The headline in the Cornell Progressive on March 8, 2012
We may no longer have academic freedom at Cornell or ANY of our schools of nutrition, but the first amendment is alive and well. And it was recently exercised by Dr. T. Colin Campbell (Nutritional Biochemistry) and Dr. Randy Wayne (Plant Biology).
We’re talking about some serious stuff here—we’re talking about suppressing the freedom of scientists to seek, identity and publicize the truth about nutrition. We’re talking about saving lives and we’re talking about saving the planet in the process. We’re also talking about blatant violation of our nation’s first amendment in a tax exempt, land-grant university.
This blog contains key excerpts from a recent article; one that will probably damage the career of the younger author (Dr. Wayne) and will likely lead to further removal of the older author (Dr. Campbell) from the official presence of Cornell University. But these are not ordinary men, they are brave scientists who believe that scientific integrity is more important than fleeting status or personal income. (Link to complete article provided below) Excerpt:
At Cornell, life science professors do not necessarily profess their beliefs based upon evidence and critical thinking as our title implies;; rather, all too often, professors market an unwritten and unspoken syllabus to promote, if not a brand name, then a way of looking at the world that is sympathetic to corporate sponsors.
Sound incredulous? I thought so at first, but then I have witnessed it first-hand. In November of 2009, while enrolled in Dr. Campbell’s Plant-Based Nutrition course, I attended one of his lectures in Savage Hall on the campus of Cornell University. Speaking to a packed house in a large lecture hall, Dr. Campbell spoke to a crowd that seemed to be about equally split among students and PhD faculty.
The students loved the lecture that focused on some of the most exciting information outlined in The China Study—five years earlier. But, with zero exceptions, the vocal few of the PhD faculty in attendance criticized Dr. Campbell’s science in front of the students—all but labeling him as an academic heretic. Also incredulous to me at the time was that not a single one of those faculty members had even read The China Study. Let’s move on to more from the article:
If we teach students to think critically, to explore assumptions, and in so doing, they lose faith in the authority of scientific results, especially those paid for by various industries or by acts of Congress whose members were lobbied by various industries, we may not churn out the type of consumers our corporate sponsors expect.
Look at the life science classes still in the course catalog. Ask yourself whose interests they serve? Do they serve the interests of the monocultural pharmaceutical, agrochemical, and agricultural giants like Pfizer, Monsanto, and those represented by the American Dairy Council. Do they serve the interests of the students in their quest to design and build their future, to learn about themselves, their place in the world, the value and limitations of science and technology, or how to live an ethical life? While corporations and the organizations mentioned above have their value, the life sciences curriculum at a tax-exempt university must not be limited by their priorities.
Closing paragraph. We shall continue to fight for a science that is indifferent to profit as it serves mankind, to fight for a science that reveals the nature of the world, and to fight for a university true to its tax-exempt status. We are speaking truth to power at many levels. Do you honestly believe, along with a majority of the members of congress who fund life science research that the presence of tomato paste allows pizza to be classified as a vegetable? We, as a botanist and a nutritionist cannot go along with this one either.
—T. Colin Campbell, PhD and Randy Wayne, PhD
What does all this mean? It is just further proof that the pathway out of the madness in our food-medicine-academia-goverment-media “system” is not through the halls of ivy at our most prestigious schools of nutrition. To be sure, there is not a single prominent university that offers course credit (toward graduation) for courses in plant-based nutrition.
Dr. Campbell’s course was originally a “for credit” course toward graduation at Cornell—until it was cancelled due to pressure from the dairy and beef folks, on whose financial support the school of nutrition depends. That course was resurrected in 2009 by the T. Colin Campbell Foundation and is administered by eCornell. And while it qualifies for continuing education credits for physicians and dietitians, it is no longer good for credit toward graduation from Cornell University.
So what is the pathway out of the madness? As I wrote in the book and have now blogged for 417 consecutive days, it is a grassroots revolution of people like you and me who are fed up with the nutritional “hogwash” we have been fed by our “system.” By educating ourselves, taking charge of our own health and sharing our knowledge with everyone we know—we will eventually have an impact. After all, what we have is grossly unsustainable longterm—for a host of reasons.
See link to the Cornell Progressive article below—along with a few of my earlier blog posts on this critical topic:
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