Leaked memo highlights new axis of pseudoscience between Dr. Oz and Consumer Reports?

|
Screen Shot 2014-10-08 at 9.22.56 AM

For those concerned about Consumer Reports steady slide into promoting pseudoscience, a visit to CR headquarters by celebrity doctor Mehmet Oz should be cause for alarm.

The Genetic Literacy Project has obtained a Consumer Reports in house memo announcing a visit in May 2014 to CR headquarters for an “off the record” event. A number of CR staffers have appeared on the Dr. Oz show, including Michael Hansen, who has faced intense criticism for spreading misinformation about crop biotechnology, and the visit seems designed to cement that relationship. Time was scheduled for Dr. Oz to learn more about CR’s testing and take part in a discussion with staff facilitated by Urvashi Rangan, Consumers Union senior staffer who has worked closely in the past with Oz’s team on various issues.

Screen Shot 2014-10-08 at 3.16.33 AM
(Click to view full size.)

The memo was passed on to us by a former senior editor who parted ways with CR after getting “fed up with the woo”. ‘Woo’ refers to pseudoscience, magical thinking, or quackery.

Dr. Oz was recently dressed down during a Senate hearing for his promotion of bogus diet products. Oz was held up as the power driving many of the fraudulent ads, even as he argued he was himself the victim of the scammers.

“I don’t get why you need to say this stuff because you know it’s not true,” Missouri Sen. Claire McCaskill, a Democrat who chairs a Senate subcommittee on consumer protection, said at the hearing. “So why, when you have this amazing megaphone…why would you cheapen your show by saying things like that?” Oz plays a role in perpetuating scams, McCaskill said.

The GLP has reported on recent examples of Consumer Reports getting the science wrong on GMOs. Many subscriptions were cancelled in August as they advised readers to avoid soy milk unless it was certified organic or GMO-free:

The most egregious CR scandal is its bonehead dissing of GMO soy milk. Upwards of 94 percent of the US soy crop is GMO so it’s no surprise that your favorite edamame or your morning glass of soy is made from soy beans designed to be grown with fewer insecticides (Bt soy) and less toxic herbicides. (herbicide resistant soy). In its “Cons” section, CR encourages consumers to “Look for brands with the USDA organic seal or the non-GMO verified label.”CR soy milk GMO

But why? It never explains, and based on CR’s stated intention to rely on evidence to form its judgments, it’s violating its own guidance. After all, there is not one published study that suggests that GM soy products are any less nutritious than alternatives; nor are they, or any approved GMO food, harmful in any way. In fact, it’s well established that organic products, including soy milk, are more likely to have a higher risk of pathogen contamination. The fact that anti-GMO activists have scared people into seeking alternatives to GMO products should not be enough to classify GMO soy in a negative light–if Consumer Reports stood behind science rather than endorsing the latest misguided trend.

This is not the first time that activists have brandished their anti-science club to squash empirical based thinking on the issue of soy milk. In 2009, Dean Foods, owner of the Silk Soymilk brand, faced a barrage of criticism from food activists when it switched from organic to conventional soybeans, calling it their “natural” line—which was correct. The move was actually done for the best of reasons. Most certified organic soybeans are sourced from countries with low or non-existent labor standards; the switch to conventional soy means that workers would not be exploited to satisfy Silk Soymilk customers.

More recently, they mangled the science when reporting on GMO corn found in corn chips labeled “No GMOs”:

The mislabeling alert is of value to those consumers who are more concerned that they are eating chips made from GE corn than they are worried about eating junk food. But CR does nothing to dampen that hysteria surrounding GMOs and in fact goes off the science rails by frightening consumers about GMO safety:

There haven’t been sufficient studies done to determine whether there are long term health risks for people consuming GMO foods. But some animal studies suggest that eating genetically engineered crops such as corn may have effects on the immune system, kidneys and liver. More research is needed.

This is just wrong. There have been plenty of long term term studies on the health effects of GE crops. As GLP’s Jon Entine noted in his recent talk to the National Academy of Sciences, aupdated review published last December of 33 studies—17 long-term and 16 multigenerational (from two to five generations)—by a team of scientists including Chelsea Snell and Agnès Ricroch found, “Results…do not suggest any health hazards…and there were no statistically significant differences within parameters observed. …The studies reviewed present evidence to show that GM plants are nutritionally equivalent to their non-GM counterparts and can be safely used in food and feed,” the researchers added.

The animal studies that CR references which supposedly hint at health concerns have all been discredited for poor design and not one has seen its data replicated–a basic hallmark of good science. There really isn’t an scientific basis to believe that food made from GE crops would pose any unusual health issue. There simply isn’t a biological hypothesis to test as to how GE crops might cause harm or pose more risks than conventional crops.

We’ve had to expose Dr. Oz’s pseudoscience as well. As GLP’s Jon Entine reported in Forbes two years ago, in “Malpractice On Dr. Oz: Pop Health Expert Hosts Anti-GM Food Rant; Scientists Push Back”, the Harvard-trained physician has consistently been one of the most aggressive promoters of anti-GMO hysteria, with nearly a dozen shows featuring a Who’s Who of fringe activists, including Mike Adams, the quack publisher of NaturalNews, considered one of the leading ant-science websites in the world–an appearance that Discover blogger Keith Kloor characterized as a new low, even for Dr. Oz.

His misrepresentations on the risks posed by the herbicide 2,4-D, addressed in a recent program, further, eroded Oz’s credibility. However, those were small potatoes compared to the whoppers reported on by Kavin Senapathy in a GLP feature:

With dramatic music in the background, Dr. Oz gave an over-simplified explanation of GMOs as being created only for pesticide-resistant traits. He lamented that because of superweeds evolving to resist regular glyphosate (the pesticide commonly known as Roundup), new pesticides are required. The question at hand in the episode was whether the EPA should approve the pesticide Enlist Duo.

The first guest was the founder of Moms Across America, Zen Honeycutt. With a very dire expression she stated, “not only are GMO foods sprayed with pesticides, but non-GMO foods are as well.” She continued by implying that organic foods are pesticide-free saying, “we went not only GMO free but organic, to avoid pesticides.” This is patently false; organic farmers do, in fact, use pesticides on their crops.

Ms. Honeycutt proceeded with an obviously embellished if not totally fabricated story. She claimed that her son had been experiencing autism symptoms. Because her doctor saw no reason to test him for glyphosate levels, Honeycutt used a private lab which detected glyphosate levels “8 times higher than found anywhere in Europe urine testing.” Unfeasibly, she claimed that within six weeks of going “completely GMO-free and organic, his autism symptoms were gone and the level of glyphosate was no longer detectable.”

Make no mistakes – this is utter hogwash. There is no known cure for autism. If it were as simple as avoiding GMOs and pesticides, the affected foods would have been recalled. Furthermore, dietary treatment of autism has no basis in scientific evidence. If and when recommended, dietary approaches are based on adjustment of vitamin and mineral levels, or on avoiding allergens. Elimination of GMO foods is not a recommended dietary approach.

It’s not just on the topic of GMOs and pesticides that Oz has gone of the rails. In a profile from last year, The New Yorker asked the question, “Is the most trusted doctor in America doing more harm than good?”. Science writer Michael Specter described the crux of the Dr. Oz money-making operation:

Most days, Oz mines what he refers to as his go-to subjects: obesity and cancer. But both the show and his Web site concentrate on the type of weight-loss plans more commonly found on infomercials in the middle of the night: “Dr. Oz’s Three-Day Detox”; “Eat Yourself Skinny”; “Oz-Approved Seven-Day Crash Diet”; “Stairway to Skinny Workout.” Cancer, Oz told me, “is our Angelina Jolie. We could sell that show every day.” Typical themes have included “Five Fast-Moving Cancers”; “Four Body Pains That Could Mean Cancer”; “Three Cancer-Preventing Secrets”; and “What You Can Eat to Defeat Cancer.” Last year, in a show about weight loss, Oz introduced raspberry ketones, an herbal supplement, as “the No. 1 miracle in a bottle to burn your fat.” That set off a wave of panic buying throughout the nation. The supplement quickly vanished from the shelves of health-food stores. Oz told his audience that the product regulates the hormone adiponectin, which could help teach the body to be thin. But the only relevant research he cited had been conducted on laboratory rats and cell cultures—not on humans.

A similar buying frenzy followed his embrace, a few months ago, of “the miracle” of green coffee beans. “You may think that magic is make-believe,” Oz said at the beginning of the show. “But this little bean has scientists saying they have found a magic weight-loss cure for every body type. It’s green coffee beans, and, when turned into a supplement—this miracle pill can burn fat fast. This is very exciting. And it’s breaking news.”

None of those assertions turn out to be accurate.

The fact that Consumer Reports is hitching it’s wagon to operators like Dr. Oz should be a serious cause for concern. It certainly diminishes the venerable reputation as a evidence based, straight down the middle consumer watchdog that they have built over the decades.

Marc Brazeau is a writer and editor for the Genetic Literacy Project. Follow Marc on Twitter @realfoodorg

Additional resources:

  • Schratboy

    GMO=pseudoscience

    • Verna Lang

      Please publish the citations to the peer reviewed, reproducible studies that you used for that judgement. The following organizations, that recognize GMOs as safe, will be waiting patiently to be proven wrong:
      The American Medical Association
      The American Assn for the Advancement of Science
      The World Health Organization
      The National Academy of Sciences
      The Royal Society of Medicine (UK)
      The European Commission
      The American Council on Science and Health
      The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics
      The American Society for Cell Biology
      The American Society for Microbiology
      The American Society of Plant Sciences
      The International Seed Foundation
      The International Society of African Scientists
      The Federation of Animal Science Societies
      The Society of Toxicology
      The French Academy of Science
      The Union of German Academies
      The Royal Society of London
      The US National Academy of Sciences
      The Brazilian Academy of Sciences
      The Chinese Academy of Sciences
      The Indian National Science Academy
      The Mexican Academy of Science
      Fourteen Science Academies of Italy
      The Third World Academy of Sciences

      • Loren Eaton

        Is that all you got, Verna!! You call that a consensus;-) Where is the American Academy of Environmental Medicine?

        • Verna Lang

          Sorry. (Hangs head in shame) Obviously not a complete list. It’s so hard to keep track of so many.

        • cken

          Question. How is AAEM different from what used to be called holistic medicine. I realize that was back in the day when you actually paid your doctor and they talked to you unlike today’s cattle chute medicine

      • Larkin Curtis Hannah

        You can also add the 5000 member strong American Society of Plant Biologists.

      • glen1753

        And The Royal Society of Canada.

      • cken

        GMO’s are safe; they have just lost flavor and texture and in some cases some nutritional value.

        • Verna Lang

          Since most of our GMO crops are used in animal feed, made into cooking oil or sugar, and

    • Larkin Curtis Hannah

      What is your reaction to all of the legitimate and highly recognized scientific societies that support GMOs?

    • I show the real pseudo-science. In the scientific literature and in media the salt has political, and astonishing amount pseudo-science but the pure scientific science of salt we can find only in traces. It’s time to understand (and to teach and to use) some very important but forgotten, ignored and censored knowledges (some fundamental scientific laws and facts) and the consequences:
      1. “Anything that can go wrong not only will go wrong, it must go wrong, as decreed by the Second Law of Thermodynamics. … The profound nature of the Second Law manifests itself in every aspect of human existence. … Entropy permeates all aspects of human existence. … Every biochemical function requires a decrease in entropy, which can only be achieved by the infusion of energy into a life-sustaining system. … Wherever we look, whatever we do, we must be acutely aware of the immutable laws of thermodynamics, especially the easily overlooked Second Law: Entropy.”
      http://www.rationality.net/entropy.htm
      2. The spontaneous diffusion of sodium ions into the cells and the diffusion of potassium ions out of the cells, continuously enhances the entropy (the disorder).
      3. The task of the continuously working sodium-potassium pump to keep constant the intracellular concentration of Na and K ions. These cellular pumps continuously use energy of ATP molecules.
      4. Excess sodium intake = excess diffusion = excess increase of entropy = excess work for pumps = excess energy expenditure against excess entropy => excess food consumption.
      5. But, all the rest of our vital processes (functional processes of the cells) receive less energy – because our capacity (to make energy from foods) is limited (see Kleiber’s Law).
      6. Everything work worse in our body, and this increases the incidence of all illnesses without any exception, our aging and devolution accelerate, etc.
      7. That is why salt (including other Na-compounds) is perfect food of entropy, and as I wrote on science20, this all is the Sodium-Induced Disorder Syndrome.
      http://www.science20.com/entropy_and_sodium_intakes_wicked_problems_health_sciences-120016
      The entropy is our number one public enemy on every level (physical and mental health, and social level) globally. The evolution of life on Earth, our history and our entire individual life is a continuous war against entropy. But we, humans started our devolution = the entropy is growing in human genome. Even we nourish the entropy in our every cells, but the health scientists do not talk and do not write about this. And this is really a fatal error. It’s time to change that!

      • The world’s IQ and the global health decline because we started and we speed our devolution. The real and ignored (but not political and not pseudo) science of salt: 10th edition of RDA (1989) 500 mg sodium per day (~ 1,23 g salt). This was the best recommendation ever! And now is: Die Ohnmacht der Allmächtigen. The humanity will die out within 250 years. The fats and the sugars are foods, and are sources of our energy. But entropy & sodium intakes = five decades global censorship, corruption, pseudoscience and lack of science. Excess salt (sodium) intake enhances the Entropy, this is the main risk factor of diabetes 1 & 2, overweight, NCDs, etc., and our devolution is a considerable risk factor (or more exactly a considerable fact) too. The law of entropy is the fiercest enemy of life and is our fiercest enemy too. The sodium-chloride isn’t food for humans, but is the perfect food of entropy. The spontaneous diffusion of sodium ions into the cells & the diffusion of potassium ions out of the cells, enhances the entropy. And every mmol excess sodium & the wrong Na/K ratio (& other wrong ratios) increases more the entropy in our every cells. The task of the continuously working Na-K pump to keep constant the intracellular concentration of Na & K ions. These cellular pumps continuously use energy of ATP molecules. Some consequences of high sodium intake, the specialists talk about these rarely or NEVER: Higher energy requirements (energy expenditure) for Na-K pump & kidney. All the rest of our vital processes (functional processes of the cells) receive less energy, because the metabolic rate (speed & capacity of enzyme reactions, oxygen supply, etc.) is limited (note: Kleiber’s Law). And the excess sodium intake do not increase the oxidative pathway. But, a critical surplus switches the anaerobic glycolysis on, in our every cells. This can be named: Sodium-Induced Cellular Anaerobic Glycolysis (SICAG). We produce cytotoxic lactic acid in our cells. Consequently, all of our vital processes & organs work worse (our heart, brain, regulating systems, immune system, etc.) and our cells are dying. We haven’t enough energy, and we haven’t enough time for the regeneration, because we enhances the entropy (by high salt intakes) in our every cells, day by day, again and again. We burn the candle on both of his ends (aerobic & anaerobic). The average lifetime of our cells shortens. Soon (faster) the telomeres run out. Our aging accelerates. We get sick often and we will die soon. Logical consequence: the unnecessary sodium increases the incidence of all illnesses without any exception, including even the genetic disorders, cancer, NCDs & infectious diseases. This is the ignored & censored (& no named) Sodium-Induced Disorder Syndrome (SIDS). Some people will be obese others not, some become diabetes others not, some have high BP others not (or later), etc. We are not (totally) uniform, but the entropy law finds our weak point (or points), and ravages mainly there, but increases the disorder in every cells in our body, and other risk factors and circumstances affect the individual consequences. The optimal ratios (Na/K ratio, the ratio between sum of alkaline metals and sum of polyvalent metals, etc.) are in the human milk. From every viewpoint, the human milk is an evolutionary perfect food, including the minimal energy expenditure of the Na-K pump & kidney of the babies = possible minimum „entropy-transfer” into the babies = healthy growing with maximal economy. Thus, the human milk is the perfect guide to calculate the optimal adult intakes. But the scientists do not deal with these facts. The entropy is nourished in us with the salt, but they do not talk and they do not write about this. They are treating only the symptoms of the Sodium-Induced Disorder Syndrome. The evidence based and science based medicine and really preventive medicine does not exists. The sodium recommendation is wrong, the education is wrong, the strategy against obesity & NCDs, etc. is wrong. Unfortunate, that these exist only in traces, in the scientific literature. And in some articles, even the traces are concealed and censored. I collected the most important evidences (the traces & lack of the traces) of the above ones. Some of the references:
        Saulo Klahr & Neal S. Bricker: Energetics of Anaerobic Sodium Transport by the Fresh Water Turtle Bladder. J Gen Physiol. 1965 March 1; 48(4): 571-580
        http://europepmc.org/articles/PMC2195440/pdf/571.pdf
        From the article: “The rate of anaerobic glycolysis, as determined by lactate formation, correlates well with the rate as determined by glycogen utilization. Using lactate formation as the index of anaerobic glycolysis, a linear relationship was observed between glycolysis and net anaerobic sodium transport.”
        Oops, sodium transport, anaerobic glycolysis and lactic acid, in 1965!
        Henningsen N.C.: The sodium pump and energy regulation: some new aspects for essential hypertension, diabetes II and severe overweight. Klinische Wochenschrift 63 Suppl 3:4-8. 1985.
        http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/2582182
        Abstract: “There is a growing evidence for that in modern societies the function of the cellular sodium-potassium pump (membrane-bound Na+ K+ ATPase) in several tissues in man cannot respond adequately to demands. This is not seen in any other free-living vertebrates on this earth. The clearly unphysiological very high intake of sodium-chloride (salt) and also alcohol is definitely playing an important role in the development of the common degenerating metabolic aberrations, e.g. essential hypertension, diabetes II and severe overweight, in man. The special and overall important role of the sodium-potassium pump for optimal cellular function and regeneration with special reference to the vascular tissues is presented and discussed.”
        Oops, the capacity of floor gas sodium-potassium pump (anaerobic turbo pump) is not enough, our cells are dying and we get sick. And this was clear in 1985!
        Markus Kleinewietfeld et al.: Sodium chloride drives autoimmune disease by the induction of pathogenic TH17 cells. Nature 2013 doi:10.1038/nature11868
        http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/vaop/ncurrent/full/nature11868.html
        From the article: “Although we have recently elucidated many of the genetic variants underlying the risk of developing autoimmune diseases 1, the significant increase in disease incidence, particularly of multiple sclerosis and type 1 diabetes, indicates that there have been fundamental changes in the environment that cannot be related to genetic factors. Diet has long been postulated as a potential environmental risk factor for this increasing incidence of autoimmune diseases in developed countries over recent decades 3. One such dietary factor, which rapidly changed along with the Western diet and increased consumption of processed foods or fast foods, is salt (NaCl) 4, 5. The salt content in processed foods can be more than 100 times higher in comparison to similar home-made meals 5, 6.”
        There are no really healthy populations in modern societies. The health conditions are deteriorating continuously. The world’s IQ decline. We started our devolution really. The entropy (the disharmony) is growing in the human genome. And all this – will accelerate. And we are the only “animal” who nourishes the entropy in his own body (by unnecessary sodium intakes and by wrong ratios between metals). Really the salt is the greatest blunder of the Homo Sapiens. And the science of salt is the number one perfect example onto the blunders, mistakes and irresponsibilities of the modern health sciences.
        More evidences & references are here & in comments below:
        http://www.science20.com/entropy_and_sodium_intakes_wicked_problems_health_sciences-120016
        & here: http://padre.uw.hu/ekvis/graudal.htm
        & here: http://padre.uw.hu/ekvis/entropyobesity.htm

        • The salt isn’t only a health problem. Toshimasa Osaka, Akiko Kobayashi, and Shuji Inoue: Thermogenesis induced by osmotic stimulation of the intestines in the rat. J Physiol. 2001 April 1; 532(Pt 1): 261–269.
          http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2278526/
          Some details from the article: “The energy expenditure induced by 20 % glucose was 2.79 +/- 0.45 kJ kg-0.75 for 3 h (Fig. 4). The RER (respiratory exchange ratio) increased from 0.82 +/- 0.01 to 0.92 +/- 0.01 at 115 min (Fig. 1B), suggesting the oxidation of carbohydrate … The metabolic rate rose during the 10 min infusion period of 3.6 % NaCl, stayed at a plateau level of ~ 205 J kg-0.75 min-1 between 35 and 120 min and then slowly declined but was still significantly higher than the baseline level at 3 h. The energy expenditure induced by 3.6 % NaCl was 3.49 +/- 0.33 kJ kg-0.75, … The RER did not change after infusion of any of the NaCl solutions (Fig. 2B). … The metabolic rate (M; in kJ) was calculated from measurements of O2 consumption and CO2 production according to the following equation: M = 15.8[O2]+ 5.2[CO2] (Kurpad et al. 1994), where [O2] and [CO2] are in litres at standard temperature and pressure. Values were corrected for metabolic body size (kg 0.75). The amount of energy expenditure induced by infusion of a solution was calculated as the total area of increase in metabolic rate over resting values.”
          These results proves clearly, the excess salt intake (the higher energy expenditure of the Na-K pump and kidney, against entropy) do not increase the oxidative pathway, in rats. I notice it: the decrease would be logical? Yes, it is a logical consequence of the Sodium-Induced Disorder. And I think, the decrease is fact! But a critical surplus switches the anaerobic glycolysis on, and produces lactic acid in every cells. We can calculate that this anaerobic energy (ATP) production consumed more glucose (from the glycogen reserve) than the total resting metabolism of the rats, on the oxidative pathway. Despite, that this anaerobic excess isn’t more than (about) 10-15 % of the total resting metabolism of the rats. And after the infusion of the highest dose of salt, 3 hours was not enough to return to the baseline level (to the level of resting metabolism). This is a real Sodium-Induced Cellular Anaerobic Thermogenesis (SICAT) or SICAG. From the effects of 0,9 % and 1,8 % NaCl infusion, I can suppose, anaerobic glycolysis begin in an average 70 kg adult from ~ 6-7 g (or less than 6 g?) dose of salt. I would dare to bet, that this was examined in similar (but oral) human experiments already, but where are the results? The oxygen consumptions (which are better than the RER) were not published in the article. Why? And what is the situation with the anaerobic energy production? How did they calculate it? Interesting questions, but Mr. Osaka did not answer my e-mail. The censorship’s fingerprints are clearly recognisable in the article. However this is a very valuable and very important work. Despite that nothing about entropy, energy expenditure of (floor gas – anaerobic turbo) sodium-potassium pump, anaerobic glycolysis and lactic acid in the article. Possible consequence of the wrong education – maybe – only a few people able to understand this. But nobody uses this knowledge! (Except the big food and big pharma industry – for extra-profit.) Furthermore, from the above results roughly calculable: the salted humanity squanders the energy of at least 100 million tons of food annually, to get rid of the sodium swallowed unnecessarily. And this = a lot of excess carbon dioxide emission. And excess incidence of illnesses = excess production and consumption of pharmaceuticals = excess emission of pollutants (including greenhouse gases) = excess ecological footprint. We overeat (devour), we get fat, we get sick often, and we die sooner, while millions are starving on Earth.
          The blind watchmaker worked (in a continuous war against entropy) over than 3 billion years across, while – finally, he has made the man (so cruelly strong enemy is this physical law). This was our evolution, but our devolution will be much faster. And now already in one or two decades our devolution is detectable. And it will accelerate. But the correction (all) of the genetic errors yet only a distant aim.
          “New developments in genetics, anthropology, and neurobiology predict that a very large number of genes underlie our intellectual and emotional abilities, making these abilities genetically surprisingly fragile.”
          Source: http://www.cell.com/trends/genetics/abstract/S0168-9525(12)00158-8
          And our physical health also genetically fragile. But these are not surprising.

          • And 9 years later (after Osaka et al.): Ram K. Mathur: Role of diabetes, hypertension, and cigarette smoking on atherosclerosis. J Cardiovasc Dis Res. 2010 Apr-Jun; 1(2): 64–68. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2945206/
            From the article: “To determine the mechanism of thermogenesis, Osaka et al.[7-9] infused hypertonic solution of glucose, NaCl, … The mechanism of thermogenesis is not clear. However, it may involve intestinal osmoreceptors. … It is this thermogenesis that is responsible for the generation of atherosclerotic plaque.”
            From the end of the article: “Patients are advised to stay away from fatty foods, which obviously does not help because fatty meal is not the cause for atherosclerosis. Therefore, the researchers should first examine the cause of the disease before trying to cure it; otherwise, we will be treating symptoms rather than curing the disease itself. … Finally, this field requires some broad theories and hypotheses explaining the involvement of foods, diabetes, hypertension, cigarette smoking, and others in the formation of atherosclerotic plaque. We have a mission but are lacking the vision. That is why we have not made any progress even though we have worked on it for more than 50 years.”
            In these two articles (Osaka et al. and Mathur) absolutely nothing about entropy, Na-K pump, anaerobic glycolysis and lactic acid. Bad education, oblivion, or something else? 9 years and 45 years after Klahr & Bricker, and the mechanism of thermogenesis was not clear really, for the authors and editors? Or? The floor gas (anaerobic) sodium-potassium pump devours the energy (and we produce lactic acid), but it’s not enough, and our cells are dying. We haven’t enough energy, and we haven’t enough time for the regeneration, because we enhances the entropy (by high salt intakes) in our every cells, day by day, again and again, the entropy devours our energy. All the rest of our vital processes (functional processes of the cells) receive less energy, and all of our organs and vital processes work worse (including our heart, brain, regulating systems, immune system, etc). This is responsible for the generation of atherosclerotic plaque. And this is responsible for the low physical activity. And this generates strong hunger (and thirst). We overeat and get fat. And indisputable consequence, that the unnecessarily swallowed excess sodium increases the incidence of all illnesses, without any exception, including even the genetic disorders, cancer, NCD’s and infectious diseases. Some people will be obese others not, some become diabetes others not, some have high BP others not (or later), etc. We are not totally alike, but the entropy law finds our weak point, and ravages mainly there, but increases the disorder in every cells in our body (and other risk factors affect the individual consequences).
            And now in 2014: “Exactly how atherosclerosis begins or what causes it isn’t known, but some theories have been proposed.” http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/Conditions/Cholesterol/WhyCholesterolMatters/Atherosclerosis_UCM_305564_Article.jsp
            Awesome, how may the knowledge (which was found already once or more) disappear?
            From the DRI (Dietary Reference Intakes):
            http://www.nap.edu/openbook.php?record_id=10490&page=265
            “The Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) for carbohydrate is set at 130 g/d for adults and children based on the average minimum amount of glucose utilized by the brain. This level of intake, however, is typically exceeded to meet energy needs while consuming acceptable intake levels of fat and protein (see Chapter 11). The median intake of carbohydrates is approximately 220 to 330 g/d for men and 180 to 230 g/d for women.”
            3-4 liters of human milk contains: 227-303 g carbohydrates, 1990-2650 kilocalories energy, 405-540 mg sodium and 1410-1880 mg potassium, etc. Source: Yamawaki et al. 2005. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16325533
            The much sugar (and fats) or the much sodium (the sodium-induced disorder) is the reason of the diseases?
            The some decades old SETI is unsuccessful yet. If ET resembles us, he has similar problems, or he had similar problems. (Hopeless war against the entropy, devolution, overpopulation, food and energy deficiency, environmental pollution, crises, conflicts etc.) Possible, we can’t find traces and signs of extraterrestrial civilisations because the entropy destroyed them before they were able to fly to distant solar systems. If this is the truth, we must worry, because our fate will be the same. And after us, only a few lonely Voyager remains in our galaxy. We must use existing knowledges and Occam’s razor too, because statistical analyses cannot overwrite scientific laws and facts! (Collecting statistical data dont make health science.) The race is on. We will be champions, or the entropy destroys us? I don’t know the answer, but we have little chance to win, if we nourish the entropy longer in our own body. The salted humanity – suffering from Sodium-Induced Disorder Syndrome – degenerates and will be idiotic. Together with the IQ and health, the average moral level decreases, and all this will accelerate. And this disintegrates the society. The salted road drives the humanity into anarchy, chaos and death. In the scientific journals is an astonishing amount of junk (results of “scientific environmental pollution” in recent five decades). If we do not eliminate the garbage now, the big cleaning will be our children’s task or our grandchildren’s task. I doubt that they will be able onto this work, because we (present scientists) appear inappropriate, already now. Wake up! If nobody knows the enemy (because it is kept secret) nobody can fight against it. And this is fatal error! I remember a DDR sci-fi book from the 70’s: Die Ohnmacht der Allmächtigen. Stoping our devolution isn’t possible by really healthy foods, but we can slow it down. And we must slow it down, before it’s not too late.

          • lljktechnogeek

            what

          • “Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity and I’m not sure about the former.”
            Albert Einstein
            And the human irresponsibility.
            Z. Sandor

          • Cairenn Day

            Please take your theory to a college and get it peer reviewed. Otherwise it is what the bull does in the pasture

          • It’s not simple to understand the real science of great salted puzzle, because the education is/was astonishingly wrong over decades. And the scientific literature of this field is a big heap of junk (with some traces of valuable articles). But isn’t impossible to understand that. For example, recently (19 sept) I have received an e-mail, I quote it:
            “Hello. I stumbled upon your comment when reading:
            Shaking Up The Salt Myth: Healthy Salt Recommendations
            by Chris Kresser 97 comments http://chriskresser.com/shaking-up-the-salt-myth-healthy-salt-recommendations#comments
            I cannot thank you enough for putting your information out there about salt, and the sodium/potassium pump. I also cannot believe this information has been available for decades and as you point out, being ignored. Because I was using sea salt I believed it to be safe to use as much as I wanted, with all the minerals and what not. At least that’s what the sellers of sea salt will tell you. The mothers milk ratio makes perfect sense to me. I am just a regular person, but I want to let you know that you have helped me, how grateful I am, and how much I appreciate what you have done, and are doing about this issue. I will give/let as many people know about this information as I can. This obviously is an uphill battle for you, and I wish you all the luck in the world. You sir, are a true hero. Michael Holman”
            And from responses here: http://www.sciencebasedmedicine.org/what-whole-foods-markets-doesnt-tell-you/
            “How awesome to be the only one with the truth.”
            and “Wow, that is a LOT of crazy.”
            And from here:
            http://www.zmescience.com/science/scientists-trust-americans-24092014/
            “Are you completely insane, or just mostly insane?”
            And read this: https://theconversation.com/hard-evidence-what-do-primary-school-children-need-to-eat-31868
            and this: http://padre.uw.hu/ekvis/graudal.htm

          • lljktechnogeek

            what is this i dont even

        • lljktechnogeek

          wut

      • lljktechnogeek

        wut_pear.jpg

      • Say, what now?

        I mean, I recognize the words, but the way they are put together here make no sense.

    • Warren Lauzon

      I don’t think you have any idea what GMO is.

    • Canadian_Skeptic

      Funny. It’s worked for me multiple times in the lab. I think you need to familiarize yourself with what GMOs actually are.

    • Kopernicus

      We’ve been genetically modifying plants and animals for 6000 years. Did you think corn came bright yellow on 8-10″ ears 2″ thick naturally? Do you actually believe that seedless grapes are a natural thing? They would kind of die off naturally, wouldn’t they? How survivable in nature do you think a Chihuahua is?

      GMO just chemically does more rapidly what breeding took longer to do. Period.

    • cken

      No it’s not you eat it regularly. Tomatoes are a prime example of GMO. Today’s tomatoes are like red cardboard compared to what they used to be. Apples same thing. Red Delicious one of the first GMO’s. They are OK but terrible compared to Jonathans or Winesaps. Red Delicious are popular because they ship well and they are pretty period. Even beef, chicken, and pork have been chemically if not genetically modified.

  • jillelswick

    Wow. I am going to hold out the slightest hope that Consumers Union will come back with an explanation for this that doesn’t compromise my trust in them over the years. I have relied on Consumer Reports for at least two decades to tell me what to buy. However, there is no room in my purchasing decisions for a quack like Oz. I’m stunned. I expect a response from Consumers Union.

    • Warren Lauzon

      After subbing for 17 years, I cancelled my CR subscription when they came out with that ridiculous soy milk thing not long ago. I can get more than enough pseudo-science and rainbow colored unicorns on the internet – I am not about to actually PAY for it.

      • jillelswick

        Good idea. I’ll be doing the same until they boot whatever influences (at the top of their organization) are causing them to lead the public astray.

        • Warren Lauzon

          And even got a $3.12 refund 😛

    • Loren Eaton

      I wouldn’t hold your breath. Next, Dr. Oz will be evaluating toaster ovens!!

      • Scaphinotus

        I hope I can sill trust thier data on used cars!

    • Turtleman

      Did anyone notice that while almost every national media outlet covered the story that researchers behind the green coffee that Dr. Oz peddled are now admitting that the study was bogus, Consumer Reports — an organization that is supposed to protect consumers — ignored the story yesterday on their health blog and their Consumerist blog.

      My fear is that Dr. Oz is somehow more closely aligned with the magazine than this article even suggests.

      http://www.cbsnews.com/news/dr-oz-endorsed-green-coffee-bean-diet-study-retracted/

  • Warren Lauzon

    Dr. Oz and CU walking hand in hand down the woo path has pretty much destroyed my faith in either one.

  • Ya know, considering the amount of money in pseudoscience, and the fact that you can spout any amount of bullshit, I’m sorely tempted to dive in and start selling some woo. Ethics be damned.

  • vanreuter

    Gee Mr. GMO has an ax to grind…Both sides practicing POLITICAL science, not actual science.
    Still, anyone who equates this one issue SALESMAN with CR and it’s history of consumer advocacy for WE THE PEOPLE is a dolt…

  • This brings us one step closer to what Dr. Patrick Moore and I have been saying for a long time now:
    “You can’t separate the organic movement from the anti-GMO movement. They are one and the same, existing in perfect anti-technological symbiosis. What’s bad for GMOs is good for organics and vice versa.”

    http://dailycaller.com/2014/04/01/organic-activists-need-gmos-now-more-than-ever/

    • Sterling Ericsson

      You guys really need to stop publishing on sites like The Daily Caller. It really diminishes any possible credibility when the article is in that hive of scum and villainy.

    • What do you suggest Sterling? Huffington Post? Mother Earth News?
      I’ll publish anywhere as long as I’m not forced in any way to adjust my views to fit editorial slant. If you have suggestions, please let me know.

      • Sterling Ericsson

        Daily Caller is kinda worse than even Mother Earth News. Not quite as bad as Natural News, but close, considering the Caller also covers as many topics as offensively as possible.

  • Ben Eli Osterberg

    I’m not sure to whom I ought turn for science news now that Doc Oz has been discredited. #sarcasm

  • Ellen K

    Generally speaking, Consumer Reports, like the website Snopes, is a liberal operation cloaked inside a wrapping of what appears to be reasonable and acceptable factoids. Just like charlatans selling the next best greatest face cream or hair restorer or cleaning system, Dr. Oz holds out these products that no sane doctor would recommend in order to keep ratings and his income afloat. At the worst it is dangerous. And at the very least, it’s downright unethical. But since when do liberals need ethics?

    • retiti

      liberal here, very liberal. fully pro GMO, anti Oz. take your generalizations and shove them.

    • GoldyRocks

      Stop polarizing this left and right. I’ve met a few tech people that work there and they are Reagan conservatives, believe me. I happen to be far left of Obama and I think Dr. Oz is a fool — and now is Consumer Reports — for misleading consumers about food.

  • cken

    Why should this connection be a cause for concern. Survival in science depends on getting money and self promotion to the extent the line between science and pseudoscience is very blurred. The best current example would be climate change. I know scientists have always tweaked variables, changed assumptions, and changed analysis to produce the desired results, but today as science becomes more political it becomes more corrupt. The result being it is increasingly difficult to discern between real science and pseudoscience. Does anybody really know if the Higgs Boson was discovered or was that a fabrication for continued funding. There are what maybe 50 physicists in the world who could look at the raw data and understand it. The knee jerk reaction is to say that’s real science of course it was discovered. But really can you be sure. It costs a whole bunch of money to run CERN.

  • GoldyRocks

    Thanks for publishing this or I wouldn’t have known. I let my subscription lapse in January, not because of pseudoscience, but because their car reviews, which used to be quite lively, became as dull as wet cardboard.

  • mem_somerville

    The other day I found out that the new Consumer Reports report actually cites one of the biggest cranks in the crankosphere–Rense–as a source. A sad state of affairs for them, to sink this way.

    https://twitter.com/mem_somerville/status/520957939314880512

    • Turtleman

      Jeff Rense??? I can hardly believe it.

    • emyrtlemartin

      Oh no, not again–I’ve been chasing after this stupid fish-gene meme since 1994 when I worked for DNA Plant Technology!

      • emyrtlemartin

        DNAP developed the less-well-known GE tomato (the one that tasted better) and I was IR/PR for DNAP.

        • emyrtlemartin

          So many
          times I had to refute this (the cold-tolerant genes exist in plants– but were first discovered in fish–but
          try to explain genetic conservation to the ignorant!).

          • emyrtlemartin

            Goes to show
            nothing can contain pseudoscience.

  • The salt isn’t only a health problem. Toshimasa Osaka, Akiko Kobayashi, and Shuji Inoue: Thermogenesis induced by osmotic stimulation of the intestines in the rat. J Physiol. 2001 April 1; 532(Pt 1): 261–269.
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2278526/
    Some details from the article: “The energy expenditure induced by 20 % glucose was 2.79 +/- 0.45 kJ kg-0.75 for 3 h (Fig. 4). The RER (respiratory exchange ratio) increased from 0.82 +/- 0.01 to 0.92 +/- 0.01 at 115 min (Fig. 1B), suggesting the oxidation of carbohydrate … The metabolic rate rose during the 10 min infusion period of 3.6 % NaCl, stayed at a plateau level of ~ 205 J kg-0.75 min-1 between 35 and 120 min and then slowly declined but was still significantly higher than the baseline level at 3 h. The energy expenditure induced by 3.6 % NaCl was 3.49 +/- 0.33 kJ kg-0.75, … The RER did not change after infusion of any of the NaCl solutions (Fig. 2B). … The metabolic rate (M; in kJ) was calculated from measurements of O2 consumption and CO2 production according to the following equation: M = 15.8[O2]+ 5.2[CO2] (Kurpad et al. 1994), where [O2] and [CO2] are in litres at standard temperature and pressure. Values were corrected for metabolic body size (kg 0.75). The amount of energy expenditure induced by infusion of a solution was calculated as the total area of increase in metabolic rate over resting values.”
    These results proves clearly, the excess salt intake (the higher energy expenditure of the Na-K pump and kidney, against entropy) do not increase the oxidative pathway, in rats. I notice it: the decrease would be logical? Yes, it is a logical consequence of the Sodium-Induced Disorder. And I think, the decrease is fact! But a critical surplus switches the anaerobic glycolysis on, and produces lactic acid in every cells. We can calculate that this anaerobic energy (ATP) production consumed more glucose (from the glycogen reserve) than the total resting metabolism of the rats, on the oxidative pathway. Despite, that this anaerobic excess isn’t more than (about) 10-15 % of the total resting metabolism of the rats. And after the infusion of the highest dose of salt, 3 hours was not enough to return to the baseline level (to the level of resting metabolism). This is a real Sodium-Induced Cellular Anaerobic Thermogenesis (SICAT) or SICAG. From the effects of 0,9 % and 1,8 % NaCl infusion, I can suppose, anaerobic glycolysis begin in an average 70 kg adult from ~ 6-7 g (or less than 6 g?) dose of salt. I would dare to bet, that this was examined in similar (but oral) human experiments already, but where are the results? The oxygen consumptions (which are better than the RER) were not published in the article. Why? And what is the situation with the anaerobic energy production? How did they calculate it? Interesting questions, but Mr. Osaka did not answer my e-mail. The censorship’s fingerprints are clearly recognisable in the article. However this is a very valuable and very important work. Despite that nothing about entropy, energy expenditure of (floor gas – anaerobic turbo) sodium-potassium pump, anaerobic glycolysis and lactic acid in the article. Possible consequence of the wrong education – maybe – only a few people able to understand this. But nobody uses this knowledge! (Except the big food and big pharma industry – for extra-profit.) Furthermore, from the above results roughly calculable: the salted humanity squanders the energy of at least 100 million tons of food annually, to get rid of the sodium swallowed unnecessarily. And this = a lot of excess carbon dioxide emission. And excess incidence of illnesses = excess production and consumption of pharmaceuticals = excess emission of pollutants (including greenhouse gases) = excess ecological footprint. We overeat (devour), we get fat, we get sick often, and we die sooner, while millions are starving on Earth.
    The blind watchmaker worked (in a continuous war against entropy) over than 3 billion years across, while – finally, he has made the man (so cruelly strong enemy is this physical law). This was our evolution, but our devolution will be much faster. And now already in one or two decades our devolution is detectable. And it will accelerate. But the correction (all) of the genetic errors yet only a distant aim.
    “New developments in genetics, anthropology, and neurobiology predict that a very large number of genes underlie our intellectual and emotional abilities, making these abilities genetically surprisingly fragile.”
    Source: http://www.cell.com/trends/genetics/abstract/S0168-9525(12)00158-8
    And our physical health also genetically fragile. But these are not surprising.

    • And 9 years later (after Osaka et al.): Ram K. Mathur: Role of diabetes, hypertension, and cigarette smoking on atherosclerosis. J Cardiovasc Dis Res. 2010 Apr-Jun; 1(2): 64–68. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2945206/
      From the article: “To determine the mechanism of thermogenesis, Osaka et al.[7-9] infused hypertonic solution of glucose, NaCl, … The mechanism of thermogenesis is not clear. However, it may involve intestinal osmoreceptors. … It is this thermogenesis that is responsible for the generation of atherosclerotic plaque.”
      From the end of the article: “Patients are advised to stay away from fatty foods, which obviously does not help because fatty meal is not the cause for atherosclerosis. Therefore, the researchers should first examine the cause of the disease before trying to cure it; otherwise, we will be treating symptoms rather than curing the disease itself. … Finally, this field requires some broad theories and hypotheses explaining the involvement of foods, diabetes, hypertension, cigarette smoking, and others in the formation of atherosclerotic plaque. We have a mission but are lacking the vision. That is why we have not made any progress even though we have worked on it for more than 50 years.”
      In these two articles (Osaka et al. and Mathur) absolutely nothing about entropy, Na-K pump, anaerobic glycolysis and lactic acid. Bad education, oblivion, or something else? 9 years and 45 years after Klahr & Bricker (and 25 years after Henningsen), and the mechanism of thermogenesis was not clear really, for the authors and editors? Or? The floor gas (anaerobic) sodium-potassium pump devours the energy (and we produce lactic acid), but it’s not enough, and our cells are dying. We haven’t enough energy, and we haven’t enough time for the regeneration, because we enhances the entropy (by high salt intakes) in our every cells, day by day, again and again, the entropy devours our energy. All the rest of our vital processes (functional processes of the cells) receive less energy, and all of our organs and vital processes work worse (including our heart, brain, regulating systems, immune system, etc). This is responsible for the generation of atherosclerotic plaque. And this is responsible for the low physical activity. And this generates strong hunger (and thirst). We overeat and get fat. And indisputable consequence, that the unnecessarily swallowed excess sodium increases the incidence of all illnesses, without any exception, including even the genetic disorders, cancer, NCD’s and infectious diseases. Some people will be obese others not, some become diabetes others not, some have high BP others not (or later), etc. We are not totally alike, but the entropy law finds our weak point, and ravages mainly there, but increases the disorder in every cells in our body (and other risk factors affect the individual consequences).
      And now in 2014: “Exactly how atherosclerosis begins or what causes it isn’t known, but some theories have been proposed.” http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/Conditions/Cholesterol/WhyCholesterolMatters/Atherosclerosis_UCM_305564_Article.jsp
      Awesome, how may the knowledge (which was found already once or more) disappear?
      From the DRI (Dietary Reference Intakes):
      http://www.nap.edu/openbook.php?record_id=10490&page=265
      “The Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) for carbohydrate is set at 130 g/d for adults and children based on the average minimum amount of glucose utilized by the brain. This level of intake, however, is typically exceeded to meet energy needs while consuming acceptable intake levels of fat and protein (see Chapter 11). The median intake of carbohydrates is approximately 220 to 330 g/d for men and 180 to 230 g/d for women.”
      3-4 liters of human milk contains: 227-303 g carbohydrates, 1990-2650 kilocalories energy, 405-540 mg sodium and 1410-1880 mg potassium, etc. Source: Yamawaki et al. 2005. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16325533
      Well, the much sugar (and fats) or the much sodium (the sodium-induced disorder) is the reason of the diseases?
      The some decades old SETI is unsuccessful yet. If ET resembles us, he has similar problems, or he had similar problems. (Hopeless war against the entropy, devolution, overpopulation, food and energy deficiency, environmental pollution, crises, conflicts etc.) Possible, we can’t find traces and signs of extraterrestrial civilisations because the entropy destroyed them before they were able to fly to distant solar systems. If this is the truth, we must worry, because our fate will be the same. And after us, only a few lonely Voyager remains in our galaxy. We must use existing knowledges and Occam’s razor too, because statistical analyses cannot overwrite scientific laws and facts! (Collecting statistical data and meta-analysis dont make health science.) The race is on. We will be champions, or the entropy destroys us? I don’t know the answer, but we have little chance to win, if we nourish the entropy longer in our own body. The salted humanity – suffering from Sodium-Induced Disorder Syndrome – degenerates and will be idiotic. Together with the IQ and health, the average moral level decreases, and all this will accelerate. And this disintegrates the society. The salted road drives the humanity into anarchy, chaos and death. In the scientific journals is an astonishing amount of junk (results of “scientific environmental pollution” in recent five decades). If we do not eliminate the garbage now, the big cleaning will be our children’s task or our grandchildren’s task. I doubt that they will be able onto this work, because we (present scientists) appear inappropriate, already now. Wake up! If nobody knows the enemy (because it is kept secret) nobody can fight against it. And this is fatal error! I remember a DDR sci-fi book from the 70’s: Die Ohnmacht der Allmächtigen. Stoping our devolution isn’t possible by really healthy foods (avoid sodium salts), but we can slow it down. And we must slow it down, before it’s not too late.

  • In the scientific literature and in media the salt has political, and astonishing amount pseudo-science but the pure scientific science of salt we can find only in traces. It’s time to understand (and to teach and to use) some very important but forgotten, ignored and censored knowledges (some fundamental natural laws and facts) and the very sad consequences:
    1. “Anything that can go wrong not only will go wrong, it must go wrong, as decreed by the Second Law of Thermodynamics. … The profound nature of the Second Law manifests itself in every aspect of human existence. … Entropy permeates all aspects of human existence. … Every biochemical function requires a decrease in entropy, which can only be achieved by the infusion of energy into a life-sustaining system. … Wherever we look, whatever we do, we must be acutely aware of the immutable laws of thermodynamics, especially the easily overlooked Second Law: Entropy.”
    http://www.rationality.net/entropy.htm
    2. The spontaneous diffusion of sodium ions into the cells and the diffusion of potassium ions out of the cells, continuously enhances the entropy (the disorder).
    3. The task of the continuously working sodium-potassium pump to keep constant the intracellular concentration of Na and K ions. These cellular pumps continuously use energy of ATP molecules.
    4. Excess sodium intake = excess diffusion = excess increase of entropy = excess work for pumps = excess energy expenditure against excess entropy => excess food consumption.
    5. But, all the rest of our vital processes (functional processes of the cells) receive less energy – because our capacity (to make energy from foods) is limited (see Kleiber’s Law).
    6. Everything work worse in our body, and this increases the incidence of all illnesses without any exception, our aging and devolution accelerate, etc.
    7. That is why salt (including other Na-compounds) is perfect food of entropy, and as I wrote on science20, this all is the Sodium-Induced Disorder Syndrome.
    http://www.science20.com/entropy_and_sodium_intakes_wicked_problems_health_sciences-120016
    The entropy is our number one public enemy on every level (physical and mental health, and social level) globally. The evolution of life on Earth, our history and our entire individual life is a continuous war against entropy. But we, humans started our devolution = the entropy is growing in human genome. Even we nourish the entropy in our every cells (fundaments of our existence), but the health scientists do not talk and do not write about this. And this is really a fatal error. It’s time to change that!