Sunday, August 8, 2010

Dr. Campbell Warns Vegetarians About the Dangers of Plant Fat

by Chris Masterjohn

Interestingly enough, a top-ranking Google Video in a search for "China Study," posted five years ago, shows Dr. T. Colin Campbell, author of The China Study, warning vegetarians about the dangers of plant fat. 

Here's the lower-ranking YouTube version, since I'm having trouble embedding the Google version:

There are two interesting parts within the above video. The first occurs 19 minutes and 18 seconds into it. At that point, Dr. Campbell acknowledges that he could have approached the China Study in numerous ways and looked for other dietary patterns besides "plant versus animal," but nevertheless went on to look for associations between animal foods and disease.

What about other nutrients other than animal protein? Are there dietary patterns here? Getting away from this thing about single nutrients and get on into a broader view of the field, if you will, maybe animal-based foods versus plant-based foods – that’s one way to divide it up. I mean, I should suggest for your thinking there’s another way too, and that’s talking about whole, natural foods, if you will, as opposed to breaking the foods up and making, you know, things like sugar and fat all by itself. But, so, this is one way – just animal versus plant-based foods.
He then goes on to state that he went on to conduct the China Study with deep concerns about the role of animal protein in causing disease.
Then 29 minutes into the video, Dr. Campbell warns this group of vegetarians about the dangers of consuming plant fats:
We made a mistake 20 or 30 years ago in focusing on fat. It wasn’t animal fat. In fact we have evidence now to suggest that maybe the polyunsaturated fats of plants are more problematic in causing tumor growth than the animal fats. But – big but – this only occurs when total fat intake is high. So it raises questions about high-fat diets, quite frankly. So it’s animal-based foods, not fat.
As Denise Minger recently brought to light, Dr. Campbell's animal experiments showed that any complete protein, regardless of whether it came from animal or plant sources, promoted cancer equally well under the experimental conditions he used. 

So by "animal-based foods," Dr. Campbell apparently means any complete protein, wether it is from animal or plant foods, and polyunsaturated plant fat. He may have had a point when he stated ten minutes earlier in the video that he could have looked for other dietary patterns besides animal versus plant food.

Read more about the author, Chris Masterjohn, PhD, here.


  1. By his appearance, Campbell certainly is a vegetarian. Hardly an advertisement for the health benefits of a vegetarian diet.

  2. @Franklin

    Dude, he's about 86YO. I don't agree with his opinions, but a little wear and tear is to be expected.

  3. I believe he's probably 68 in this video, not 86. I don't think you can draw any conclusions about the effect of his diet from the way he looks or speaks because we have not seen an alternative version of him, with the same genes, non-dietary environmental exposures, and experiences on a different diet, and indeed it would be impossible to find such an alternative version of him. Thus, we are left to broader observations and to scientific experimentation to pursue the truth.


  4. I'm sorry but I can't bring myself to listen to this dolt. I admire you for being fair and open-minded enough to post it though.

    I kind of feel sorry for the guy letting his biases take control of him the way they did, obscuring all objectivity and clarity of thought, and, at least to those of us who didn't buy into his message, he now looks like a total incompetent and fool (and he is IMO). But I could still respect him if he'd just admit his error (huge though it was considering the influence he's wielded on innocent impressionable people) and try to undo the harm he's caused. Think he can "man-up" or he is going to be one of those who must die before the world can be free of his obfuscation and misdirection?


  5. Hi Cynthia,

    I mainly posted the video for its irony. He is, in fairness, acknowledging the role of plant fat in promoting cancer, but concludes from this that the problem is animal-based foods.



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