ABC’s Catalyst forgets about “consensus”

Consensus when it suits

Consensus when it suits

Consensus is optional, where the ABC is concerned. Naturally, with climate change, consensus is paramount, and anyone daring to question it is a denier in the pay of Big Oil.

But when it comes to cholesterol-reducing medications (statins), Catalyst appears happy to take the word of a few “outliers”, as the following transcript demonstrates:

NARRATION
For the last four decades, dietary fat and cholesterol have been the villains in heart disease.

Dr Michael Eades
You very seldom see the words ‘saturated fat’ in the public press when they’re not associated with artery clogging. So it’s like it’s all one term – ‘artery clogging saturated fats’.

NARRATION
But now some medical experts are coming forward to challenge this medical paradigm.

Dr Jonny Bowden
I think it’s a huge misconception that saturated fat and cholesterol are the demons in the diet, and it is 100% wrong.

Dr Stephen Sinatra
Saturated fat has been vilified for years because of the cholesterol theory.

NARRATION
A multibillion dollar food industry has fuelled our phobia of fat and cholesterol and dramatically influenced our diet.

Dr Michael Eades
That’s not science. That’s marketing.

Dr Jonny Bowden
It’s lived past its expiration date, and it’s one of these hypotheses that just won’t die.

NARRATION
Have we all been conned?

Dr Maryanne Demasi
In this episode, I’ll follow the road which led us to believe that saturated fat and cholesterol cause heart disease, and reveal why it’s being touted as the biggest myth in medical history.

But the story has had such an effect on viewers that many are ceasing medication entirely, without any supervision from GPs or specialists, with potentially tragic consequences:

AN ABC report about cholesterol medication could cause as many as 3000 heart attacks in the next five years and cost the health system between $12 and $33 million.
The Heart Foundation has made the estimate after a survey it conducted found a third of those taking cholesterol lowering statin medications stopped them or reduced them in the wake of the Catalyst program on ABC.

When extrapolated to the entire population of 2.1 million Australians who take statins the survey found 55,000 people completely stopped taking their pills after the program.

A further 130,000 changed their medication by stopping it then restarting it or they reduced how much they took.

And 120,000 people saw their GP about their medication as a result of the Catalystepisodes.

One in four of those who altered their medication had previously had a heart attack, the research found.

The program has been heavily criticised by health experts who claim it was biased and the ABC is investigating 80 official complaints.

The ABC’s own health expert Dr Norman Swan has warned “people will die” because of the program.

Heart Foundation cardiovascular health director Dr Rob Grenfell says it is “alarming the survey found one in three people were worried or confused about their medication after the program.

“What Catalyst has done is create great confusion in the general public, unfortunately people have ceased their medication and that will cause harm,” he told News Corp Australia.

So who are Bowden, Sinatra and Eades? Media Watch reports:

Well, Dr Jonny Bowden and Dr Stephen Sinatra are co-authors of this popular American potboiler.

The Great Cholesterol Myth—why lowering your cholesterol won’t prevent heart disease and the statin-free plan that will

— The Great Cholesterol Myth, Jonny Bowden and Stephen Sinatra

The foreword to this book was written by the other “expert” we saw in the opening clip, Dr Michael Eades.

Three men with one mind, presented as three independent points of view.

There’s much more at the link.

Whereas Catalyst (and the ABC in general) is reluctant ever to investigate opposing views in the climate debate, based on a belief that climate change may cause problems for mankind in centuries or millennia, it appears all too eager to give air time to issues that may cause suffering and even death right here and now.

Comments

  1. NARRATION
    For the last three decades, CO2 has been the villain in the Earth’s climate.

    Dr Michael Eades
    You very seldom see the word ‘CO2’ in the public press when they’re not associated with climate change. So it’s like it’s all one term – ‘climate changing CO2’.

    NARRATION
    But now some climate experts are coming forward to challenge this geophysical paradigm.

    Dr Jonny Bowden
    I think it’s a huge misconception that CO2 is the demon in the climate, and it is 100% wrong.

    Dr Stephen Sinatra
    CO2 has been vilified for years because of climate theory.

    NARRATION
    Multibillion dollar government funding and media has fuelled our phobia of CO2 and dramatically influenced our tax dollars.

    I think you can guess the rest

  2. When a supposed ‘science’ program labels CO₂ a ‘pollutant ‘and describes carbon dioxide as ‘carbon’ you wonder what happened to scientific facts.

    Excerpt from Catalyst 16.9.2010:
    “NARRATION
    At the same time, debate has flared about how much climate change is natural, and how much is our doing.

    Dr Ian Goodwin
    When I look behind me at the power station here, the emissions from the power station are pollutants to the atmosphere. We’ve been able to deal with other atmospheric pollutants, yet there seems to be a complete reticence to deal with and describe CO₂ as a pollutant.”

  3. cogdissonancedagain says:

    After only 20 years or so, the global warmists are now being increasingly obliged to (finally) take a certain Danish researcher, name of Svensmark and his book “Chilling Stars” seriously.

    Albeit after the CERN facility confirmed his prediction (and probably Herschel’s too) that it’s basically the Sun plus the odd volcano or two and not carbon pollution (sic) which drives climate change.

    And hence the reason why there hasn’t been any “warming” for the last 17 years, or sea level changes, or increased hurricanes, or pestilences; and indeed why Honest Al Gore was on a winner with his recent purchase of waterfront property in San Francisco

    Hopefully David Gillespie and his work “Sweet Poison” won’t have to languish quite so long in rebutting Big Pharma’s equally scurrilous claims re vastly overpriced statins as the cure for most of what ails the West; when all that’s needed is simply treating the pancreas with respect

  4. Actually..the “outliers” were talking about the actual historical science.
    Your now siding with “consensus”/big pharma because you watched one episode of media watch. ?? 🙂
    Come on..!!
    If you followed the data that they referred to, ie Key`s research..you would find the whole edifice is as rotten as “climate science”.
    Consensus, with regards to cholesterol seems to believe that correlation = causation.
    And that most people should be on statins..how could that be right.??
    How in gods name did we manage to live without the need for statins.?
    Look up the books these terrible people(ie authors) have done.
    We can play games and smear their “opinions” because..god forbid they have done the work and show you the historical data and fallacious arguments..or..we can take our brain out..and suddenly start believing one episode of media watch.

    • It’s not really the subject matter that’s important, it’s the inconsistency.

    • Yeah but I agree with Drapetomania, Simon – there seems to be a disturbing lack of scientific proof of cholesterol = heart disease, and the cherry-picked data used in the Framingham Heart Study has many parallels with the climate scam. Like the climate scam, the cholesterol scam has sscared up huge money and prescribed many cures way worse than the disease ( if there actually was one ).

      I noticed the compliant media rapidly responded with predictable finger wagging in the paper to scare the sheep back into line who had the audacity to actually go against the medical establishments “advice”. Dont get me wrong – if you suffer from a bad medical condition, most times its worth following your GPs advice, however, the cholesterol nonsense has been a nice little earner for a looong time. my mother in law is all upset about her “high” cholesterol – but even if I could prove she has nothing to worry about, she will likely follow her GPs advice and keep swallowing statins.

    • In fact, the “outliers” were talking about one particular study when, in fact, there have been numerous clinical trials demonstrating the link between high cholesterol and heart disease. It’s a bit like climate alarmists talking about the warming 1975 to 1998 and ignoring everything else. The “outliers” on catalyst had a vested interest just like climate alarmists

  5. Ross Stacey says:

    Well said drapetomania. The caning by Media Watch fully supported the “consensus”. It was such a surprise to me that this one slipped by the ABC editors. It will be a bigger surprise if they allow those reporters to do another story. I can’t understand how so many of the established drugs with their “side effects”, get approved. Isn’t Hippocrates oath “first do no harm” ?

  6. The answer to both is what does the unadulterated data tell you?

    If this had been done in the climate debate decades ago billions would not have been wasted.

    • Spot on.

      I find the media has a lot to answer for – its been the complaint whore of big business for a long time.

      I advocate unplugging from the mass media and social media and not being rushed and harassed – being rushed and harassed is one of the main mechanisms the big business uses to pressure people to just go with the flow.

      Cant afford a day to have off work to look after a sick child?

      Here take this pill.

      Want to make an informed descision on something?

      Dont be silly – we know best!

      Pressure presure hassle hassle

      Slow down and take control.

  7. manicbeancounter says:

    It might be inconsistent, but there is a common thread. There is a sensationalist idea that people latch onto, based on flimsy science. It is about opposing big business, that is always profiting at the expense of the common people. In Britain, there was a similar case. The NHS had for years combined three child vaccines for measles, mumps and rubella into one MMR jab. One lot of distress for a baby instead of three. A study by Dr Andrew Wakefield published in the Lancet in 1998 claimed a link between this MMR jab and autism. Many doctors thought it plausible. As a result many babies were not immunised and these childhood diseases returned. Turns out the study was based on just 12 children.
    The way round these errors is to critically review the evidence presented, especially when it new and accords with our view of the world. But there is a strong market for sensationalism, and a desire to believe that our world is more precarious than it actually is. Taking time to verify and understand problems takes time and effort, and is boring.

    • “There is a sensationalist idea that people latch onto, based on flimsy science. ”

      Exactly..flimsy science said there was a causative link with levels of cholesterol..and mortality..there never was.There was a mild correlation sometimes.,..in some cases..that was it.And the original studies were just terrible,

      “It is about opposing big business, that is always profiting at the expense of the common people. ”

      Sarcasm tag missing. ?

      “The way round these errors is to critically review the evidence presented, especially when it new and accords with our view of the world. ”

      You mean even when it doesnt support your consensus driven world view.Correct.I am waiting for this to happen.
      Two short episodes in the last 30 years showing problems doesnt inspire confidence.

      “But there is a strong market for sensationalism, and a desire to believe that our world is more precarious than it actually is.”

      Or..ignore the science..just take this pill. 🙂

      “Taking time to verify and understand problems takes time and effort, and is boring.”

      Yep..or..dont think..just take a tablet..I mean..doctors cannot be wrong.
      The Wakefield analogy had zero to do with the story.
      Or if it did..I could have used a thalidomide analogy..
      Both just hand waving straw men..

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