Thursday, February 9, 2012

Reductionism: The Perversion Of Science. . .

And the preservation of profiteering!

Throughout history science has been the one place we turned to get unbiased factual information. Today, most published papers are written by communication companies and signed by scientists who are willing to put their names on these drug company's marketing devices. A published paper no longer means the study is  scientifically sound. Instead, the paper creates a false sense of safety in the consumer and larger profit for the company. 

Reductionism is a term I became familiar with by reading The China Study, by T. Colin Campbell. The term is used to describe how science is being used to market products. What this translates to is, strong industry lobbyists fund studies in the area of nutrition and if the research isn't favorable to the product, drug or food they are trying to sell as healthy, the powerful industry leaders often threaten to defund or shutdown certain health organizations, some as large as the World Health Organization. This essentially means that if a food, drug or procedure is actually dangerous or unhealthy to the public, that information will not be included in the published study. Drug companies have the power to decide if certain information gets published. All drug manufactures are willing to discuss is the alleged health benefits of their drug or product, regardless of the side-effects, or damaging affects. 

It Certainly Looks Like Rain Tonight! (The Honeymooner's) 
The climate of Nutritional science is very stormy and the storm is getting worse. Profit is the priority, while health is barely a consideration. It appears that doctors are lead by drug sales reps. Medical schools invite these reps to teach the doctors about the drugs, playing down the scientific evidence that the bad far outweighs the good, in many cases. To have scientists research topics independently is very different from what is happening today in the area of food and nutrition. Lets take a known poison like Cyanide. This often deadly compound is highly toxic and can kill most people upon intake. Would this poison be as effective if the carbon atom, which is triple bonded to nitrogen was in some way different? Here's what I'm getting at; to isolate a single element in any compound or network of chemicals changes the nature of that element. To say that Vitamin C fights cancer is an overly simplistic and fractionated statement or idea. Is it the Vitamin C that provides everything necessary to not develop cancer? Or is it the overall affects of a diet rich in whole, plant-based foods in the human body? The difference here is, the potential benefits of Vitamin C vs. eating the whole foods that also carry Vitamin C.

The next time a wonder nutrient is touted as the new savior of health, ask yourself this simple question. Why is the nutrient where all the focus is and not the food, which carry's the nutrient? Health insurance, diet, nutrition, medicine, the pharmaceutical industry and agriculture/food production are industries that are all tied together. Each of the aforementioned industries have dynamic responses to each other. When people are less healthy, who benefits? Doctor's and pharmaceutical companies benefit from addressing symptoms and not illness. The truth about medicine is simple—chemicals are poisonous to the body. While drugs some can provide temporary relief of symptoms or augment a chemical imbalance or lower blood pressure, the drugs themselves cause other problems and never address the source of the illness. The medical model doesn't consider preventing or curing illness as possible. Besides, where's the profit in healing disease? They need ongoing visits, renewed prescriptions and mysterious illnesses to arise. This is the model for The American Medical Association. 

Stop Your Whining
When certain food industries complain to the government because regulations are preventing them from profiting, they are actually complaining about the fact that they can't sell poor quality, low nutrient foods and make the profit they want. The very food they produce contributes negatively to the public's health. Instead, the dependent government removes restrictions and allows industry to thrive, while the very consumers they rely on to profit become sick. This isn't a bad thing from a capitalistic perspective. More money can be made by another major contributor to government—the pharmaceutical industry. People like Campbell are few and far between. More and more people are learning the truth. It's nice to know someone somewhere thinks safety and high quality food is important for the American public.

People can take better care of themselves if the source of their food is produced ethically. When our government allows these regulations to be loosened or removed from the process, the quality of the food decreases and people slowly get sick and need doctors, drugs and surgery. The speed at which the incidence of illness occurs is such that to effectively trace it to specific foods is nearly impossible. If the truth were freely dispensed to the public many industries would be affected and lose money. In turn, those industries would create a nightmare for the government. How this happens is simple—giant corporations stop making campaign donations, through their network of lobbyists. If the government loses the support of the all important industrial campaign contributions or financing—then the associated parties or politicians won't win elections. 

As most of you already know, corporations "contribute" to elections and fund certain parties and/or politicians. To lose this unhealthy feed tube from giant corporations to the government would be a great improvement of our election process and country overall. A change like that would dramatically shift the political climate in this country because politicians would act independently and not have to kowtow to industry. But that's another story, altogether. The loophole in this scheme is based on using scientists as figure heads to support positive claims made by the manufacturer. Even though the research data says otherwise. Corporations pay credible, scientists and make sure they get the results the corporation needs to promote their unhealthy product as healthy—and, of course enjoy huge profits. 

So rather than admit a whole foods, plant-based diet is the healthiest way to go, reductionist scientists "discover" isolated nutrients from foods and pass them off as the life savers. Lycopene is being touted as a great protector and healer of cancer. The funny thing about this approach of reduction science, is Campbell used clinical tools and research and proved that a high protein diet is dangerous and contributes to many Western diseases. These techniques are the same ones used by the Pharmaceutical companies via the AMA, to say high protein, high fat foods are heart and cancer healthy. Campbell then tested Lycopene, which is considered a super nutrient that fights cancer. His data was so inconsistent that he and his team of scientists found the results to be almost totally undecipherable. Isolating Lycopene and applying it to various cancer situations wasn't comprehensive. No determinations can be made this way, considering that cancer develops in people for so many different reasons. This is extrapolation at its worst. How the scientific community has allowed this approach to go unchallenged is beyond my comprehension. 

There's always multiple contributing factors for the development of cancer. Isolating individual elements to prove they heal is another tactic designed to confuse and boost sales of arbitrary foods that contain these alleged super nutrients. Junk science achieves what truth and real science can't. Junk science or reduction science is constantly being used to support claims made about many nutrients, drugs and harmful or poorly grown foods. These products or Franken-foods thrive in the marketplace at the expense of the consumer. That expense is twofold—the cost of the food itself and the cost of the people's health. Like the 11 year-old boy who spoke out against Monsanto, in a YouTube video says, which many of us have heard before, "you can either pay the local farmer, now or you can pay the hospital, later." 

Ignorance, Bliss And the Miseducation Of 
Blissfully Ignorant Doctors. 
In the 17 plus years I've been vegan and eating mostly raw foods, I've not paid any attention to nutrients nor have I tested my blood. I remain illness free, although I wasn't more than 20 years ago. One more interesting factoid about my diet is I don't eat any concentrated protein of any kind. I don't eat nuts and seeds because they are difficult for me to digest. It's been nearly 10 years since I've eaten nuts and/or seeds and still I'm waiting for the so-called protein "deficiency" to show itself. Also, I've rarely used supplements of any kind. I drink organic fresh vegetable juice, eat fresh fruit, and green leafy salads and eat a cooked vegan meal or two, on the weekends. I use myself as a research lab. I think many scientists would have a hard time arguing against the consistent results I've gotten from eating a whole-food, plant-based diet. In fact, judging by the healing I received through this way of living, they would be hard pressed to find something wrong in my approach, but would mostly likely not make a public statement supporting my lifestyle as healthy or disease preventing. Why? Money. When a doctor goes against the grain of the medical model, he risks career. 

Going Against The Grain
For doctors to admit that diet affects health would be simultaneously claiming that the foods grown, produced and manufactured in this country are downright unhealthy and cause most of our ills. Which is really saying, don't buy your foods from commercially grown sources. This would more than hurt the agricultural industry's profit. Industries this large have the power and money to hurt anyone they want, professionally speaking, of course. Go against the grain of industry and you're labelled a quack, no matter how truthful and helpful to the people the information may be. The person's or organization's career would take a tremendous blow. Funding can be reduced or halted altogether. This is how information for the good of humanity is dispersed in this country. The industry selling the product, creates a non-reality about their product. They pay for the research, therefore the results. So, the next time you read or hear that doctors, scientists, biologists have determined certain foods or amounts of food safe, look at who paid for the research and you'll have a better understanding of whether or not you being told the truth or helping that company's profit. All while increasing your chances of becoming ill.

Don't believe what you're told. Look at the industries that thrive in this country. Then look at what the recommendations for diet that were published in the U.S. during the 50s, 60s and 70s. The requirements and limits are totally different. But then again, so was the numbers used to determine when someone needed cholesterol medication. See the connection? We raise the limits for bad foods, lower the numbers for the need of medicine, lie about food quality overall, and bam! You've got the most perverted version of capitalism in the world, today. A system that supports a small group of the super wealthy, by selling garbage to the rest of the population for profit. Plain and simple. There is a solution to dealing with this bleak situation. Check back here for Part II. 
Be well,
Tom DeVito

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Please feel free to comment or ask questions or challenge. All is welcome. All comments will be responded to politely! Be well. Tom DeVito