Why I’ve Come To Distrust Meta-Analyses, Especially Those Funded By Dairy/Egg/Meat Industries

I happened upon this little video on Twitter. It’s why I’ve come to distrust meta-analyses. It’s not just about cherry-picking studies to prove your point, although that’s part of it. It’s about publication bias and statistical analysis bias and design bias. There are so many ways that food industries are employing “science” to promote their products. They don’t have to find their products safe; all they have to do is instill doubt:

Doubt is their product.

Here’s an example of a meta-analysis that is suspect:

A giveaway that this is more advertisement than “science” … You can’t conclude from a study that a way of eating is “wrong.” You can only say that this study did not support that way of eating. Value judgements such as good vs. bad, and right vs. wrong are said purposely to manipulate:

Ian Givens, a professor of food chain nutrition at Reading University, who was one of the researchers, said: “There’s quite a widespread but mistaken belief among the public that dairy products in general can be bad for you, but that’s a misconception. While it is a widely held belief, our research shows that that’s wrong.

This Guardian article is strewn with manipulations. Givens (not just an expert but one of the study’s researchers) says that “drinking too little milk” leads to osteoporosis and brittle bones. It doesn’t, e.g. Milk Intake And Risk Of Mortality And Fractures In Women And Men: Cohort Studies, BMJ, 2014: “Conclusions High milk intake was associated with higher mortality in one cohort of women and in another cohort of men, and with higher fracture incidence in women.”

And this … what a scare tactic!

Pregnant women who drank too little milk could be increasing the risk of their child having neuro-developmental difficulties, which could affect their cognitive abilities and stunt their growth, Givens added.

It’s a disgrace how food industries have co-opted science for their own greedy goals.

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