Gary and I have been questioning the role Vested Interests have played in shaping our dietary and health guidelines for years, but we have only started questioning the influence of vegan, vegetarian and religious Ideology publicly in August last year.
The more I look the more I find...
I am not anti-religion. I am anti the Vested Interests, both financial and ideological, that are wielding such influence on the health of our community.
I want to call out are the those who are ‘Silencing’ discussion on the health benefits of Low Carbohydrate Healthy Fat principles. I want to question the influences that are educating healthcare professionals and I want to challenge doctors to also question 'where' the Wholegrain Plant-based nutrition research and dietary education is actually coming from.
Who is spoon-feeding GP’s a doctrine that espouses grain as the sacred cow and demonises animal protein and fats? And how have they come to accept this ideology as the gospel truth?
Australian General Practitioners may be surprised to learn they have become Medical Evangelists for a religious group who do not believe in evolution and therefore down play any perceived role of animal protein and fats in our diet. Instead, they believe we were created to eat the God appointed diet of grains, fruits, nuts and vegetables.
"Nutrition seems the only science where those who consider evolution are 'fringe' and those who ignore it 'mainstream'. Bizarre." Dr Troy Stapleton
The remarkable growth and influence on our dietary and health guidelines, by a church that formed 150 years ago, is truly astounding.
I am not challenging the Seventh-day Adventist beliefs. I am challenging their influence on our health and dietary guidelines, and the support they receive from Government, Associations and Regulatory Bodies that fiercely protect their Wholegrain Plant-based Rule-Books.
Sanitarium, a wholly owned Seventh-day Adventist church 'processed food company', provides GP’s with free health resources to give to their patients. Until last week Sanitarium’s ‘Fact Sheets’ were hard-wired into the back end of software packages run in 50% of medical practices around Australia, encouraging doctors to hand out vegetarian resources promoting grains and cereals for all manner of ailments. Vegetarian health messages, based on their religious ideology, that would have done their business model no harm …
We have already seen the first couple of cracks in the health-washing of Nutrition Science and it is only the 9th of January. To some these changes may seem small, but Gary and I know this is the start of something much bigger!
Firstly, when General Practitioner’s go to click on the 2018 update of their Best Practice Software the Sanitarium Health and Wellbeing 'fact sheets', that were hard-wired into the back end as a resource they could print out for their patients, have been removed!
While there is still a direct link to the Sanitarium website, doctors wanting to print the wholly owned Seventh-day Adventist Church processed food company's 'fact sheets' will need to make a very conscious decision to do so now!
I wanted to take a screen grab of Sanitarium's platinum sponsorship of the Australasian Society of Lifestyle Medicine 2017 for this article yesterday. But, guess what? I went searching and found that it too, has been removed. Luckily I had a copy tucked away.
While Sanitarium is no longer publicly sponsoring the ASLM, I understand it will continue to do so 'indirectly' because the Lifestyle Medicine Institute is a company structure within Sanitarium and as such, oversees the Adventist CHIP program which is still sponsoring ASLM.
Both Gary and I had called the Sanitarium alliance out last year, concerned that a breakfast cereal company (with church backing) was heavily sponsoring a medical and allied health conference.
Interestingly, Cobram Estate have also pulled back on their sponsorship of the ASLM group, reducing their investment from Diamond status to Bronze for the upcoming 2018 Lifestyle Medicine conference.
AND why are GP's listening?
In November last year I was made aware of both Sanitarium and Kellogg's health 'fact sheets' available as patient resources in the back end of clinical software programs. I was contacted by a couple of GP's after speaking on 'The Evolution of the Dietary Guidelines' at the Low Carb Downunder Event on the Gold Coast in October. According to my sources, the wholegrain/vegetarian promoting 'fact sheets' had been hard-wired in place for well over 10 years. After I tweeted about the resources I was contacted by journalists who went on to investigate the matter further.
I couldn't believe that General Practitioners in Australia had processed breakfast cereal companies (Kellogg’s and Sanitarium) spoon-feeding them 'Health Resources’ to hand out to their patients during consultations.
Health Resources that not only promote Seventh-day Adventist vegan/vegetarian religious ideology, but resources that also do their business models no harm. Think anti-meat, pro ‘high fibre’ cereals, grains and legumes.
Sanitarium's list of patient resources include a Fact Sheet for people with Type 2 diabetes which recommends basing meals on wholegrain breads, cereals and grain foods despite acknowledging that diabetes mellitis is an inability of the body to control and maintain normal blood glucose.
Michael West and Maryanne Demasi's published article from December last year Kellogg's and Sanitarium have infiltrated patient education has triggered the removal of their fact sheets. WOW!
In the past I have been concerned about the influence of Pharmaceutical companies on continuing medical education, encouraging doctors to band-aid sick-care with ever increasing poly-pharmacy.
But, I had no idea that research scientists, healthcare professionals and allied health practitioners who follow the doctrines of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, the associated Lifestyle Medicine Institute and CHIP program, plus the two church owned Australian food companies; Sanitarium Health and Wellbeing and Life Health Foods, were also intent on shaping our dietary and health guidelines.
As you may be aware, the benefits of Wholegrain, Plant-Based diets are preached as gospel by the Dietitians Association of Australia, Diabetes Australia and the Heart Foundation of Australia, all with ties to Sanitarium Health and Wellbeing, a wholly owned Church ‘processed food company’ that pays no tax.
While investigating and questioning the bias of the expert witness in Gary's AHPRA investigation I accidentally stumbled across the influence of the Seventh-day Adventist Church.
Religious Ideology, and the deep belief that 'grains are good' and 'meat is bad' is as powerful as any of the Food and Pharmaceutical industries influence on our dietary and health guidelines.
I have found the Seventh-day Adventist Church has been, and continues to be, heavily involved in nutrition and public health policy.
Going back 100 years, Lenna F Cooper, a Seventh-day Adventist dietitian and protege of Dr John Harvey Kellogg, started the American Dietetic Association in 1917. She wrote the textbooks for dietitians and nursing students for 30 years. The Adventist vegetarian influence became more widely acceptable to the public from the 1960's, leveraging off the animal rights movement. Around this time, Adventists once again held presidential positions within the ADA, as they had at the beginning.
Seventh-day Adventist Dietitians were involved in writing the first American Dietetic Association Vegetarian Position paper
1980: “Position Paper on the Vegetarian Approach to Eating”
Contributors: Lydia Sonnenberg (SDA) with assistance from ADA Past President Kathleen Keen Zolber (SDA) and U.D. Register (SDA)
From my reading I have found one of the biggest advocates of the Wholegrain Plant-based vegetarian/vegan message has been the 'Lifestyle Medicine' movement. It appears to follow the NEWSTART principles; "God's 8 Laws of Health" as described in The Ministry of Healing by Ellen G. White. The eight elements that give you health, vigor, and healing are; Nutrition. Exercise, Water, Sunshine, Temperance, Air, Rest, and Trust in Divine Power.
While there have been various individuals using the term 'Lifestyle Medicine' over the years the actual American College of Lifestyle Medicine was founded by Seventh-day Adventist Dr John Kelly, in 2004. Several of the college’s presidents, including 2016 president, Dr George Guthrie, have also been Adventists. I will write more about Lifestyle Medicine in Part 2 of this blogpost as there is so much information to share and I will never get this first one finished at the rate I am going!
I find it fascinating that the church is continuing to carry out extensive scientific research on vegetarianism and longevity to prove the visions of Ellen G White ...
If you have made it this far I suggest you make yourself another drink and settle into a comfy chair. Explaining even just the 'tip of my research takes a while!
The Seventh-day Adventist Church began as a very young denomination. The following passage is from "United for Mission: 150 Years"
"During the formative years of the (Seventh-day Adventist) movement, its leaders were mostly young, in their late teens, 20s and 30s. At the time of the Great Disappointment of 1844, James White was 23; Ellen White and Annie Smith were 16; John N. Andrews was 15, and Minerva Loughborough not quite 15. Uriah Smith and John N. Loughborough (brothers of Annie and Minerva) were only 13, and George I. Butler was just 10.
Yet it was these young men and women, aided by elder statesmen like Joseph Bates (who in 1844 was aged 52), who took the lead in the Bible conferences of the late 1840s and the 1850s, during which the beliefs of what became the Seventh-day Adventist Church were discussed, debated and agreed. It was they who published a series of pamphlets, persuasively setting out the new beliefs, as well as a magazine, The Advent Review and Sabbath Herald (today's Adventist Review), which connected all the widely scattered believers together, and without which the church would never have been founded. It was they who led the efforts to transform a network of small groups of believers into an organization that would unite all Seventh-day Adventists and provide a basis for mission. Most of the youngsters of the 1850s provided leadership to the church into the 1880s and some into the twentieth century."
Ellen G White, co-founder of the Seventh-day Adventist church, experienced over 2000 visions from God during her lifetime. The first one occurred at the age of 17, but it was her Health Reform visions on the abstinence of alcohol, tobacco, spices, tea, coffee and meat and her belief that it was the duty of the church to actively "engage in public-health education to control desires and baser passions" which set the Church apart from other major religious denominations.
Both Ellen G White and Dr John Harvey Kellogg advocated abstinence from 'flesh eating' to help dampen impure thoughts and 'animal propensities'. Eating against the Laws of Nature could lead to 'self-vice' (onanism/masturbation)" which was thought to be the ultimate sin. Ellen G White taught that the practice of meat eating was detrimental to physical, mental and spiritual health.
Over time, the harms of eating meat became tied up with other health issues and Ellen G White claimed that her 1864 Vision from God showed her 'meat causes cancer', too!
By the 21st century, neither the sinfulness of masturbation, nor the health warnings that meat causes cancer, made the impact the church hoped for. The Seventh-day Adventist Church appears to have refocused their anti-meat campaign to align with 'Climate Change'. By blending religion, science, philosophy and politics they appear to have been able to establish a scientific rationale for vegetarianism and align themselves with a very powerful lobby group ... The Vegans. The New Nutrition Science implicates meat eating as not just harming people, but harming the planet, too!
"Medical Evangelism" is considered the Right Arm of the Seventh-day Adventist Church and the Health Reform message is seen as an ‘Entering Wedge’ to the church. “Nothing will open doors for the truth like evangelistic medical missionary work. This will find access to hearts and minds, and will be a means of converting many to the truth.” Ellen G White 1901 (Ms. 58, 1901, in Ev 513:1)
The following passage is taken from an interview between Rhys Suthern and ex-Adventist Ronald Numbers.
Ronald Numbers, author of Prophetess of Health: Ellen G. White and the Origins of Seventh-day Adventist Health Reform, was fired from Loma Linda University for suggesting Ellen G White was plagiarizing other health reformers of her time and for casting doubt upon the divine nature of her prophetic visions.
RHYS: "Adventists talk about vegetarianism being an “entering wedge” to get people interested in Adventism. When they are promoting vegetarianism, like through the American Dietetic Association and so on, is their goal really to get people to become Adventists, then, as opposed to vegetarians?"
RONALD: "Yeah, largely. Now the entering wedge metaphor has traditionally been used to describe the entire Adventist medical work, which would include their hospitals and sanitariums. And for a while they were pretty big on developing vegetarian restaurants. In fact, my grandfather who went on to become president of the church started out running a vegetarian restaurant in Salt Lake City. Most of the Adventist vegetarian restaurants today are self-supporting. That is, they’re not owned by the church, they’re owned by private Adventists. So, yeah, they might use vegetarianism that way.
There was a huge battle in the early 20th century between Ellen White, the prophetess, and John Harvey Kellogg, the leader of the medical work, over whether the purpose of the whole health emphasis should be on conversion – was that the ultimate goal? – or simply to reflect Christ’s concern for suffering humanity. Ellen White was all about conversion and didn’t see that the medical institutions had any place in the church except as entering wedges. Kellogg had more humanitarian reasons."
RHYS: "Which method do you think Adventists focus on now?"
RONALD: "It’s hard to say because Adventism does span a spectrum. Even at Loma Linda University, which is their medical center, the medical school has tended to go in the direction of Kellogg on this particular issue. Whereas the School of Public Health has tended to go in the direction of White. So you have very conservative people in the School of Public Health who want to prove that everything she said was correct and inspired, and in the medical school they tend to just want to practice good medicine."
“A religious life can be more successfully gained and maintained if meat is discarded, for this diet stimulates into intense activities lustful propensities, and enfeebles the moral and spiritual nature."
The Seventh-day Adventist Church believe in Creationism not Evolution. For this reason they have carried out extensive research to convince people that grains, fruits, nuts and vegetables are the original diet, NOT MEAT, for decades.
And so began the Wholegrain Plant-Based (meat is bad) nutrition advice, which has been backed by research with an ideology base.
The Sanitarium Health and Wellbeing and Life Health Foods companies, both owned by the Seventh-day Adventist church in Australia, produce breakfast cereals, soy and nut milks, nut butters and fake meat analogues that support their ideology.
The issue is that many of the Sanitarium Health and Wellbeing Company, and Life Health Foods products, are highly processed and often contain added sugars.
Interestingly, if it wasn't for the Tasmanian medical board of the Australian Health Practitioner Regulatory Agency (AHPRA) investigating Gary for 2 1/2 years, and 'Silencing' him from talking to his patients and the wider community about reducing sugar and processed carbohydrates, I would never have stumbled across any of this.
I guess we have AHPRA to thank for exposing the road blocks to healthcare professionals being able to recommend, and prescribe, Low Carbohydrate Healthy Fat (LCHF) principles.
The 'grains are good, meat is bad' health reform message of the Seventh-day Adventist Church has not only influenced medical education across the board, but its protection by Associations including the Dietitians Association of Australia, the Heart Foundation, the Cancer Council and Diabetes Australia, means that General Practitioners are bound by the strict dietary and health guidelines because they fear regulation. Unlike Orthopaedics, General Practitioners are one of the few specialties groups that ARE allowed to talk about nutrition to their patients. As long as it isn't Low Carb Healthy Fat!
The topic of biased research is never ending. In the case of the Church you have both a religious ideology to uphold and also the Vested Interests of their processed food industry.
There so many references to the Seventh-day Adventist studies 1 and 2, which I will link to the website shortly, but for now I simply want to share a supplement from 2012 in the MJA (Medical Journal of Australia) for the Medical Community to 'digest'.
This PDF supplement was sponsored by Sanitarium Health and Wellbeing with research predominantly by Sanitarium, Seventh-day Adventist hospital and Australasian Research Institute employees (all linked to the Seventh-day Adventist church) proving, of course, that vegetarianism is healthy.
The sponsored, and biased, research articles published in the MJA not only sing the praises of grains, nuts, soy and legumes, but they cast strong doubts on meat eating as the cause of diabetes Type 2 , cardiovascular disease, osteoporosis and cancer.
Remember, this Supplement encourages GP's to promote vegetarianism. The highlighted authors have close ties to the Seventh-day Adventist Church and all have been part of a funded supplement by a Church owned processed food company - Sanitarium.
Elizabeth Munn - Consultant dietitian at Sanitarium Health & Wellbeing, Consultant dietitian at Nuts for Life.
Angela Saunders - Senior Dietitian Science and Advocacy, Corporate Nutrition at Sanitarium Health and Wellbeing Previous. Sydney Adventist Hospital.
Carol Zeuschner - Nutrition and Dietetics Manager, Sydney Adventist Hospital. Impact of Meat Consumption on Health and Environmental Sustainability
Bevan D Hokin - Director of Pathology at Sydney Adventist Hospital
Michelle A Reid - Senior Dietitian at Sanitarium Health & Wellbeing Company
Melinda R Ramsay - Project Coordinator - Sanctuary Sanitarium (Adventist)
Sue Radd - Seventh-day Adventist Sydney-based dietitian
Brenda C Davis - Lead dietitian in diabetes research project in Majuro, Marshall Islands Ministry of Health with Loma Linda (Seventh-day Adventist University)
Unfortunately, it isn't just about promoting the health benefits of vegetarianism. The concern is that researchers, and health professionals, may be demonising meat because of religious ideology ...
I will be sharing Part 2 next week including information about Ellen G White coming to Australia and setting up the Church, and also delving into Lifestyle Medicine and the RACGP points that can be gained by GP's attending their vegetarian-promoting health conferences. No 'Silencing' here.
In the meantime, please feel free to sign up for my monthly #isupportgary newsletter. I am as passionate about empowering people to take back control of their health as I am about challenging accepted nutrition paradigms.
Until the words "Low Carb Healthy Fat principles are a safe option in the management of Type 2 diabetes" appear in the guidelines, and Gary's name is cleared, I will continue to highlight the influences, industries and people involved.
Gary's presentation at the Crossfit Games last year is well worth watching for more background on the Seventh-day Adventist Church and their influence on our health and dietary guidelines starting with the formation of the American Dietetic Association in 1917.