A group of researchers assembled a bunch of data to arrive at their foregone conclusion: meat and dairy products increase the risk of cancer. While their work is couched in science-like jargon, in fact, there is no there there, when one mines the data presented. It s essentially an op-ed masquerading as a scientific endeavor.
This claptrap actually got published in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition, which should be ashamed of itself, if a college can experience such an emotion. The title gives a clue as to its scientific rigor: Applying the Precautionary Principle to Nutrition and Cancer. The PP is a statement of fear-based regulation, asserting that if any uncertainty exists as to whether a product, substance or behavior is harmful, then it should be banned or restricted until proven safe. In this case, the authors claim to have collected studies indicating a possible link between meat and dairy products and certain cancers, and while they acknowledge that their data do not lead to a clear-cut cause-and-effect link, they themselves are concerned enough to say that the PP warrants everyone to avoid those foods to reduce as much as possible any risk of provoking cancer.
ACSH s Dr. Gil Ross had this comment: The main author, Dr. Neal Barnard, is blandly described in the MedPage Today summary as founder and president of the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, without any further information. The site, and most of the other abundant mainstream coverage of this ridiculous excuse for a scientific analysis, neglects to point out Dr. Barnard s long-term vegan activism and the fact that PCRM is a vegan-promoting front group with close ties to PETA. The main source of the data used to push their agenda comes from the World Cancer Research Fund (WCRF), which we have noted not too long ago has a habit of distorting data all by themselves. When working with Dr. Barnard, we are not surprised to see such garbage; we are a bit surprised to see the credulous approach of MedPage Today and much of the rest of the media, however.