Day 37: The China Study
An Introduction and Critique of The China Study by T. Colin Campbell, Ph.D
Welcome to Day 37!
Today we share with you some hard-won and important perspectives on The China Study, a book which for many of us in the Vegan community has been held up as a harbinger of a 100% plant-based approach to heath and well-being.
As you can see below and at right, as a 100% Raw/Live Vegan for 6 years, I heavily advocated the The China Study as the penultimate study demonstrating the validity of the plant-based imperative.
I used to start this page with: “Today we share with you one of the most important people in the field of nutritional research, an advocate for all of us, and an authentic human being, Dr. T. Colin Campbell, Ph.D. I (David) morphed a picture of Shaft from the 70s with Campbell because I consider him in the world of nutrition to be someone who has really kicked ass, as you will see.”
The China Study author suggests that based on clinical and field research of humans and animals going back many years we can conclusively say that eating animal products causes heart disease, cancer, diabetes, stroke, arthritis, overweight… you name it. We should leave animal products behind forever and never look back. The China Study was authored by Dr. T. Colin Campbell. Here are his credentials:
For more than 40 years, T. Colin Campbell, Ph.D. has been at the forefront of nutrition research. His legacy, The China Study, is the most comprehensive study of health and nutrition ever conducted. Dr. Campbell is the Jacob Gould Schurman Professor Emeritus of Nutritional Biochemistry at Cornell University and Project Director of the China-Oxford-Cornell Diet and Health Project. The study was the culmination of a 20-year partnership of Cornell University, Oxford University and the Chinese Academy of Preventive Medicine.
Dr. Campbell received his master’s degree and Ph.D. from Cornell, and served as a Research Associate at MIT. He spent 10 years on the faculty of Virginia Tech’s Department of Biochemistry and Nutrition before returning to the Division of Nutritional Sciences at Cornell in 1975 where he presently holds his Endowed Chair (now Emeritus).
“My Ph.D. research at Cornell was devoted to finding better ways to make cows and sheep grow faster. I was attempting to improve on our ability to produce animal protein, the cornerstone of what I was told was ‘good nutrition.’”
His principal scientific interests, which began with his graduate training in the late 1950s, has been on the effects of nutritional status on long term health, particularly on the cause of cancer. He has conducted original research both in laboratory experiments and in large-scale human studies; has received more than 70 grant-years of peer-reviewed research funding, mostly from the National Institute of Health, and has served on several grant review panels of multiple funding agencies, lectured extensively, and has authored more than 300 research papers.
What Do I Think Now?
In the years since making the video at right, I have leaped another Stage in my dietary evolution. In fact, many in the Raw/Live Vegan movement have done so. This will be discussed at length when we look at The Spectrum of Diet, but in short, leaping a stage means integrating previous states, and moving to a level of care, concern, and understanding that includes and transcends what went before.
This stage-jumping, or including and transcending – in a healthy way – means that a person looks back at previous stages of their development (in a particular domain) a PARTIAL TRUTHS.
Such has been my updated perspective on plant-based nutrition, and the work of T. Colin Campbell in The China Study. Campbell is hitting on some important partial truths about how important a plant-based diet can be for healing.
He has also made some serious errors in his study approach and methodology through omissions, oversights, and misrepresentation of the data due to a fundamental grip on his rock-solid belief that a 100% plant-based diet is best for everyone in every place, circumstance, and lifestyle for all time.
His rigid adherence to this belief has skewed his research, and placed it squarely in the partial trutharena in some very obvious ways, which we will cover today.
Let me be clear: I revere Campbell for his dedication to improving the health of people worldwide, and finding intelligent solutions to our major health crises.
I also see the plant-based approach to be incredibly important, but I also view adherence to a 100% plant-based diet to be limited in its efficacy long term.
100% Plant-Based is a Stage of Nutritional Development, and a very, very important one that can achieve benefits from for months and years.
That is said from someone who has a Masters Degree in Vegan/Live Food Nutrition (myself, David Rainoshek), taught courses, and wrote a book with Dr. Gabriel Cousens, M.D. (one of the world’s pre-eminent plant-based physicians) on a Live/Vegan approach to reversing Diabetes (There is a Cure for Diabetes).
Enjoy considering the files today.
If you have never read The China Study, my suggestion is to download and read the file below, “The China Study: A Straight Introduction” first, and watch Dr. Campbell’s presentation.
Then come back later and review the critiques – which there are many. From there, you will have what you need to develop a very whole and integrated perspective around the book The China Study by T. Colin Campbell.
To your excellent health and knowledge!
Media, Films, & Documentaries
Denise Minger | A Critical Presentation on The China Study
[Audio Interview] Devil in the Milk with Keith Woodford on Underground Wellness
Keith Woodford, author of Devil in the Milk, stops by Underground Wellness Radio to discuss the link between a protein in the milk we drink and a range of serious illnesses, including heart disease, Type 1 diabetes, autism, and schizophrenia. Topics will include the difference between A1 and A2 milk, potential dangers of consuming A1 milk (containing A1 beta-casein), and the connection between milk and gluten.