Can the Conventional Medical Profession Be Trusted?
-by Dr. Joseph Mercola
According to a recent article in The New York Times, growing distrust in the medical
profession poses a threat to public health and safety.1 “Trust is
crucial in the relationship between patients and health care providers, but it’s been on the decline in recent decades,” Dr. Dhruv Khullar, a physician at New York Presbyterian Hospital and a
researcher at Weill Cornell Department of Healthcare Policy and Research writes, noting that:
“Mistrust in the medical profession — particularly during emergencies like epidemics — can have deadly consequences. In 1966, more than three-fourths of Americans had
great confidence in medical leaders; today, only 34 percent do.
Compared with people in other developed countries, Americans are considerably less likely to trust doctors, and only a quarter express confidence in the health system. During
some recent disease outbreaks, less than one-third of Americans said they trusted public health officials to share complete and accurate information. Only 14 percent trust the federal government to
do what’s right most of the time.”
Trust in the conventional medical paradigm has declined for a good reason. As noted
by Khullar, “Waning trust in the health system is partly a result of the sometimes well-founded public perception that its key players pursue profits at the expense of patients.” Indeed, how is
anyone expected to trust a system as riddled with corporate profit bias as what we currently have?
Doctors, while well-intentioned, have by and large become untrustworthy for the
simple fact that they stopped thinking for themselves and fell into a corporate for-profit scheme that depends on chronic illness. Few are those who buck the system, do their own research rather than
getting their information from pharmaceutical reps, and focus on patient education about preventive strategies that don’t involve costly drugs or surgical interventions.
A healthy whole food diet, exercise, proper breathing and movement, sensible sun exposure and grounding — these are all simple foundational aspects of good health that cost very little or nothing.
Yet they’re rarely if ever considered when it comes time to address illness. The article also rightfully notes that transparency is a key feature that inspires trust, and honest transparency has
become increasingly difficult to come by.
As just one example, the list of medical professionals, nutritional professionals and
academics who pose as independent experts sharing their well-educated stances with the public — when in fact they are paid shills for one corporation or another — has grown longer with each passing
year. Hiding conflicts of interest has become the norm, it seems, and honest disclosure of possible conflicts of interest is a cornerstone of the kind of transparency needed to build
Following are a few blaring examples showcasing why distrust in the medical system is
actually warranted, and could be viewed as a sign of sanity prevailing over orchestrated attempts to undermine public health and well-being.
CDC and Coca-Cola — Still ‘Partners in
In 2015, it was revealed that a Coca-Cola front group called the Global Energy Balance Network (GEBN) was founded to cast doubts on claims that soda consumption is a
major if not primary cause of obesity, Type 2 diabetes and related health problems. The network, funded
with millions from Coca-Cola that were never publicly disclosed, pushed the already-debunked theory that to maintain a healthy weight, all you need is more exercise.
After that public relations nightmare, Coca-Cola vowed to be more transparent about its funding of scientists and health partnerships, but as noted in a recent report by Russ Greene,2 the company has not changed its ways.
While Coca-Cola claims to publish “all relevant funding of well-being related
research, partnerships and health professionals and scientific experts” every six months, when comparing the company’s data with annual reports from the U.S. Centers for Disease Prevention (CDC) and
the Foundation for the National Institutes of Health (FNIH), Greene discovered major discrepancies.
As it turns out, Coca-Cola failed to report some of its largest payments to the CDC.
“Coca-Cola donated to the [CDC’s] Foundation in 2013, 2015, 2016 and 2017, according to the Foundation’s annual fiscal reports. And yet a search for ‘Centers for Disease
Control’ in Coca-Cola’s website yields no results since 2012,” Greene writes.
He also notes that these payments seem to be at odds with statements made by former
CDC director Dr. Tom Frieden, who last year stated he’d been “winding down Coke-funded programs” during his tenure, and had “basically canceled” the CDC’s Coca-Cola run anti-obesity campaign, saying
he couldn’t justify having “Coca-Cola run an obesity campaign that had an exclusive focus on physical activity.”
Conflict of Interest Policy Forbids CDC Foundation
From Partnering With Soda Giant
Frieden also claimed he’d encouraged the company to provide nonexercise-related
donations, but that nothing had come of it, with the exception of a $20,000 donation for a program linked to fighting the Ebola virus.
“Frieden’s claims … are not consistent with the fact that Coca-Cola donated to the CDC Foundation during every single year of his tenure except 2014,” Greene writes, “And
Coca-Cola’s ‘transparency’ archive is hiding at least four separate payments to the CDC Foundation. So, both parties are acting as if they’re ashamed of their partnership. And yet it
Perhaps most importantly, the CDC Foundation’s acceptance of funding from Coca-Cola
is at odds with its own conflict of interest policy, which does not permit “Partnership with an organization that represents any product that exacerbates morbidity or mortality when used as directed
(mission compatibility).” Anyone who has read even a fraction of the research on sugar and sweetened beverages in recent years would agree that Coca-Cola does not qualify as a CDC “mission
compatible” health partner.
Coca-Cola Still Hides NIH
Coca-Cola has also neglected to report payments to the FNIH, Greene found. Since the
FNIH is a nongovernmental entity, it is not subject to the same policies and regulations as the NIH itself. This, as noted on the FNIH’s website, allows the foundation “to have a unique role” in
public and private partnerships. As noted by Greene:3
“The NIH Foundation is essentially a money launderer. It provides corporations that are banned by NIH’s conflict of interest policy from donating directly to NIH with a convenient
loophole. For example, Coca-Cola can’t pay the NIH directly, but it can pay the NIH Foundation, which then transfers the money to the NIH … Coca-Cola is listed twice as a donor to the
NIH Foundation in 2015. But Coca-Cola’s archives do not list an NIH Foundation payment that year…
[A]t this point, is there any reason to believe that we’ve been allowed to see the full extent of the Coca-Cola partnerships with CDC and NIH? Consider that we
have corrected Coca-Cola’s archives multiple times in the past, and they updated their records shortly thereafter.”
Also see: CDC Director Resigns Following Public Exposure of Tobacco Investments
Hospitals Serve Sugar-Laden Processed
Another glaring example of how little attention our medical system affords health is
the fact that U.S. hospitals and senior care institutions still insist on serving highly processed, sugary foods and “nutritional shakes” like Ensure and Boost.4,5 Fruit juices are another unhealthy staple. Even diabetics are served
ample amounts of bread and other refined carbs that will ensure they’ll never be able to keep their blood sugar under control.6
Sugar, especially high-fructose corn syrup, is the very last thing a sick person needs while trying to recuperate and recover, and if there ever was a place where healthy eating
should be the norm, it would be in our hospitals. Yet hospital meals are chockful of sugars, chemicals and genetically engineered ingredients that do your body no good.
Take Ensure, for example. Of its 36 itemized ingredients, the first six are corn
syrup, corn maltodextrin, sugar (sucrose), corn oil, sodium and calcium caseinates, soy protein isolate and artificial flavor.
This horrendous concoction is typically given as complete meal replacements to people
who cannot chew or swallow and need to use a feeding tube. At present, there appears to be just one organic, whole food-based feeding tube formula on the market. It’s called Liquid Hope,7 and was created by Robin Gentry McGee, a health and lifestyle coach and
chef, whose father suffered a brain injury that left him in a coma in 2005. Refusing to feed him what she calls “garbage,” she eventually created her own formula.
“I basically created it because I had to. I was trying to save my dad’s life, and to
me giving him the high-fructose corn syrup sugar water was not an option,” she explained back in 2013.8 Her formula contains over 20 organic whole food ingredients. “Within six weeks the healing was [so] profound that his M.D. called me up
and told me it was a miracle,” McGee told a reporter. “But it wasn’t a miracle, it was nutrition.”
Science-Based Medicine Requires Patients to Take
Control of Their Health