Meat is back on the menu, & scientists who want to ban cows for the sake of the planet are outraged
A team of 14 researchers from seven countries looked at over 130 articles and a dozen randomized trials, concluding that evidence linking the consumption of red and processed meat to cancer, heart disease, and mortality was of low quality and unreliable. Their findings were published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, a publication of the American College of Physicians, last week – to howls of protest from the scientific and nutritional establishment.
“This report has layers of flaws and is the most egregious abuse of evidence that I have ever seen,” declared Walter Willett, professor of epidemiology and nutrition at the Harvard School of Public Health.
Harsh words, to be sure, especially since one of the study’s authors is Gordon Guyatt, a professor of medicine at McMaster University in Canada and one of the creators of GRADE, a strict methodology for assessing the certainty of scientific evidence.
Guyatt said the reactions to the study are approaching levels of what he would call “hysteria.”
“If you’re the emperor, and somebody points out that you haven’t any clothes, this is not going to be a very appealing situation,” he said. “It’s very threatening, and people are defending their territory.”
Indeed, Willett is a leading member of the EAT-Lancet Commission, which advocates for a plant-based diet for the sake of the environment – and Harvard is the institution behind the infamous “food pyramid,” used for decades by the US government to advise its citizens to eat less meat and fat in favor of grains and carbohydrates.
Those guidelines have been a smashing success – in driving up the rates of obesity and diabetes, that is. If you want to see a real “hockey stick” graph, look at the percentage of overweight Americans skyrocket since 1980, when the US government began promoting the Harvard food pyramid.
2/19 For nearly five years, there has been a growing chorus of scientists, doctors, patients, policy makers, journalists & public health experts questioning the quality of official (and unofficial) diet/nutrition advice against the backdrop of an escalating public health crisis. pic.twitter.com/WUoPLdqBxj— Erica Hauver (@EricaHauver) October 3, 2019
The study also comes at the worst possible time for the scientific establishment, right amid its global crusade against farming and ranching in the name of saving the planet. One after another, scientists have argued that raising cattle destroys forests and releases carbon, so humanity must change its way of eating to focus on vegetables and insects – by force, if need be.
Some governments have already imposed a “meat tax” on behalf of the environment, and there has even been talk of outlawing meat for promoting “ecocide” and being as dangerous to public health as smoking.Also on rt.com UN climate report urges people to stop eating meat & abusing land to save planet
No surprise, then, that Harvard has attacked the study as ignoring the environmental impact of meat, because “climate change and environmental degradation have serious effects on human health” and are therefore “important to consider when making recommendations.”
One California public health official echoed the same line of reasoning in a comment to the Annals of Internal Medicine, arguing the research shouldn’t have been written, let alone published, “without concern for the environmental effects of food choices.”
“Please let us, as physicians, wake up to the fact, that our climate crisis poses the most profound risk to individuals and public health and that we have a responsibility in guiding the public on how to confront this threat: in part, with food choices,” wrote Henning Ansor of Santa Barbara.
In other words, it doesn’t matter if the science is solid, the higher moral calling demands that the scientists lie – or stay silent – in the name of Mother Earth? That’s not how science works. That’s not how any of this works.
Nebojsa Malic, senior writer at RT
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