I swear to god, I'm gunna pistol whip the next person who says "But Dr. Campbell said...." (Super Troopers humor)
T. Colin Campbell:
For more than forty years, Dr. T. Colin Campbell has been at the forefront of nutrition research. His legacy, the China Project, is the most
comprehensive study of health and nutrition ever conducted. Dr. Campbell is the Jacob Gould Schurman Professor Emeritus of Nutritional Biochemistry
at Cornell University. He has more than seventy grant-years of peer-reviewed research funding and authored more than 300 research papers and coauthor
of the bestselling the book, The China Study: Startling Implications for Diet, Weight Loss and Long-term Health.
....and he's also a fraud.
Forget that he serves on the advisory board to the Physicians Comittee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM
advocacy group of doctors and researchers with strong ties to PETA and animal rights groups. It's not a stretch naming them 'militant
Forget that this is the guy who thinks consuming foods with more than 0g of cholesterol is unhealthy...which is absurd.
Forget that he openly admits to examining the data gathered by The China Project with intention to seek associations between animal food consumption
and disease. We call this perversion of data 'confirmation bias'.
Put all of that aside....for a moment. After all, those don't really demonstrate fraudulence.
In his popular science book The China Study
, Campbell devotes an entire chapter to the enormous China Project, which he uses as a substrate to
base the following chapters discussing disease as it relates to the consumption of animal products.
Interestingly enough, Campbell served as one of the directors for the China Project.
The China-Oxford-Cornell Study on Dietary, Lifestyle and Disease Mortality Characteristics in 65 Rural Chinese Counties was a study comparing the
diets, lifestyle and disease characteristics of populations of 65 rural counties in China in the 1970s and 1980s. The study only compared the
prevalence of disease characteristics. It did not evaluate all causes of death, such as accidents. Professor T. Colin Campbell of Cornell, led the
first two major studies in the 1980s and 1990s. In 1991, The New York Times called the China-Oxford-Cornell study 'the Grand Prix of epidemiology'.
Campbell's summary of the results of this and other studies appeared in his 2005 book The China Study. (3)(4)
[The study also included]
...the survey of death rates for twelve different kinds of cancer for more than 2,400 counties and 880 million (96%) of their citizens. (3)(4)
Upon examining the seemingly immeasurable data, Campbell concluded:
diets high in animal protein (including casein in cow's milk) are strongly linked to diseases such as heart disease, cancer, and Type 2
...and then goes on to recommend:
that people eat a whole food, plant-based diet and avoid consuming beef, poultry, eggs, fish, and milk as a means to minimize and/or reverse the
development of chronic diseases.
Fair enough, right? There's nothing wrong with substantiating a diet with observational studies and a few lab studies, right? Well, surveys and
epidemiology can do nothing more than provide scientists with hypotheses. Correlation doesn't equal causation. But we'll give the Campbell a pass,
again. However, we won't let it go if it turns out that he's cherry picked the data and disregarded extremely important bits of data.
I've read about as much as I can handle of The China Study
, it's just grossly inaccurate, and I've skimmed through the data found by the
China Project. So I've been aware of Campbell's perversion of the data for a few years, but the latest little bit, which began circulating in July,
is the nail in Colin's coffin.
is the original post I found by Denise Minger in her blog
'Raw Food SOS: Toubleshooting on the Raw Food Diet'. Recently, a final
was added and...WOW. The amount of work done by this young lady is astounding. More importantly, she called out Dr. Campbell, exposing
his confirmation bias and highlighting some data that was left unmentioned by Campbell.
If you can find the time, it's worth reading the two very lengthy articles. Denise did her own evaluation of the data and of Campbell's work and
presented in extreme detail. Here are the most important points:
- -There's more evidence that plant protein causes cancer than does animal protein.
But when we actually track down the direct correlation between animal protein and cancer, there is no statistically significant positive trend.
None. Looking directly at animal protein intake, we have the following correlations with cancers:
Penis cancer: -16
Rectal cancer: -12
Bladder cancer: -9
Colorectal cancer: -8
Cervix cancer: -4
Colon cancer: -3
Liver cancer: -3
Oesophageal cancer: +2
Brain cancer: +5
Breast cancer: +12
But what about plant protein? Since plant protein correlates negatively with plasma cholesterol, does that mean plant protein correlates with lower
cancer risk? Let’s take a look at the cancer correlations with “plant protein intake”:
Nasopharyngeal cancer: -40**
Brain cancer: -15
Liver cancer: -14
Penis cancer: -4
Bladder cancer: -3
Breast cancer: +1
Stomach cancer: +10
Rectal cancer: +12
Cervix cancer: +12
Colon cancer: +13
Oesophageal cancer +18
Colorectal cancer: +19
- -There's no real evidence linking animal protein to heart disease
- -Many of the positive associations between animal protein and cancer were confounded by other viral/infectious diseases.
- -The benefit of green vegetables was confounded by many variables, most notably latitude.
Aside from the distorted facts, perhaps the most unbelievable finding of Miss Minger's was Campbell's complete disregard of, according to the data,
the most troubling dietary factor. WHEAT!
Perhaps more troubling than the distorted facts in “The China Study” are the details Campbell leaves out.
Why does Campbell indict animal foods in cardiovascular disease (correlation of +1 for animal protein and -11 for fish protein), yet fail to mention
that wheat flour has a correlation of +67 with heart attacks and coronary heart disease, and plant protein correlates at +25 with these conditions?
Speaking of wheat, why doesn’t Campbell also note the astronomical correlations wheat flour has with various diseases: +46 with cervix cancer, +54
with hypertensive heart disease, +47 with stroke, +41 with diseases of the blood and blood-forming organs, and the aforementioned +67 with myocardial
infarction and coronary heart disease? (None of these correlations appear to be tangled with any risk-heightening variables, either.)
That correlation of +67 with heart attacks means a 67% increase in relative risk when wheat is consumed.
The numbers above are some of the highest in the data set and, yet, Campbell not only omits the information, he ends up recommending the consumption
of the very food that was INDEPENDENTLY linked to the very chronic diseases that currently plague the westernized civilizations.
...but why? Animal rights and....
Campbell is a fraud, a liar and a disgrace. He gained relative fame and fortune at the expense of YOUR HEALTH. What's sad is this guy's work is
cited by other scientists as a foundation for their own research.
At the end of the day, however, studies like the China Project will never be accurate. Observational studies simply can't identify true causes of
Multivariate diseases, like heart disease. There's just no arrow of causation. Funny thing is, Dr. Campbell believes epidemiology is more accurate
because it allows for examination of large cohorts of the population and identifies broader "lifestyle" influences.
Campbell's work can be summed up into two words: Fallacious Reasoning
[edit on 5-9-2010 by DevolutionEvolvd]