“Academic freedom” in nutritional science…a scary story

Nutritional Science — possibly the only field of study that fails to  deliver scientific integrity in the mainstream academic world

On Dr. T. Colin Campbell’s foundation website, his tagline is scientific integrity for optimal health. Sadly, his counterparts in academia, the schools of nutritional science across the country do not actually teach courses in how to promote optimal health for humankind. Tough to comprehend, right?

Savage Hall, home of the Department of Nutritional Science at Cornell University -- where Dr. Campbell earned his PhD and taught for many years

There actually was one such course that Dr. Campbell developed and taught himself for seven years during the nineties. It was called vegetarian nutrition by the university even though Dr. Campbell would have preferred that it be called plant-based nutrition for various reasons. Regardless of the name, it was a very popular course among the students and changed many lives during that period.

But suddenly, that course was cancelled some ten years ago and Dr. Campbell was not even told about it in advance. He had to learn the news from a very disappointed student who was trying to sign up for it. Now here’s the really scary part…the part about who’s really controlling what we eat:

When Colin confronted the department head asking for the reason, he said nothing…but it was well-known that he was a substantial consultant to the dairy industry and, simultaneously, chair of  major food recommendation committees (e.g., Dietary Guidelines/Food Pyramid committee of the USDA and nutritional recommendations of the National Academy of Sciences). And he had made clear his defense of dairy-related companies in projects like Nestle and Kraft.

So much for “academic freedom.” Unfortunately, things like this have been going on for a long time. Raised on a dairy farm, Dr. Campbell began his career thinking that animal protein, particularly cow’s milk, were among nature’s most perfect foods and thought that he would spend his career helping the third world have access to these wonderful foods.

But as early as the 1960’s, he began to discover some “dirty little secrets” about the harmful effects (linked with cancer and other chronic diseases) of our meat and dairy diets — and was warned by friends and colleagues that his career as a nutritional scientist would be in serious jeopardy if he went public. So he kept researching until he had compiled a mountain of scientific evidence that reinforced his earlier discoveries. Finally, in 2005, he went public — in a big way — when his book, The China Study, was published. His wife Karen had been urging him for years to write that book; saying that his story simply had to be told — for the children of the world.

J. Morris Hicks reviewing his book manuscript with Dr. T. Colin Campbell at Cornell University

Now for the good news; that plant-based nutrition course was resurrected a few years ago. Persons who complete the course earn a Certificate in Plant-Based Nutrition issued by the T. Colin Foundation (taught online via eCornell).

Recently, the course has been awarded 19 Class I Continuing Medical Eduction (CME) credits for doctors and CEU credits for other health professionals. — but the course does not count as credit toward earning a degree at Cornell University. The almighty dairy industry wouldn’t be happy about that.

More good news — highly influential people, like Bill Clinton and Oprah, are learning about the health-promoting power of plant-based nutrition.  And they are making changes and talking about it. For lots of reasons, the answer to this dietary mess that we have created is a grassroots revolution where more people are demanding more plants and less meat and dairy. For the latest post on this topic:

Academic freedom in peril? T. Colin Campbell at Cornell (8-20-11)

If you like what you see here, you may wish to join our periodic mailing list. Also, for help in your own quest to take charge of your health, you might find some useful information at our 4-Leaf page. From the seaside village of Stonington, Connecticut – Be well and have a great day.

If you’d like to order our book on Amazon,  visit our BookStore now.

—J. Morris Hicks…blogging daily at HealthyEatingHealthyWorld.com

PS: Occasionally an unauthorized ad may appear beneath a blog post. It is controlled by WordPress (a totally free hosting service). I do not approve or personally benefit whatsoever from any ad that might ever appear on this site. I apologize and urge you to please disregard. 

About J. Morris Hicks

A former strategic management consultant and senior corporate executive with Ralph Lauren in New York, J. Morris Hicks has always focused on the "big picture" when analyzing any issue. In 2002, after becoming curious about our "optimal diet," he began a study of what we eat from a global perspective ---- discovering many startling issues and opportunities along the way. In addition to an MBA and a BS in Industrial Engineering, he holds a certificate in plant-based nutrition from the T. Colin Campbell Center for Nutrition Studies, where he has also been a member of the board of directors since 2012. Having concluded that our food choices hold the key to the sustainability of our civilization, he has made this his #1 priority---exploring all avenues for influencing humans everywhere to move back to the natural plant-based diet for our species.
This entry was posted in Academic Freedom, Food Policy, Health in General, Scientific Integrity. Bookmark the permalink.

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