the truth.

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Ahhh...I love to read fundamentalist vegan rants like Mark Simon's. His attempts to defend the indefensible are astonishing. Campbell had much to say...but in the words of MacBeth:
…it is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
Signifying nothing.

Mark is like the emotionally damaged evil child in the room making as much noise possible not only to draw attention to himself but to make every effort to annoy the adults attempting to have a constructive conversation. At best he provides fodder for our amusement as do the ones who enable his childish behavior.

Campbell's response also reminds me of Monty Python's Life of Brian...

BRIAN: It really doesn't matter. The point is there were these two servants--

ARTHUR: He's making it up as he goes along.

BRIAN: No, I'm not! ...And he gave them some ta-- Wait a minute. Were there three?

ARTHUR: Ohh.

EDDIE: Oh, he's terrible!

ARTHUR: He's terrible.

LOL

But what's more funny is your doing EXACTLY the same thing your condeming others for...like being an uninformed, angry, name-calling pud licker. If your not aware of this your most likely a psychopath. If you are aware of what your typing then your probably either venting your frustrations or just having fun stiring things up.

Whatever. =-) The world is full of people like you. Fortunately your a minority.

I like to stir things up myself. Generally the more one criticizes others, the more likely he isn't aware of his own hypocrisy.
But, once you're aware of your own hypocrisy and accepted it as, you're no longer a hypocrite.

I'm only here to learn but so far you've brought nothing to the table but childish comments that are sometimes amusing. Thats fine. Your not interested in the TRUTH...ONLY being RIGHT - just like all your friends. In the meantime, I'll await more insightful INFORMED comments from the likes of Denise supporters.

Your a noise maker nothing more. The adults will continue having lively debate while you have a tantrum in the background. LOL


One thing is clear:
"Mark Simon is woefully ignorant on the subject and keeps proving it every time he writes something new." Sound faimiliar?

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Having read that you think Campbell's an idiot and if you believe about him what you wrote above it appears you are throwing rocks from your glass house. You say you are only here to learn. What is it you are seeking to learn here?

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Thanks but no thanks. I'm sticking with the plant-based diet that is harmonious with everything, body, mind, heart and spirit. It keeps me vibrant, healthy and alert, it makes me feel for life, not death. It's just Life Licking Good! Nevertheless, good luck to you, see you at the end of the line ;)

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Thanks but no thanks Niloley.
I'm sticking with my plant-based diet,
It's simply harmonious with everything:
body, mind, heart and spirit.
It keeps me vibrant, healthy and alert,
it just feels right.
Above all it makes me feel life,
Not death.
It's just "Life Licking Good!"
Nevertheless, good luck to you,
See you at the end of the line
much much much later alligator ;)

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Sorry Mr. Meat Dude.
I've been a vegetarian for 18 years and eat mostly vegan food these days. I'm 42 years old and most people say I look about 10 years younger than that. While many of my peers are overweight or even obese, I have never had any problems maintaing a normal weight and I am in excellent health. The plant based diet works for me.

Speaking of propaganda the lame attempt to convert us to your cave man diet website is not going to work. I see nothing on your website about any medical, scientific or nutritional credentials whereas Dr. Campbell has forty years of experience in the scientific community with all of his studies being peer reviewed by others.

Good luck selling your snake oil, but I'm not buying it. ;-)

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Ha ha ha!!! Sorry, I'm not posting photos of myself on the internet just so I can get into some pissing match with you. I'm not here to promote myself and my blog, evidently you are! I have nothing to prove.

Paleo diets are highly questionable:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paleolithic_diet

If it works for you, then great. But as far as I can see you're just some guy who lost some weight and is now writing a blog. You're not a doctor or a health practioner now, are you? don't you think we should leave that to the trained professionals?

Have a great day!

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Oh well, apparently someone yanked the caveman diet guy, probably for spamming, or maybe he got into a snit and had a fatal heart attack. There are thousands like him who think their ability to write a blog entry makes them an instant health expert. what are they doing here, and furthermore who cares! ;-)

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Come on, kids. Nikoley's comment was a put-on.

Just enjoy the comedy.

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I myself thought it was amusing, but I guess Mr. Caveman did not bother to read the conditions for registering with VegSource that you aren't allowed to promote yourself or your services without prior permission. I guess reading comprehension isn't something our paleo ancestors were very good at? ;-)

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Thank you Dr.Campbell for all your hardwork, preseverence,truth,and kindness, you and the China Study have forever changed my life and I am grateful.
Sincerely
martha

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How anybody can take a person like Minger seriously is truly amazing. She has zero education,no background in research, and is pretty much clueless.

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My sentiments exactly!

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Would you take Ancel Keys seriously, simply because he was a Scientist? What about his flawed Lipid Hypothesis?

All people -- Scientists, Doctors, English Majors -- are fallible. The person of value and integrity is the one that can say "In light of this new data, I can see that my previous position was wrong."

People all over the world thrive on a variety of diets. Stop placing people on a pedestal and claiming their way is the "only" or the "right" way.

A fact is only a fact until it's proven wrong.

So many things over the last 50 years (especially) have been proven wrong. Yet, we keep the misinformation alive in the collective psyche by continuing to regurgitate it without actually doing our own research.

Example: "Everyone KNOWS that saturated fat causes heart disease!" Right? WRONG!

I'm not trying to convince anyone to eat meat, not eat meat, or debate anyone about the ethics of eating animals. That's none of my business.

What I AM suggesting, however, is to become TRULY informed, before rendering a life-altering decision about what you put into your body. Then, living with the consequences of your decision.

This means going beyond the headlines of CNN and Yahoo. It also means going into the opposition's camp with an inquisitive mind and a desire to find what's true for you -- not simply for the sake of being "right."

In closing, no matter what path people follow, I hope they do it with enough information from ALL sides. Then, they become responsible for their own health, rather than abdicating it to others. When we get so entrenched in a position, we become more concerned about being "right" than being "correct." I wish for everyone to thrive.

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I actually do eat a small amount of meat but I am a big fan of T. Colin Campbell and appreciate his intellectual honesty.

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Dr. Campbell,
I was recently directed to the film, Forks Over Knives, by my primary care physician, Dr. Benjamin Gozun (Brooklyn, NY), which film convinced me to give the plant-based whole foods diet a try (just about a week ago). I'm already feeling a difference, despite having been a fitness enthusiast already for many years. Previously, I've been a vegetarian and an omnivore, alternatively, for several periods of my life, as I've continued to explore the evidence for either, as well as according to personal factors not directly related to scientific/health considerations. Yours is the most comprehensive, compelling case I have come across for what appears to be a most healthy diet/lifestyle. (As a philosophy professor, I am not easily fooled by specious reasoning, and I am usually very slow to accept anything, much less embrace anything whole-heartedly, in advance of sufficient evidence.) I want to thank you for your life's work, and compliment you on the virtues you exhibit in your response to your critics. You strike me as an exemplary human being, and your integrity is inspiring to me.

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Ah, Denise -- the Michelle Malkin of the meat industry!

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Congratulations Mrs Minger for study in depth the subject. For his clear explanation. A notice of Languedoc in France

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Mark, Spark's question is valid, in fact anybody's questions are valid, and he was quite reasonable. His question is interesting, and KEY to go from a somewhat informed omnivorous diet to an informed vegan/vegetarian diet, when Health is what is valued. I am vegetarian more because of my ethics than health, but some people are more interested in what diet would be optimal, not ethical. Plus defining well what an optimal diet REALLY is, its important regardless. A diet abundant with vegetables & leafy greens, herbs, Ancient grains (no wheat), some tubers & fruit, and supplemented with some quality animal protein and fat seems to be close to optimal, from what I've learned. Personally Im only interested in optimizing my vegetarian diet, but still itch to know what would be optimal, and what diets are best for treating & preventing illnesses like cancer. Steve Jobs didnt survive his cancer, and he was seemingly going with the Ornish approach (I am aware of the other problems that may have gotten in the way of sucessful diet/lifestyle intervention), now I would love to see someone that believes in a lower carb, meat, fat & plant rich diet, intervene with THAT diet and see if its more protective.

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i know I'm coming to the discussion a bit late, but i appreciate tedoymisojos observation that Denise came at this (as does everyone) with a personal goal (bias) of solving her own health problem. i find it hard to argue with someone who doesn't feel good and works diligently to understand their own health issues. If we can compassionately look at the common ground between all these so called different diet approaches we can likely help each other on those topics we all agree on. Denise actually eats mostly vegan, and probably healthier than most vegans and vegetarians... despite a few bites of animal protein... no one really knows if she'll get cancer or heart disease, but if she feels better eating 10% meat, there's gotta be more to the holistic approach of health that Campbell has devoted his life to. I would love to see the two of them find common ground even if they disagree on 10-20%. i feel like they're 80% on the same page in terms of what they actually choose to eat.

Imagine if the Vegans, Vegetarians, Paleo's, Compassionate Omnivores, etc came together and worked for real change in the world - We all agree on getting rid of factory farms, big GMO/Pesticide Agriculture, getting rid of political corruption that promotes processed and harmful foods to kids (and adults) and lobbies for misleading marketing, big pharma's manipulation of the public into relying on drugs over holistic health and nutrition.

Maybe I'm just a dreamer, but i would drop my insistence on a 100% Whole Food Plant based diet to work together with Denise and others on the issues we DO agree on and make some real change!!!

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