The China Study

Welcome to the Official Roundup Page for all my blog posts pertaining to T. Colin Campbell’s “The China Study.” If you’re interested in seeing a critical examination of the claims in this book, I encourage you to read either the first or second link and links 3 and 4, which contain a great deal of new information not included in my original critique.

1. The China Study: Fact or Fallacy? (My original critique of “The China Study” by T. Colin Campbell.)

2. The China Study: A Formal Analysis and Response (A referenced, uber-long, and cleaned-up collection of my original China Study criticisms—more academic and less colloquial, for anyone who prefers the former. This is a response to Campbell’s reply to my critique.)

3. Forks Over Knives: Is the Science Legit? (A critique of the science behind “Forks Over Knives,” a documentary heavily featuring Campbell and his work. Read this if you want to know more about Campbell’s rat research with casein and aflatoxin.)

4. One Year Later: The China Study, Revisited and Re-Bashed (A collection of peer-reviewed studies based on the China Study data that contradict Campbell’s interpretations and claims.)

5. The China Study, Wheat, and Heart Disease: Oh My! (An in-depth statistical analysis of wheat flour and heart disease in the China Study data.)

6. The China Study: My Response to Campbell (My response to Campbell’s first reply to my critique.)

7. Tuoli: China’s Mysterious Milk Drinkers (Information on the health of a Chinese county that eats nearly two pounds of dairy, ample fat, and 134 grams of animal protein per day.)

8. A Closer Look at the China Study: Meat and Disease (Associations the “meat” variable has with various diseases in China.)

9. A Closer Look at the China Study: Fish and Disease (Associations the “fish” variable has with various diseases in China.)

10. A Closer Look at the China Study: Eggs and Disease (Associations the “eggs” variable has with various diseases in China.)

11. A Closer Look at the China Study: Dairy and Disease (Associations the “dairy” variable has with various diseases in China.)


  1. Well done Denise! The comments from the Nazi vegan community are typical of their cult like belief systems and behavioral patterns. I too intuitively knew the china study was filled with half truths and actually dangerous information when i came across it. that being said i think raw veganism can be a very useful tool if you need to detox and go catabolic for sometime, which is definitely appropriate at certain points in your health journey, but to become dogmatic about it and use it as a permanent strategy for living life, that is just plain idiotic, anybody who has extensively parused the SCIENTIFIC literature and actually does know something will tell you that being vegan full time is a dumb idea that is actually NOT in harmony with nature. Thanks for blowing the whistle. :)

    1. Who needs science when we have your “intuition”… “plain idiotic” indeed.

      “Cult like belief”? You mean like criticizing something without any studies, expertize and first hand research? Just because you don’t like it?

    2. I don’t see how being a vegan has anything to do with being a nazi or a cult for that matter, most people turn vegan out of compassion and kindness something clearly you have no idea about. The only nazi’s left in this world is the meat eating public who’s obsession with food creates the biggest holocaust known to man. So before you blog on something from your animal fat soaked brain think about the life that just died so you can have a 3 second pleasure on the tongue and before you pore that milk onto your breakfast think about the mother who was raped to conceive so she could produce milk and the only to have her new born torn away from her so your fat laden, disease ridden body can get closer to death.

      1. Warren: I am sympathetic to your perspective but wonder whether you could have said all that in a less angry or aggressive way. They say that vegetarians are less hostile or aggressive, although I have not noticed the difference since I became a vegetarian 45 years ago. But if there an truth to it, then Warren, I’d like to ask you to post a politely-worded reply that gets the same message across.

  2. Yes, I saw Dr. Campbell’s response. I can only repeat what I said before:

    “Dr. Campbell could have ignored her completely if he thinks her not even worthy of his attention. But once he decided to respond, he should have refuted her points calmly and rationally, without resorting to personal attack – i.e., like a scientist. His non-rebuttal rebuttal is a joke – leading me to wonder if he is able to rebut her…”

    Dr. Campbell should have published the details of his own regression analysis so that it could be critiqued. Instead, he just expects us to accept that he did it and did it well, because he has credentials. Sorry, it doesn’t work that way.

  3. Hello Denise,

    First, I apologize if my posting Dr. Campbell’s response was duplicative. I didn’t see any direct responses to your post saying he was MIA so I thought I would share a link to his response.

    It seems like you may be over-simplifying Dr. Campbell’s response when you say “he just expects us to accept that he did it and did it well, because he has credentials.”

    He did much more than this. He wrote 5,327 words explaining the gaps in Denise’s analysis. In summary, he explained that a correlation does not equal an association as Denise claims with her wheat example. The reason for this multi-faceted.

    Confounding factors must be taken into consideration through regression analysis. Specifically: “Higher wheat flour consumption, for example, is correlated, as univariate correlations, with lower green vegetable consumption, lower serum levels of monounsaturated fats, higher serum levels of urea and greater body weight. [Further details within his response]”

    Dr. Campbell also explained that the underlying biological plausibility has to be considered first. Otherwise inappropriate conclusions (Such as wheat being one of the sole causes of disease) may be drawn. Denise’s analysis completely misses these steps.

    As for your claim that Dr. Campbell should provide his detailed regression analysis I have to challenge you on this one. He has already provided the raw data, which is more than the vast majority of researchers will do. He’s also taken the time to thoroughly respond to Denise. Demanding that he now shares detailed aspects of his research / life work simply isn’t plausible. As a professional researcher he’s paid to perform research and report the results, not teach biochemistry and statistics.

    Lastly, experience and expertise aren’t the only factors in evaluating the source of information, but they are not to be ignored. An 80 year old biochemist with multiple PhD’s is simply more qualified to perform this analysis than someone in their 20’s without any qualifications in the field. Add to that the fact the Denise’s work has yet to be published or peer reviewed and the credibility of her analysis is subject to skepticism at the very least.

    Thank you for taking the time to respond to my post and for inspiring others in their search for healthier lives.

  4. As a professional researcher, no, he’s not paid to teach statistics, but when he publishes peer-reviewed work he is expected to describe the statistical methods used, not just provide data and conclusions. But of course, the China Study is not peer-reviewed, and it would not it hold up if it were.

    Dr. Campbell claimed that it was okay for him to cherry pick his data and use univariate analysis when it suits him to support the conclusions that he’d already come to, as part of some new type of holistic science (not okay for Denise, but okay for him). I’d love to see him try to get that approach through peer-review.

    Once again, I must repeat that this is not about Denise or whether she has credentials or whether her work is peer reviewed. I’m not taking my dietary advice from Denise, and I wouldn’t take them from the China Study regardless of whether I read her posts on the subject or not. I look for evidence-based guidance – and evidence isn’t just data, it’s also transparent analytic methods that have been validated by peer review.

    Folks, don’t let Dr. Campbell’s credentials obscure the fact that this is a mass market book that would never withstand scrutiny by the scientific community. That is why you can’t find published references to it in any journals, discussion either in support or opposition by other researchers, other studies either confirming or invalidating its conclusions. Go ahead, look for them. That’s why you won’t find it cited by any mainstream medical organizations giving dietary recommendations. That’s why it wasn’t reported in the NY Times, where you will see it if and when it can be demonstrated that eating animal protein causes cancer in work taken seriously by the scientific community.

    The China Study is just another consumer diet book full of unproven claims, to throw on the heap of thousands in print. As with all the rest, a huge dose of skepticism is in order.

    1. Hi Denise,

      I’m glad we can both agree skepticism is a requirement when looking at these studies :)

      I appreciate your sharing Mr. Kock’s research. My problem with it is he is another internet blogger without qualifications or experience in the field. Yes he has a high level of education, but Kock critiquing Campbell is equivalent to a philosophy major critiquing Einstein’s work.

      Taking a step back, it seems the focus here is about criticizing the China Study. I’d like to evolve the discussion and see if you (Or anyone else) is aware of a comprehensive* study that supports eating animals for health purposes.

      *By comprehensive, I mean:
      -> High population (China study was ~6,500)
      -> Long duration (China Study was 10+ years)
      -> Incorporates regression (multivariate) analysis
      -> Considers biological plausibility

      When it comes down to it there have been 3-4 million studies done in the last 15-20 years. You can find studies to support just about anything. The problem is most of these studies are done in isolation and do not address the four points I’ve listed above.

      Smoking received similar push back for decades after the link to cancer came out. Between confirmation bias and the financial impact diet changes would have on the animal processing industry it’s not surprising to see significant resistance here as well.

      As you stated it’s up to each of us to apply our own lens of skepticism to the information that’s available. For me I’d rather put my faith in a macro-centric study than a micro-centric one. No study is going to be perfect, but I think the China Study tells a story worth listening to.

      Thank you for encouraging me to rethink my own beliefs Denise, it is much appreciated.

    2. Mainstream science and medicine are very profitable. Healthy people don’t give doctors as much money as sick people. Vegans don’t give money to dairy and farming industries. Why would the dairy and agriculture industries (who provide a significant amount of the funding for research) want word going around that animal proteins promote cancer growth? Truth can be bad for business.

  5. OMG Did you all see this youtube video and this doctor? He got several studies from Harvard and it just blows the China Study away and kills it. I mean, it totally destroys the China Study. Harvard studies are hard to refute.


    Looks like Roundup and glyphsate are not the only Amino Acid Synthesis Inhibitors we should be more vigilant about when it comes to the individuals health.

    Sulfonylurea, imidazolinone and sulfonamide are other herbicides widely used on common foods aswell.
    Besides that, it’s still not precisely known how glyphosate kills plants or affects cellular redox homeostasis and related processes in glyphosate-sensitive and glyphosate-resistant crop plants.

  7. I read the China study criticism of yours and ,although I need more time to grasp the whole spectrum of criticism I felt that some parts made sense. But Ihave an issue with the fact that you not mentioning your name. The reason for my comment is that without knowing who you are the reader cannot exclude any conflict of interest and therefore bias you may have. So you depriving us of the chance to give credibility to your study.

  8. Denise, I’m a big fan of your work. Thank goodness that there are still people out there championing critical thinking and common sense. You are definitely one of the brave souls taking on the mindless misinformation machine. You are an inspiration!

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