Our trust in science is waning. Do you believe what you hear from scientists? Like many Americans, you may be losing trust in what science is telling you.
A Huffington Post December 2013 poll found that only 36% of us have a “lot” of trust in the reliability of scientific information. 78% think that scientific studies are often or sometimes tainted by political ideology. And 82% believe scientific findings are often or sometimes influenced by the companies sponsoring the research. This is a disquieting trend.
This lack of confidence is especially strong regarding the nutritional and medical professions. One day it’s bad to eat eggs, the next day it’s good. A recent survey conducted by the International Food Information Council (IFIC) underscores how confused we really are.
Seventy-eight percent of the 1,002 respondents indicated they have encountered conflicting information about what constitutes a healthy food. Fifty-six percent felt that the confusion made them doubt the choices they were making food wise. Liz Sanders, director of research and partnerships at the foundation and a co-author of the survey, said in a CNN report that:
“Americans rely on many different sources for their information when it comes to what foods to eat and what foods to avoid. Not all of these sources are really highly trusted, and it is likely that these sources share inconsistent information.”
How often have you found yourself or heard a family member dismissing a new nutritional study by saying “Forget it, these reports are too confusing and always changing. I’m going to eat and do what I like”? As it turns out, you and your family members share your confusion with a majority of Americans.
Why Are We Losing Trust In Science?
Setting aside the issue of religious fundamentalism, which can account for some of the mistrust of science, one possibility is the growing unreliability of many medical and nutritional practices and research. In the past few decades, there have been many medical and nutritional ideas that were later proven to be incorrect and even harmful.
Here’s a list of just a few confusing medical and nutritional practices prevalent in the past few decades that may have had a negative impact on your health:
- Stents – Stents cost about $30k a piece and are performed on over half a million Americans each year, but there is little data indicating they prevent stroke.
- High Carbohydrate Diets – Touted as the cure for heart disease for over 40 years, they have led to an obesity and diabetes epidemic with no clear support for their efficacy.
- Arthroscopic Knee Surgery – Up to 1 million surgeries have been performed each year but a systematic review in the British Medical Journal found that for patients with meniscus tears it was no better than exercise therapy.
- Vitamin E – Long thought to prevent cancer and heart disease. Numerous international studies found no benefit for protection against heart disease, stroke, or cancer.
- Proton Pumps – The treatment of GERD costs Americans a billion dollars a year. Long term use (greater than 14 days) can lead to serious side-effects, such as clostridium difficile infection, pneumonia, and malabsorption of calcium and magnesium leading to bone fractures and cardiac abnormalities.
As I’ve written elsewhere and as you can see from the above list, the health of millions of people is routinely compromised by flawed medical research and practices.
Medical journalist Richard Harris makes some damaging revelations in Rigor Mortis: How Sloppy Science Creates Worthless Cures, Crushes Hope and Wastes Billions:
1 – The State of Biomedical Research
…medical researchers made much more progress between 1950 and 1980 than they did in the following three decades. Consider the development of blood-pressure drugs, chemotherapy, organ transplants, and other transformative technologies. Those all appeared in the decades before 1980.
2 – The Development of New Pharmaceutical Drugs
The rate of drug approval has been falling since the 1950s . . . if you extrapolate the trend, starting in 1950, you’ll find that drug development comes to a halt in 2040.
In 2005 Dr. John P.A. Ioannidis, currently a professor in disease prevention at Stanford University, published the most widely accessed article in the history of the Public Library of Science (PLoS) entitled Why Most Published Research Findings Are False. It stated:
“There is increasing concern that most current published research findings are false.”
And that “in modern research, false findings may be the majority or even the vast majority of published research claims.”
Ioannidis’ research model indicated that up to 80% of non-randomized research studies (the most common kind of study) are wrong, along with 25% of randomized trials (the supposed gold standard of research). Incredulously, these studies are published in top peer reviewed medical journals.
Much of what our physicians prescribe to us is wrong. Our doctors use research to inform their medical decisions — decisions about what drug to prescribe, which surgery to elect, and the best health strategy to adopt. They are often making crucial treatment decisions for depression, Alzheimer’s, type 2 Diabetes, cancer, obesity, etc., based on bad, incomplete, or hidden medical research.
The Evolution of Bad Medical Science
Why is this happening? Why is so much of biomedical research so poorly done?
As it stands now, researchers are typically rewarded (tenure, grants, better jobs, etc.) for publishing a quantity of publications in prestigious journals. They do this by
- Running small and statistically weak studies (they are easy to do) that produce only positive results, since journals tend to not publish negative findings.
- Ignoring negative findings.
- Publishing only new and exciting findings that journals are looking for.
- Never checking old findings for accuracy and replicability.
- Changing methodologies in mid-stream to assure positive results.
The result is a proliferation of false and misleading findings that confuse scientists and the rest of us, waste billions of dollars, and undermine the scientific endeavour and our health.
To tackle why this is happening, two scientists, Smaldino and McElreath, created a computational model based on evolutionary theory (natural selection) to explain the rising tide of weak biomedical research. They did this by simulating virtual research labs competing under conditions that exist today. The labs that put more effort into their research received fewer publications. The labs that published more received more grants, students, and prestige.
Over numerous simulations and generations, the labs that were most successful (most publications, grants, etc.) passed their approach on to the next generation and proliferated. The labs that failed to publish a high volume of lower quality research were not rewarded with lucrative grants and did not achieve higher prestige or proliferate as readily.
As occurs in natural selection, the most successful labs recreated themselves with greater frequency.
Ed Yong of the Atlantic Monthly summarized the results: “Over time, and across many simulations, the virtual labs inexorably slid towards less effort, poorer methods, and almost entirely unreliable results.”
With the emphasis on quantity of publication, the forces of natural selection will continue to select for poor research, false findings, muddled methodology, and accelerating confusion in the world of health and bio medical research. Replicability of findings will continue to falter as poor research studies abound.
The losers in all of this are those of us trying to make sense of what science is telling us so we can live better, more wholesome, and healthier lives.
Related CE Article:
Box Top$ For Education Is Not Supporting Education (Here’s Why)
- The Facts:
The Box Top$ For Education program has kicked off yet again with messaging to suggest it helps schools across the country. However, when you go beyond the surface it's far from what it seems and promotes itself as.
- Reflect On:
What labels and initiatives do you let impact your behavior as a consumer?
National Box Tops for Education Week kicks off coast-to-coast fundraising. For over 20 years, the Box Tops for Education program has provided families a way to help raise money for their school. The program was created to “help support education and benefit American schools” by providing a small amount of money from each item purchased. Does this program truly benefit education and support learning?
Who’s Really Benefitting?
General Mills, Inc., an American multi-billion-dollar multinational manufacturer, and marketer of branded consumer food is genuinely the benefactor. Giving a school 10 cents for every item bought is a drop in the bucket compared to the amount of money General Mills earns at the expense of our health. At first glance, it appears this company has been extremely generous, donating $719,000,000 in the last 20 years. If you do the math and divide each year’s totals by the 80,000 plus schools in the United States, it equates to a whopping $449 per school. As one can see, General Mills has done a fantastic marketing job, encouraging our kids to eat their garbage. Sure, we can buy school supplies, Kleenex tissues, and a few toxic cleaning products on the list, but what’s the fun in that.
Crappy, Overly-Processed “Food-Like” Products Do Not Support Learning
Diet and nutrition deeply affect a child’s learning ability. Sadly the qualifying products on the Box Top list including Hamburger Helper, Lucky Charms, Pillsbury Toaster Strudel, Fruit Roll-Ups, and alike do not achieve this.
Did You Know? The ingredient list for strawberry fruit roll-ups doesn’t include strawberries!
Instead, it contains genetically modified corn syrup and dextrose (refined sugar derived from GM corn, and artificial food dyes – red 40, yellow 5&6, blue 1 (derived from coal tar and petroleum).
Nutrient-rich homemade meals are being replaced with boxed, frozen, and canned foods due to higher prices of healthy food, our hectic lifestyles, and brainwashing tactics, such TV ads and campaigns such as the Box Top program.
Processed food lacks essential whole food nutrients the brain needs to function correctly. They contain ingredients such as genetically modified corn syrup, refined sugar, synthetic salt, unhealthy fats, artificial colors and flavors, chemical preservatives, and unrevealed heavy metals and pesticides. All of these ingredients work against a child’s ability to learn.
Pesticides and antibiotics found in food today are detrimental to our healthy gut microbiota which are essential to brain function and development. Both are designed to kill bugs. So, we are destroying our gut bugs that help regulate and keep our immune systems strong and healthy to support our brain.
Studies have also shown that the high sugar content of processed foods may contribute to diabetes, which can affect a student’s learning in many ways. Blood sugar levels can affect cognitive functioning and school performance. According to many scientific journals and newsletters from prestigious universities like Harvard Medical School, processed food consumption are also linked to neurodevelopmental disorders, sleep problems, hyperactivity, attention; and mood symptoms including depression and anxiety.
Boxed foods are also linked to other severe health issues like obesity and high blood pressure. Two extensive European studies published by BMJ in May 2019 links processed foods with a range of health risks, including cardiovascular death. Another scientific study conducted by scientists from Yale University in the U.S. and the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg in Germany indicated that “excess refined salt used in fast-food restaurants and the over-consumption of sodium from other processed foods may be one of the environmental factors driving the increased incidence of autoimmune diseases.” Processed foods can also trigger cancer. The researchers warn that the rapidly increasing consumption of ultra-processed foods “may drive an increasing burden of cancer in the next decades.”
Don’t Be A Victim To The Marketing Ploy
We are poisoning ourselves, and the consequences are starting to show with the incredible rise of neurodevelopmental, mental illness, and diseases like cancer, asthma, diabetes, and many autoimmune disorders. So, let’s forgo the Box Top’s and find healthier and more productive ways to raise money for our schools. These big ag companies have no interest in changing current practices no matter how sick they’re making all of us. Or how many medications we are all dependent on. These companies are generating trillions of dollars of their products, and creating customers for life. General Mills and most food companies are owned by Monsanto/Bayer. They are adhering to FDA guidelines and are not violating any federal laws because they fund the FDA (Industry User Fees).
Fighting big lobbyist groups can seem like an impossibility for most of us, so we need to take our power back by voting with our dollar. We must refuse to purchase products with barcodes that are making 10 cents for our schools. And choose healthy instead.
Looking to help your family overcome ADHD, autism, anxiety and more without medication? Get access to download my FREE eBook ‘Every Parent’s Starter Kit to a Healthy Family’ by signing up HERE.
Why Vegan and not Vegetarian? Vietnamese Monk Thich Nhat Hanh Answers The Question
- The Facts:
Vietnamese Monk Thich Nhat Hanh explains why he chooses not to consume any meat or dairy products, and points towards the overwhelmingly cruel food industry.
- Reflect On:
What gives us the right to torture animals, steal their babies, abuse them simply for our consumption? Where is our compassion, morality and empathy? Have we been made and brainwashed to believe that it's ok?
The most heartbreaking thing to see and to witness is an innocent benevolent being getting tortured and suffering. This is the realty of eating animal products today. Billions of animals are raised for slaughter every single year, and the overwhelmingly large majority of them go through horrific and terrifying experiences. It’s hard to imagine how anybody could eat or wear the clothes of diseased animals knowing what they went through. It’s also hard to believe that anybody who does eat or purchase products that have used animals in their manufacturing process would do that kind of “labour” themselves.
The truth is that many people still don’t know what these beings are going through. It’s absolutely heartbreaking, immoral, and unethical. Morality, empathy, and love are all emotions that need to return to planet Earth, and as long as we have multiple industries exploiting animals, that can’t happen.
If you’re unaware of what these animals are going through on a daily basis, a recent PETA investigation on two of the world’s top cashmere exporters revealed extreme cruelty, including the violent killing of cashmere goats. You can read more about it and see some footage of that here, if you’re interested.
You can view more examples of graphic footage in the trailer of “The Buddha Bowl,” a documentary in the making featuring personalities and some of the most influential and renowned spiritual leaders from all over the world sharing their perspectives on veganism. These include viewpoints from Buddha himself and from spiritual leaders from the past and present, totalling about 30 interviews on animal rights, environmental issues and health.
One of the people in that documentary is Thich Nhat Hanh, a Vietnamese Buddhist monk who is recognized as a global spiritual leader, poet and peace activist. The video below is not part of the documentary listed above, but from an interview taken a few years ago at a conference.
Are We Even Designed To Eat Meat?
There is no doubt our world is becoming more awake, aware, and compassionate. Millions of people around the world have transitioned towards a plant-based diet. This represents the kind of compassion and empathy our world needs more of, and this diet can do nothing but benefit human health, the planet, and the animals.
It’s no secret that eating meat and animal products is destroying the Earth, as clearing land for animal grazing and slaughter is one of the leading causes of deforestation, and factory farms are an environmental disaster.
More people are also starting to become aware of plant-based diets and their health benefits.
A recent study conducted by researchers in California and France found that meat protein is associated with a very sharp increased risk of heart disease, while protein from nuts and seeds is actually beneficial for the human heart. The study is titled “Patterns of plant and animal protein intake are strongly associated with cardiovascular mortality: The Adventist Health Study-2 cohort,”
It’s one of many studies that’ve emerged over the years showing the benefits of plant-based diets and their ability to reverse diseases. On the other hand, many studies published have shown how the consumption of meat has the exact opposite effect.
Below is a clip from a recent CETV episode where CE founder Joe Martino and I go into the discussion a little deeper, with a specific focus on plant-based protein compared to meat protein. If interested, you can watch the full episode here by signing up for your free trial. CETV is a platform that we created to combat the censorship we’ve experienced over the past couple of years.
I also go into this type of discussion, if you’re interested in reading about it, in an article I recently published: “Another Study Suggests Humans Are Not Designed To Eat Meat.”
Human beings are born with compassion and empathy. What we are doing to animals on our planet today, and how many continue to ignore it and be unaffected by it, is simply as a result of mass brainwashing and marketing by big food corporations. The truth is that we’ve been taught to ignore it, we’ve been taught to believe that it’s OK and it’s our right to do this to others who share the planet with us. No child would ever stand for such a thing unless they were taught to do so. It’s the same thing as racism, we are not born with it, we are taught it. I urge all those who are reading this to do their research into where the vast majority of our food and clothes are coming from, watch what these animals are going through, look into their eyes and and feel what they are feeling.
The ability to feel and understand the emotions of others, animal or human, is a HUGE and VITAL step towards creating a better world and a better overall human experience.
Food Brands Owned By Monsanto
- The Facts:
Below is a list of food brands currently owned by Monsanto. The list was put out by Vocal Media.
- Reflect On:
Are the foods we eat safe? Are the chemicals we eat ingest with them safe? A lot of science has shown otherwise, so what's really going on here.
Monsanto is a biotech corporation that was founded in the early 1900s. They produce genetically modified foods (GMOs) and many chemicals that are sprayed onto our food, including several pesticides. A recent study published in the journal Environmental Research titled, “Organic diet intervention significantly reduces urinary pesticide levels in U.S. children and adults” outlined the issue with these chemicals, many of which were actually originally designed by Monsanto as warfare weapons to be used as nerve agents.
The study highlighted that diet is the primary source of pesticide exposure in both children and adults. It found that an organic diet significantly reduced neonicotinoid, OP pyrethroid, 2,4-D exposure, with the greatest reduction observed in malathion, clothianidin, and chlorpyrifos.
The researchers noted that all of us are exposed “to a cocktail of toxic synthetic pesticides linked to a range of health problems from our daily diets.” They explained how “certified organic food is produced without these pesticides,” and attempted to answer the question, “Can eating organic really reduce levels of pesticides in our bodies?”
They tested four American families who typically don’t eat organic food to find out.
First, we tested the levels of pesticides in their bodies on a non-organic diet for six days. We found 14 chemicals representing potential exposure to 40 different pesticides in every study participant. These included organophosphates, pyrethroids, neonicotinoids and the phenoxy herbicide 2,4-D. Some of the pesticides we found are linked to increased risk of cancer, infertility, learning disabilities, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s and more. (source)
This is one of multiple studies that’ve shown the benefits of switching to an organic diet.
When it comes to GMOs, there is a wealth of information that shows corruption with regard to their approval. A great resource to learn more about that is called Altered Genes, Twisted Truth: How the Venture to Genetically Engineer Our Food Has Subverte.
The stranglehold that corporations like Monsanto have on governments and government agencies like the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is quite strong. Many senior CDC scientists actually stressed this, but there are several other examples of this type of corruption.
For example, glyphosate, an active ingredient in Monsanto’s Roundup herbicide, was recently re-licensed and approved by European Parliament. However, MEPs found the science given to them was plagiarized, full of industry science written by Monsanto. You can read more about that here.
Glyphosate has been implicated in thousands of cancer cases, and Monsanto has already paid out billions of dollars to multiple victims. Dewayne Johnson is one of multiple examples.
Many mainstream foods were also found to be contaminated with glyphosate. Here’s a list of children’s foods that’ve been contaminated.
Monsanto was recently acquired by Bayer Pharmaceuticals. Big food and big pharma are one in the same. They own the press, they own politicians, and they practically dictate government policy. There are a multitude of examples that illustrate the massive amount of corruption that drives these corporations, yet they are still operating despite the fact that the products they offer have been proven to be extremely damaging to human health as well as the environment.
Those of you who have been involved in the past in the battle to protect our children from poorly made vaccines or toxic chemicals in our food or in our water know the power of these industries and how they’ve undermined every institution in our democracy that is supposed to protect little children from powerful, greedy corporations. Even the pharmaceutical companies have been able to purchase congress. They’re the largest lobbying entity in Washington D.C.. They have more lobbyists in Washington D.C. than there are congressman and senators combined. They give twice to congress what the next largest lobbying entity is, which is oil and gas… Imagine the power they exercise over both republicans and democrats. They’ve captured them (our regulatory agencies) and turned them into sock puppets. They’ve compromised the press… and they destroy the publications that publish real science. – Robert F. Kennedy (source)
Today, annual protests are held against the agrochemical company to demonstrate the public’s displeasure with Monsanto’s practices. Not only do the protests illustrate how many people are against genetically modified organisms, but they also represent how many people are against the dangerous pesticides Monsanto produces to kill off pests and insects.
Here are some of the brands that Monsanto works with.
This list was recently put out by Vocal Media.
- Aunt Jemima
- Aurora Foods
- Best Foods
- Betty Crocker
- Capri Sun
- Chef Boyardee
- Coca Cola
- Delicious Brand Cookies
- Duncan Hines
- Famous Amos
- Frito Lay
- General Mills
- Green Giant
- Healthy Choice
- Hershey’s Nestle
- Hungry Jack
- Interstate Bakeries
- KC Masterpiece
- Keebler/Flowers Industries
- Kid Cuisine
- Kraft/Phillip Morris
- Lean Cuisine
- Loma Linda
- Marie Callenders
- Minute Maid
- Nature Valley
- Ocean Spray
- Orville Redenbacher
- Pasta- Roni
- Pepperidge Farms
- Pop Secret
- Post Cereals
- Power Bar Brand
- Prego Pasta Sauce
- Procter and Gamble
- Ragu Sauce
- Smart Ones
- Tombstone Pizza
- Uncle Ben’s
At the end of the day, despite the massive amount of corruption and illegal activities these companies have engaged in, we are the ones buying their products and consuming their foods. All we have to do is make better choices–we can switch to organic produce, we can do our research and purchase from ethical companies, and we can refuse to spray our lawns with herbicides. Vote with your dollar.
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