Many of you may have already heard about the BBC film debacle involving my father, but I am sure at least an equal number of you have not, so I thought I would go ahead with this newsletter article.
For decades, I have watched my father get unfairly skewered by his opponents. I am not sure, though, that I have ever seen a more disgusting case of misinformation than what was communicated in a film recently released by the BBC. The power of the industry is enormous, and we have an uphill battle; their collusion with academia, media and government runs deep.
I have spoken to my father about this and he shared with me the discussion he had with the person who produced this movie, and the term “selective editing” doesn’t fully capture what happened. There were numerous examples, but let me share just one to show how egregious was this violation of the truth.
My father is humble when he talks about his research. We all know that his renowned China Study was the most important study ever done showing the benefits of a plant-based diet. However, when my father talks about this research (and I have heard him say this over and over), he likes to say that this study is but one of at least hundreds of solid studies suggesting the benefits of eating a plant-based diet. As a matter of rule, he believes no one research study is ever enough to prove something. Even one as powerful as the China research project cannot stand alone. This is why he went to such lengths in his book, The China Study, to point out the overwhelming, confirmatory, and irrefutable evidence from many other studies, especially including his own research. When taken in their totality, these studies, together with growing clinical evidence,show beyond any shadow of doubt that a plant-based diet is optimal for health.
Yet, we hear all kinds of nonsense in the media suggesting otherwise, such as this new BBC film, Clean Eating: The Dirty Truth. In the film, the narrator, Giles Yeo, a self-professed carnivore, who told my father he would never change his diet, tees him up for a big takedown by getting him to say that the China research does not, by itself, prove irrefutably the benefits of a plant-based diet. Then he leaves out from the film my father’s comments about other studies and the totality of evidence in favor of a plant-based diet. There are other points as well where Yeo works to get my father to say something that he was able to stick into the film absent other contextual comments, to make him look silly, even fraudulent. Indeed, right after his interview of my father, Yeo dives into another story of someone who has in fact engaged in questionable medical practices, suggesting that my father is but one in a line of frauds. I also should point out that Yeo failed to include inspiring interview material from heart patients of Dr. Esselstyn.
My father said he heard this movie might be shown here in the US (it is presently only viewable online in the UK). If this does happen, we will need to mobilize people to help get the word out about the lie this film represents. For those of you who are interested in diving into this further, you can read my father’s response to the BBC here: nutritionstudies.org.
I have watched this sort of behavior for decades, the very kind of behavior we documented in our own documentary PlantPure Nation. (For those of you who still have not seen this movie, it is still playing on Netflix.) Whether in a corporate funded academic lab, a corporate boardroom, or a back hall of government, people in positions of power are all too often willing to trade away the truth for their own selfish interests and personal biases. This is why we need a grassroots movement to get this idea out to everyone, which I believe will require a broader ideology to capture the imagination of mainstream Americans. I will be writing more about some of these ideas in future newsletters.
In the meantime, thanks for your continuing support.
– Nelson Campbell
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I try not to be overly dramatic in my writing, but I think most of us would agree we live in troubled times. We might define these troubles differently, but most of us have this sense. Most distressing in my view, however, are not the actual problems we face, but our inability to work together to find their solutions.
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