If a plant-based diet really reverses heart disease and helps avoid cancer why aren’t we hearing more about it in the public conversation? Keegan’s talk will present the hidden links between government, big food companies, pharmaceutical companies, and non-profit organizations focused on community health advice. An investigative look into how they are connected through legislation, budget, and the spread of disinformation. This is what happens when health care becomes a business where the players are influenced by making a profit or expanding their budget rather than robust community health.
Video from the Inspirational Speaker Series at VegFest Oahu on September 24, 2017 featuring Keegan Kuhn, co-director of documentary films Cowspiracy and What the Health. He is the owner of First Spark Media, a digital film production company tailored to creating films for social justice. Kuhn’s skills as a director, producer, cinematographer, editor, animator and composer have been utilized in film subjects as diverse as modern Alaskan homesteading, gender inequality, animal rescues, Buddhism, endurance sports and environmental destruction. He is motivated by a deep desire to shed light on untold stories of the most downtrodden in our society, and to raise awareness through greater visibility of social justice issues.
TOPICS COVERED IN TALK:
Timecode 1:45 Heart Disease statistics, causes, and how to prevent it.
Timecode 5:20 Cancer statistics, causes and how to prevent it.
Timecode 7:55 World Health Organization classified processed meat as a Group 1 carcinogen and red meat as a Group 2 carcinogen.
Timecode 8:21 Diabetes statistics, causes, and how to prevent it.
Timecode 10:30 Shows the websites of major health organizations like American Heart Association, American Diabetes Association, etc. and how they have recipes with meat and dairy, even processed meat like bacon.
Timecode 11:45 Reveals the financial sponsors for major leading health organizations American Heart Association, Cancer Society, and American Diabetes Association. Major conflict of interest from their funders coming from the meat and dairy industry.
Timecode 13:50 Discusses the negative press that came out after the film “What the Health” was released, including the publicized study about saturated fat not being associated with disease (“butter is good for you”). Study was funded by the National Dairy Council. Discussion of impact of the funding sources upon scientific studies and the parallel between what the global dairy industry did and what the tobacco industry did. They got together to fund studies by medical professionals that concluded a lesser impact of dairy fat and eggs on health.
Timecode 18:18 Discusses how the large meat and dairy producers don’t just fund scientific studies, they also spend millions of dollars lobbying the government to influence the USDA guidelines. Government recommendations are influenced by this lobby activity, including the Surgeon General warnings, and more. The meat and dairy industry is so powerful they can actually create law. Example of the “Cheeseburger Law” which says that people cannot sue food producers for getting diseases from eating their food because people should know better.
Timecode 25:03 Discusses the influence of the pharmaceutical industry on public health messages and doctor’s prescriptions. Pharmaceutical companies give millions of dollars to the large health organizations. They also spend more money on lobbying the government than any other industry in the United States.
Timecode 27:44 Discusses the prevalent protein myth that people believe that contributes to the problem of disinformation.
Timecode 29:43 Examines the human body to compare omnivores and herbivores.