Miss a day, miss a lot. Subscribe to The Defender's Top News of the Day. It's free.
In the U.S., every “sick child is an absolute goldmine” for Big Pharma and Big Food, TrueMed co-founder Calley Means told comedian and political commentator Russell Brand on a recent episode of “Stay Free with Russell Brand.”
Means, a former food and pharmaceutical consultant-turned-whistleblower, told Brand the chances are high that a 15-year-old low-income teen in the U.S. has pre-diabetes and obesity, high cholesterol and high blood sugar — from eating ultra-processed foods that generate massive profits for their producers.
These conditions don’t cause death, but they do require a lifetime of taking drugs — such as statins for cholesterol, insulin for diabetes, Adderall for the attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) that doctors diagnose in 15% of American children and opioids for what becomes chronic, Means told Brand.
“Medicaid pays out a budget greater than the Department of Defense’s budget,” he said. And that money goes right to Big Pharma.
“Seventy-five percent of our diet is ultra-processed fake foods which we were not biologically made to eat …
“If you took out those three ingredients — sugar, seed oils and highly processed grains … you would not have heart disease, which is the No. 1 killer. You would not have Type 2 diabetes. You would actually eliminate, to a large degree, Alzheimer’s which is now called Type 3 diabetes.”
Brand said he believes human societies have been transformed from people who saw plants and animals as sacred and treated them with deference, to living in “vast monocultures where animals are slaughtered en masse, where crops are grown en masse and where we have become like the food we eat: We are a product.”
Brand asked Means if there was legislation that could be passed to meaningfully change people’s health, especially given the power of the food and pharma lobbies.
“What’s clearly required here is a revolution … Those kinds of interests with [large amounts of] lobbying money, they’re not going to go down without a fight,” Brand said.
Means agreed. He said that despite worsening health outcomes, healthcare is the largest and fastest-growing industry in the U.S.
“It is truly going to bankrupt our country and we’re becoming a non-competitive, infertile fat civilization,” Means said, adding:
“It’s not about slightly altering Medicare Part D. It is understanding that the problem with healthcare is that every single lever that touches our health profits off people being sick and loses money when they’re healthy.”
Even the health insurance companies want healthcare costs to go up, he said, because their profits are capped at 15% of costs. The higher the costs, the more profit they make.
He said one of the biggest problems is that the people who make the nutritional guidelines — including recommending that children as young as 2 years old get 10% of their daily caloric intake from sugar — have conflicts of interest because they are directly paid by Big Food or Big Pharma.
He said people in the U.S. listen to the authorities, and so it is imperative that the recommendations change.
Animals in the wild don’t have the health issues humans do, he said, adding:
“The only difference between us and other animals is we have experts telling kids to sit at desks all day in sunless rooms, not moving when they’re made to move, learning from the teacher and eating processed crap.”