My Response To Nelson/Campbell “Take Down” Video

May 14, 2019 by Joel Fuhrman, MD


Dear Friends,

I have been repeatedly attacked and my reputation slandered by Jeff Nelson of VegSource.  It is clear he has been vindictive, out to damage my reputation, and does so by maligning my character and making incorrect statements about me and my medical practice. I hoped we could stick to debating the science, but now I am forced again to explain further here, so that people see there is more background and animosity fueling the anti-Fuhrman bias presented there. I thank you all for your supportive comments, in light of this attempt at character assassination.  

If you have been following my response to his critique of nuts and seeds above, and my prior discussion of this issue on this blog, it is easy to see that Jeff Nelson misinterpreted and even falsified what those studies showed.  

Lately, he rebirthed an old series of attacks that Dr. Campbell had against me for a mistake that was made in a weight loss study published in 2008, that was aired by Roberta Russell. Dr. Campbell makes some very severe statements against my integrity and character, essentially stating that nobody should ever trust anything I say. Dr. Campbell bases this harsh opinion of me on the claims I made, and the faulty data from this one 2008 study that had those errors in it.  Please note that there is nothing else he has brought up or can bring up, besides that one study, in this attempt to tarnish my reputation. 

I made incorrect claims about the findings of that study, before I knew there was a problem with the calculations.  In other words, my exaggerated claim of an average 53-pound weight loss was because that is what I believed at the time that the study showed. My sole contribution to this study was to give the researcher 100 patient charts that had weight loss listed on their problem list. She then whittled that down to 63, then 56 people, based on a criterion that they were using for the research, and I was not involved in the calculations or determinations of the results that followed.  My statements about this study were overly-enthusiastic, as that is what I really thought.  I was a busy family doctor then, and not writing research articles. The researcher who was in charge of the study has confirmed this publicly. Here is her public comment, that was later published in the journal, acknowledging that the error was hers.

Author’s Response 
“I appreciate the opportunity to respond to the above letter from Dr. Campbell. As explained in my erratum published earlier this year in the journal, the error was minor, involving accidental inclusion of one patient who did not meet eligibility criteria. I also explained that the original statistical method for calculation of mean weight loss for the two year group compared that group to the mean weight loss of the original full sample, and I offered a corrected mean weight loss at two years comparing only to the baseline weight of those who were in the 2-year follow-up group. This corrected weight loss still proved to be statistically significant and thus our conclusions from the study were unchanged. Regarding the study sample size of 63 versus 100, in the study published in this journal the original number of charts included in the chart review was 63 and the sample that met eligibility criteria was 56. Of those who were followed for 2 years and met eligibility criteria (n=18), one of the 18 had a weight gain of 3 pounds; the others all had sustained weight loss at 2 years. The reference to a sample size of 100 in one of Dr. Fuhrman’s public lectures refers to an entirely different unpublished data set. Certainly, I agree that Dr. Campbell should withdraw his name from the authorship of this study. 

With respectful regards, 
Barbara Sarter PhD, APRN, FNP-C, DiHom Associate Professor
Hahn School of Nursing and Health Sciences University of San Diego
San Diego, CA 

In other words, I enthusiastically stated what I thought was correct at that time as those statements were made before the error was discovered. The mistake I did make was forgetting that Dr. Sarter only utilized 63 of the 100 charts I had submitted many years prior. Since then, I have made no further claims about that study and have made no other inaccurate statements that I am aware of.

Still, Jeff Nelson falsely represented the real findings of that chart review study.  In other words, he is critical of me for exaggerating the benefits seen, but then he exaggerates the lack of benefit seen. Nelson claims there was only an 8% success rate because all did not keep 100% of the lost weight off, or some did not follow up. If a person loses 30 pounds and then gains back 2 or 3 of those pounds, is that person considered a failure?  I consider that a success. 

Dr. Campbell’s harsh criticism of me should be placed in the context of his anger against me way before that study was found to have an error in it.  Our fight was about a different issue – Campbell was attacking me because of my research funding requests, competing with his, which threatened payments that were being made to him. I was very hurt by Dr. Campbells accusations, which had no basis in fact.  Then after, when the error in this study became evident, Dr. Campbell’s attacks against me had something to fuel his anger, and intensified.

Here is an email letter written by John Mackey, the head of Whole Foods Market (to Dr. Campbell) regarding his insulting comments made against me – before the flaw in the aforementioned study was found.  

Dear Colin,

What is the goal that you hope to accomplish with your e-mail?  What is
your desired outcome?  What would you like to see happen?  What is the good
that you hope will possibly result?  It is very confusing to me! Please help
me understand what your good intentions are here.

You say that you mean no personal offense while you personally attack both
Deborah and Joel!  How could they possibly not be personally offended when
they are both personally criticized and put down by name and done so in a
public manner to their friends and peers?

Truth and progress advance in the world in many different ways, many of
them accidental and unexpected, and some from very unlikely sources. I don't
believe there is one best way of helping humanity advance our collective
knowledge about healthy eating.  We will need the creative contributions of
the scientists, the doctors, the business people, and the well intentioned
people such as Deborah who have whole heartedly embraced healthy eating.
All are needed to affect a revolution in our diets and lifestyles.  All are
valuable.  

We should be making common cause with each other.  We should be showing
respect and mutual tolerance toward our fellow travelers even when we
sometimes disagree with them or their methods.  We should be encouraging and
supporting each other, rather than attacking and criticizing.  If we have
personal criticisms to offer in constructive ways, then I think those
criticisms are best offered up privately, and if possible, in person.  So
many misunderstandings and bitter feelings can result from personal
criticisms via e-mail, even when they are well intentioned.  Praise publicly
and criticize privately is a good strategy for nurturing relationships,
organizations, and movements.  I would love it if that could be the ethic of
our group.  

I hope you are well Colin.  Take care.

Sincerely,

John    

There are many other physicians and scientists on the scientific review board that commented even more harshly against Dr. Campbell back then, but this one response by John Mackey articulately says enough. 

Then Dr. Campbell used his considerable influence to inhibit my research funding and blackball me from speaking at health conferences, resulting in last-minute cancelations of speaking engagements, which tarnished my reputation and livelihood.  After his petition to ACLM (American College of Lifestyle Medicine) to attempt to protest my presentation(s), they did a thorough investigation of this entire matter, including his divisive public comments before the study error was discovered; they reinstated my good standing, and permitted my participation.

I do not have the flawed 2008 study in question listed on my website, or included in my books, since the flaws came to light. I have been involved with more than a dozen other studies since then that justify and add substance to my recommendations that are listed.  That full list of studies can be reviewed here https://www.drfuhrman.com/get-started/biography . This list includes a more recent weight loss survey (with a more substantial number) that also shows a significant and impressive amount of long-term weight loss.  Of course, no one study is perfect, and my work is always presented in the context of a large body of evidence and significant clinical experience with patients, always with the purpose of making certain each individual is getting the best guidance for their condition and individual needs.  

Thank you for your understanding. It is always an honor to be advising and affecting the lives of so many.   

Joel Fuhrman 


Dr. Fuhrman was interviewed this week on the Lillian McDermott Show. During the broadcast, Dr. Fuhrman shares his perspective on the flawed 2008 research study, the conflict with T. Colin Campbell, M.D., and why he is concerned about the long-term health of those following a low-fat vegan diet. He holds nothing back. Click here to watch.

Cheri Alberts interviewed Dr. Fuhrman to address current controversies. Cheri asked the hard questions, and got the whole story, directly from Dr. Fuhrman. Click here to watch.

 

Joel Fuhrman, M.D. is a board-certified family physician, six-time New York Times bestselling author and internationally recognized expert on nutrition and natural healing, who specializes in preventing and reversing disease through nutritional methods. Dr. Fuhrman coined the term “Nutritarian” to describe his longevity-promoting, nutrient dense, plant-rich eating style.
 
For over 25 years, Dr. Fuhrman has shown that it is possible to achieve sustainable weight loss and reverse heart disease, diabetes and many other illnesses using smart nutrition. In his medical practice, and through his books and PBS television specials, he continues to bring this life-saving message to hundreds of thousands of people around the world.

 

Comments (0):

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MikeP

05/14/2019 03:30 PM

It is clear that Jeff Nelson has a personal vandetta against you and in my opinion what he is doing is slanderous. He is ignoring all the facts that you have clearly laid out in your blog posts and he deletes any comments I make in support of you under his YouTube posts. You have helped me lose 44 pounds, lower my cholesterol and helped me just overall feel better and enjoy life. Rather then applaud you for the years of dedication you have spent helping people reverse disease and live better lives, you are being attacked with slanderous lies. I ask anyone who reads this to try and comment in support of Dr. Fuhrman under one of Jeff Nelson's YouTube posts however I warn you, your post with most likely be deleted.. That type of censorship tells me Jeff Nelson is not interested in the truth, only wants to attack.

HealthyDietDoc

05/14/2019 09:27 PM

Hello Friends.  As you may know there is a person that is attempting to besmirch Dr. Fuhrman in a series of YouTube videos.  While these attack videos began years ago, in the past month they have become much worst.  The videos are dishonest, misrepresent known truths and, worst of all, the person that runs the YouTube channel deletes any comment that attempts to simply correct the falsehoods he presents.

 

I am asking for all of us that know the truth (as clearly stated above and in previous posts by Dr. Fuhrman) to go to the YouTube link I have added below and post comments that may help enlighten people so they don't get mislead.  Dr. Fuhrman doesn't worry about this petty vindictiveness nor himself, as is made clear in his blog articles.  Clearly he is concerned that people seeking the healthiest diet and lifestyle will be mislead and may suffer health consequences from incorrect information.  Personally, I am really hurt by the personal attacks on Dr. Fuhrman as well.

 

If you post, and I hope you will, you need to be very civil and not get caught up in the insanity.  This is because as I mentioned, your comment will be deleted if not carefully worded.  I believe the smartest people are on this site so just use your best judgment to post comments that have a chance of not being deleted.  Thanks to all.

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FgmbnR4bhX8&t=1s

This comment was last edited on 05/14/2019 09:27 PM

bettereveryday

05/17/2019 01:32 AM

Dr Fuhrman,

 

Just watched you on Chris Beat Cancer and I read your articles in the new journal dedicated to Plant-Based nutrition this morning.  I am going to say that I don't need you to write all of these long explanations.  I hate that you have to spend this time doing that.  Focus on your passion for healing people.  Please don't let this man bring you off focus.  I hate that history is getting dredged up.  Honestly, I hate the pettiness of this whole thing very much.

I do respect that there can be misunderstandings and imperfections, but this all becoming this ridiculous drama makes me feel sick inside.

This lifestyle can save people's lives and that is what I wake up every morning thinking about.  I genuinely want you to post a next post and have it be beyond Mr. Nelson as a topic.  I want you to do what Dr. McDougall is doing right now and he has posted so many videos after people said that he has dementia and the topic is already fading from memory.  

I didn't come here to do this again, I came because I liked how you dealt with veganism as a topic at Chris' site.  I genuinely liked it.  I am a vegan right now and had no idea what you were going to say when the topic came up because I know that you have a lot of vegan followers, but that you aren't a vegan, but you nailed it as a topic.  Kudos for how you worded it.  You may not win over the radical vegan side but you get a standing ovation from this Whole Food Plant Based follower who chose a vegan version of this walk.

Carissawnc

05/17/2019 08:43 PM

Thank you for taking the time to respond. It is so sad that our community can’t focus on what we have in common. I loved how Mr. Mackey worded that. 

Thank you for setting me on a course to improve my health, help me lose 45 pounds, reverse and prevent ailments, and live life mire fully than before. I see today there is yet another response but I don’t even have the stomach to watch it. 

Thank you!!

Sandy96150

05/17/2019 11:24 PM

What a waste of time and energy.  I hope you can and do take legal action against this out of control crazy ego maniac.   sigh.  keep fighting the good fight - we all support you and value your research, information and passion.   Thank you.   

 

 

exonay

05/18/2019 10:43 AM

So unfortunate! As a researcher (and anyone who has done research) can understand how easy it is to make a mistake. (This is why people are trying to find ways to support replicability of research and uploading of data....because we want to support each other and help a common cause!) I hadn't heard of any slander against you (maybe I've been out of the loop?)...but so many people are just out here to help people. Love John Mackey's email; it says it all. 

 

You're great and are helping to change many people's lives!

 

Good, kind people win the day eventually. Sometimes it just takes time. 

This comment was last edited on 05/18/2019 10:43 AM

dfrediani001

05/18/2019 04:10 PM

I think it is wise to post your facts as the actual truth then discredits the lies.  This guy enjoys what he is doing - fabulous! Have your fun at cabal, factionism, and doing your best to appear honest and earnest while in fact trying to ruin a successful, competent person. The numbers don't lie.....all my health markers improved dramatically on Eat to Live and I couldn't have done it without the allowed "one ounce of nuts" per day.  Lastly I am glad that Dr. Fuhrman works hard to make money because it can be hard to earn a good living in this dog-eat-dog competitive world yet we need money to have fun and have the things that we want.

Mandy Love

05/20/2019 06:49 PM

 

I wrote the nasty comment that Jeff Nelson posted a video about and I was the person whom brought up Dr. Campbell.  I want to relay a few things.  

 

No question my post on Nelson’s YouTube channel was overly hostile.  Before I posted that comment I posted 3 totally civil comments citing facts which I believe credibility refutes Nelson’s claims.  Even my polite, civil and ‘all facts, no feelings’ comments were deleted by Nelson within one minute of posting them.  So yes, I got angry and trolled him.  Shortly after he made a ‘response video’ regarding my comment I sent him a direct apology.  I told him why I had written what I wrote, apologized for my hostility but maintained by position he was being deceptive.  He ignored me and once again deleted my comment.  Jeff Nelson deletes a majority of comments people write on his channel, hence my frustration.  He’s also suing many YouTuber’s in Superior Court for comments he didn’t like so I guess I should have know better than to comment at all (and he’s crowd-sourcing his legal fees is you want to donate).  Dr. Fuhrman, nor anyone connected to him, had nothing to do with my post.  But, no matter how much I insist that Dr. Fuhrman had zero to do with my troll post I know there will always be people that believe he does.  To you people, all I can say is the moon landing was done in a Hollywood studio and the earth is flat.  

 

To Dr. Fuhrman and the millions of people he has helped (including me and my family) I am sorry if I caused any baseless and useless distractions from the important work of promoting health and living well.  

This comment was last edited on 05/20/2019 06:55 PM

simonw123

05/21/2019 07:54 AM

This has been bugging me for the last weeks.

I  have no idea what came into the head of the person who makes these agressive, vitriolic accusations,. In the past i  myself...was the target of many personal attacks, on school, in later my personal life, work. Continuous personal attacks are  tiring, stressing. They cost energy to respond. You have the feeling you need to respond. This is very understandable, at the same time in a way this can sometimes give more credibility, more energy to the attacker.. Some stuff is also at some 'energy level' if i sound a bit  strange, that is ok...cause it is a bit weird pattern indeed.

 

The energy of a rersponse can in a way fuel a reaction....give the person more energy. Cause it apparently feeds on this.

As a child i always thought, i must be doing something wrong... i have to defend myself. And i did.

As i became aware of these videos, i started to see the unbelievable drama, the use of other people and stuff from the past in order to fuel an agenda,  something that seems like a personal vendetta. Everything is drawn in. 2 or 3 years ago or 10 -15 yearsa ago...does not matter. You say as a child you once peed in the womens toilet?; well we can use that too.

 

All limits are off. We do not play nice anymore. apparently there is a fight, one side decided there is a boxing match, even worse,  one  side suddenly decides ok all limits are off.  The ends justify the means. Do whatever is necessary. A person claps his hands,  he changes the rules. This is  now a cage fight, a free fight. Complete insanity. These patterns i also witnessed with some very very dramatic people/ women , who often  were extremely good at manipulating people and me and playing games with me. Also the frequent use of  constructs like...saying: "i am not attacking you"....and then do the opposite. are truly mind boggling. The patterns of doing or saying the complete opposite of what someone says ( in the beginning of  their sentence)....it wipes people of their feet.

 

In my case i saw ...Somehow there is a pattern, its not about whats being said, it is between the lines. it is not what is said, but what is implied that really matters.When i was discussed, the idea, the effect  was to murder my character. Personal attacks. Slander. Now i start to think, what  happended to me in school and later in life too, often were people with quite often some nasty narcissistic tendencies or traits. 

A lot of stuff takes place at a subconsious or partly unconscious level.Thats what makes it even more difficult to respond too, especially  when you are  pretty rational and direct. Cause then you deal with the attacks in a rational way. But some attacks are not rational at all.It is not about what is being said.

i was always busy putting out fires here and there. Solving this, solving that. Because these accusations came all the time, i could not see the big picture. That i was dealing with people with  deep personal and mental problems...

Somehow all this stuff reminded me of this, i have no idea why;-)

Also: even for the most  healthy eating people ,vegans, non vegans, whatever... a lot of stress is extremely unhealthy. This hit me when i understood tsako tsubo cardiomypathy is what kills people with a lot of stress, and also so many little animals who are in shock after an accident, or bumped into a car or whatever.  So please  take very good care of yourself dear doctor. If i were you i might need some meditation or something alike, cause i might stress  over all this nonsense a lot.  Peace!

This comment was last edited on 05/21/2019 08:15 AM

Vegan123

05/23/2019 05:16 PM

Thanks for all you do for your patients!

shaktideva

05/24/2019 10:52 AM

Dr. FUhrman, I am glad to be able to post a postivie comment to you as I saw the stupid video which came to my inbox due to I attended one of their vegan conferences. I will unsubscribe to their newlseter. WIll never support or read anything by the doctors Nelson espouses we know who they are. Anyone connected to him has activated my bullshit detecotr. I am sorry the old doctors I once revered have anything to do with this clown of a troll and I will be boycotting their work from here on out. I am a health researcher and a journalist - not a dummy. I can see right through the vindictive attack on you and I hope this does not come from someone behind nelson whose brain may be spinning in fight or flight and not rational executive function. Thanks for your passion. Your dedication is clear noone without an agenda questions your science. When I heard Nelson attacking Gregor over 4 brazil nuts a month it felt like the rug was pulled out from under me. What a banal fight. This vendetta will have the opposite effect Nelson hoped. There is no such thing as bad publicity...

 

gemini53

05/25/2019 10:36 AM

I unsubscribed from Jeff Nelson he’s a vicious wannabe and a disgrace.

i am greatly relieved to see the DrFuhrman Dr MacDougal webinar last night.

rn,Ph.D

05/26/2019 05:28 PM

Dr. Fuhrman,

It is exceptionally rare for me to post a comment; in fact I have never done so.  However, I have followed and admired your work since the beginning and fully and completely trust your integrity and passion for helping others.  Thank you for all you have done to support healthy eating.  I am confident you will continue to advance your work and help many, many more.  

Blessings to you and your family...

 

 

RobinChrist replies:

06/04/2019 01:40 PM

Amen.  Well said.

RobinChrist

06/04/2019 01:40 PM

Dr. Fuhrman came out squeaky clean in all this and was so admirable in how he handled himself. I have no words to describe my admiration for him.  I watched the interview by Dr. McDougall and dear Dr. McDougall didn't seem to have his facts straight about Dr. Fuhrman's teachings.  Dr. Fuhrman had to keep correcting him.  I admire all the great WFPB doctors, but Dr. Fuhrman seems the most focused on the science of maximizing nutrients for optimal health (besides Dr. Greger).

 

I often think, "Sure, the blue zones were starch based, but their good health was because they ate PLANT BASED FOOD with minimal if any meat, not because of the starch per se.  Starch, being plentiful, cheap and filling just happened to be prominent on their plates.  They didn't "choose" it over other veggies because it was more nutrient dense.  In fact they might have lived even "longer" if they'd eaten more greens, fruits, legumes.....nutritarian.  In other words, they didn't have or weren't following the science that is now available that doctors like Fuhrman and Greger are promoting. 

 

But, the thing is WFPB is what's most important...whichever version is followed is secondary.

 

I nominate Dr. Joel Fuhrman for sainthood.  There's no human on the earth I admire more.  His wisdom and love for people, the animals and the planet comes through loud and strong.  He is doing all he can to help the planet.  I must pray everyday that people will listen to his message.  His newest book, Fast Food Genocide could save the planet.  What a noble and wise man.

This comment was last edited on 06/04/2019 01:42 PM

whiteraven

06/14/2019 11:06 PM

I was so glad to read this. I own a lot of your books and on kobo and kindle so when, on kindle, I click on a reference point I can see they are well referenced. Thank you because you have helped me so much. You are a warrior for the planet. I thankGod for you,