By Marika Sboros
Are Big Food and Big Pharma really killing people for profit globally? Yes, say some medical doctors in the UK and Europe. They are joining forces on a panel discussion at the European Parliament in Brussels on April 12
They say that they will “blow the cover” on the dark world of Big Food and Big Pharma lobbying to influence dietary and medical guidelines.
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One focus will be on collusion between politicians, respected medical institutions, “charities” and medical journals. Crucially too, speakers will present new evidence of coercion of doctors by food and drug industries into prescribing unnecessary, potentially harmful treatments.
‘Hijack’ of evidence-based medicine
And they will show that major conflicts of interest at the highest levels have “hijacked evidence-based medicine”. The result, they say, has been an “epidemic of misinformation”.
Heading the panel is British consultant cardiologist Dr Aseem Malhotra. With him are Dr Richard Thompson, personal physician to Britain’s Queen Elizabeth from 1984 to 2005 and past president of the Royal College of Physicians; endocrinologist Dr Carl Heneghan, Oxford University professor of evidence-based medicine; and Dutch diabetes professor at Leiden University Dr Hanno Pijl.
The panel is a global reaction to medical and dietetic establishments with close links to Big Food and Big Pharma who dish up what many consider “dangerous dogma”.
Malhotra, the bête noir of both Big Food and Big Pharma, is a vocal campaigner for reduction of sugar consumption and the harms of “too much medicine”.
In 2015, Malhotra became the youngest member appointed to the board of trustees of the health think tank, The King’s Fund. And in 2016, Debrett’s named him one of the most influential people in science in medicine in the UK.
He is also a growing multi-media influencer and co-author with Donal O’Neill (of Cereal Killers fame) of the The Pioppi Diet. Their documentary film, The Big Fat Fix, premiered in the British parliament.
Doctors and journals internationally have endorsed the book. Thomson has called it “revolutionary” and said that everyone should read it. Above all, the British Journal of General Practice calls it as “not just a diet book; it’s a healthcare manifesto”.
Meanwhile, in an establishment pushback in December 2017, the British Dietetic Association (BDA) named The Pioppi Diet a “celebrity” fad diet to avoid in 2018. (I have asked BDA for scientific references for that opinion. So far, I have received no reply)
In Brussels, Malhotra will argue that for years, public health advice across Europe has got it “dangerously wrong”. With global health systems forecast to collapse in the next few years, two things drive ever-increasing demand, he says.
Firstly, the escalating burden of chronic disease that entirely preventable lifestyle illnesses causes. Secondly, over-treatment, which has led to millions taking drugs and undergoing surgeries that will provide “zero benefit” while costing national economies billions.
The panel will also focus on the unacceptably high cost of diabetes treatment in the UK. Diabetes medication alone currently costs the NHS over a billion pounds per year. Treatment costs over 14 billion pounds – in other words, a whopping £25,000 per minute. Click here to watch the event streamed live on Facebook
Statins under the spotlight again
Statins (cholesterol-lowering drugs) will come under the spotlight at the Brussels event. Thomson has called for an independent inquiry into the blockbuster drugs after research found existing trial data was flawed.
However, conventional dietary guidelines and statin use are both based on the diet-heart hypothesis that saturated fat causes heart disease. That hypothesis is currently unproven and therefore, unscientific, say some specialists.
But the Brussels panel members won’t just be talking about problems. They will also offer solutions. That includes a call for UK diabetics (type 1 and 2) to ignore current low-fat diet government guidelines. In its place, they will show the benefit for diabetics of following guidelines backed by robust scientific evidence.
They will show that this would reduce dependency on diabetes drugs and insulin by over 50%. This would, therefore, save the NHS hundreds of millions of pounds annually. In effect, the panellists will call for a complete dietary guidelines overhaul to remove Big Food and Big Pharma influence.
Click here to read: Sugar conspiracy a sour figment of the mind?
Thus, they intend to show how this would reverse obesity, type 2 diabetes and heart disease and save European Governments billions annually.
That follows an open letter that Nathan Gill MEP (Member of the European Parliament) for Wales to British Prime Minister Theresa May in March. In it, Gill calls for an urgent overhaul of current dietary guidelines that promote low-fat foods and advise starchy carbohydrates.
A type 1 diabetic, Gill also describes how he has reduced his insulin requirements by 50% after reading The Pioppi Diet and cutting sugar and starchy carbohydrates from his diet. He urges May, who is also a type 1 diabetic, to do the same.
Drugs and deaths
As well, the panellists will call for an urgent Europe-wide campaign to reduce the amounts of medications people are taking. And they will suggest a Chilcott-style inquiry into biased information from Big Pharma on medicines.
In the UK, surveys show that more than half of all adults take at least one prescription medication. Fifty percent over 70 are on at least three. Estimates also are that prescribed medication is the third most common cause of death after heart disease and cancer.
Organisers say that interest in the Brussels event is high and pre-registration is essential. Members of the media can register with firstname.lastname@example.org. The panellists will hold a press conference afterwards and be available for interviews.
And for those who can’t get there, Sweden’s “diet doctor”, Dr Andreas Eenfeldt, will live-stream the event on his Facebook page. Click here to see it: https://en-gb.facebook.com/TheDietDoctor/