[ASC-list] CSIRO Perfidy Not

Claire Pannell claire at scitech.org.au
Fri Aug 28 02:23:16 UTC 2009

Dear Niall
There is something strange going on with the links you send.
This one isn't working for me, and neither did the other ones.
So, the links are not good.
Anyone else able to use them?
Thought you should know.

-----Original Message-----
From: asc-list-bounces at lists.asc.asn.au [mailto:asc-list-bounces at lists.asc.asn.au] On Behalf Of Niall Byrne
Sent: Friday, 28 August 2009 6:36 AM
To: asc-list at lists.asc.asn.au
Subject: [ASC-list] CSIRO Perfidy Not

The links are good - but may be truncated in your email reader. But just
google red meat CSIRO cancer to find your own links.

This looks to be a clear statement of CSIRO's position - from 2007


CSIRO supports the latest World Cancer Research Fund Report highlighting
obesity as a major risk factor for a range of cancers.
1 November 2007

The World Cancer Research Fund (WCRF) findings in respect of maintaining
a healthy weight, regular exercise, the importance of fruit, fibre and
vegetables in a balanced diet are all supported by CSIRO, as are the
findings for appropriate intakes of alcohol and fresh red meat.

Consistent with WCRF findings the CSIRO Total Wellbeing Diet is a
balanced weight loss program aimed at reducing obesity. The diet
includes lean protein food, low fat dairy foods, whole grains and fruit,
vegetables and exercise programs.

CSIRO believes it is important to retain focus on the major risk factors
such as obesity. CSIRO's own analysis of available data, preceding the
WCRF report, suggests the following risks in relation to colorectal
cancer in order of importance are:

      Risk factors (highest to lowest)
            Age over 50
            Genetic predisposition
            Alcohol consumption
            Processed meat consumption
            Fresh Red meat consumption.
      Protective factors (lowest to highest)
            Physical activity
            Vitamin D.

The WCRF report recommends a weekly limit of cooked fresh red meat
consumption of less than 500gms, or between 700gms and 750gms of
uncooked meat, which is broadly consistent with CSIRO's current
recommendation in the CSIRO Total Wellbeing Diet of 560g cooked red meat
consumption, or 800g of fresh uncooked meat per week.

Both amounts fall within the current Australian dietary guidelines and
are within the range of current average consumption rates of red meat by
Australian consumers.

CSIRO also recognises processed red meat consumption has a higher
relative risk per gram compared to fresh red meat. The WCRF
recommendation to avoid eating any processed red meat is one that we
believe warrants close analysis of any new evidence the WCRF report
contains. We will then consider any required adjustment to our
recommendations in the CSIRO Total Wellbeing Diet.

The WCRF report is a significant and valuable contribution to the global
efforts to reduce cancer and promote health and wellbeing.


Niall Byrne

Science in Public
26 Railway Street South, Altona Vic 3018

ph +61 (3) 9398 1416 or 0417 131 977
niall at scienceinpublic.com.au

Full contact details at www.scienceinpublic.com

-----Original Message-----
From: asc-list-bounces at lists.asc.asn.au
[mailto:asc-list-bounces at lists.asc.asn.au] On Behalf Of David Mussared
Sent: Thursday, 27 August 2009 4:12 PM
To: asc-list at lists.asc.asn.au
Subject: Re: [ASC-list] CSIRO Perfidy?

Thanks Niall

Unfortunately, neither of the links you provided worked for me (out of
date) and I am not a subscriber to Crikey.

Arguments about nutrition aside, in his book Russell makes some pretty
specific claims about CSIRO corporate / communication behaviour.

For example, he alleges that the CSIRO withheld research results which
found that the high protein diet promoted in the diet book worked no
better than a healthier high carbohydrate diet trialled at the same
time. Given the research sponsorship arrangements, this claim seems to
me to be a pretty serious one.

The old journo in me can smell a story here (one that I am not in a
position to pursue). Which is why I sent my first email.


David Mussared

>I think there's room to be a bit more sceptical about Geoff Russell's
>book. I've seen his commentaries on Crikey over the years.
>And it only took a few minutes with Professor Google to find rebuttals.
>Geoff made these claims last year in an article for the Monthly:
>At the time in the SMH CSIRO scientist Manny Noakes said,
>"She said yesterday: "We will continue to look at all the evidence. The

>WCRF report suggests one thing but we understand that a large study in
>the United States due to be released soon shows no relationship between

>red meat and colorectal cancer."
>There's a few others.
>Geoff and others may have a point about the amount of protein in the
>Well Being Diet. But constructing a conspiracy theory around it is a
>long stretch.
>And of course Geoff is on a mission. He is a vigorous animal rights and

>vegetarian campaigner
>That's not a criticism.
>But science isn't done, or broken in these kinds of polemic books be it
>       The vegetarian's expose on red meat
>       The lawyer's expose of the poison of sugar
>       Or the geologist's expose of the climate change fraud.
>All interesting books but none I suspect are really useful contributors

>to an evidence-based discussion of these issues.
>Ps - I've included the lawyer's expose because he has a similar attack
>on the scientists. In his case it's Jennie Brand-Miller and the
>glycaemic index. I trust Jennie.
>Pps - Disclosure - I advise various parts of CSIRO on communication
>from time to time but never in this area.
>Niall Byrne
>Science in Public
>26 Railway Street South, Altona Vic 3018
>ph +61 (3) 9398 1416 or 0417 131 977
>niall at scienceinpublic.com.au
>Full contact details at www.scienceinpublic.com
>-----Original Message-----
>From: asc-list-bounces at lists.asc.asn.au
>[mailto:asc-list-bounces at lists.asc.asn.au] On Behalf Of David Mussared
>Sent: Wednesday, 26 August 2009 2:17 PM
>To: asc-list at lists.asc.asn.au
>Subject: [ASC-list] CSIRO Perfidy?
>G'day ASCers
>I have been reading with great interest a book titled 'CSIRO Perfidy'
>by Adelaide author Geoff Russell - http://perfidy.com.au
>The book (a 'no holds barred' critique of the CSIRO's best-selling
>'Total Wellbeing Diet') contains a number of very disturbing claims
>about the CSIRO's corporate and scientific behaviour.
>I have not seen any response from the CSIRO to Russell's claims (but I
>would be interested to see a response). Nor have I attempted to verify
>(or falsify) Russell's claims.
>All I feel can do at this stage is suggest to the working science (&
>medical) journalists on this list that the book is definitely worth
>reading, and worth asking some questions about.
>David Mussared
>Email Media
>PO Box 212
>ALDGATE  SA  5154
>08-8388-5608 (fax: 08-8388-5372)
>adverts at emailmedia.com.au
>http://www.nrmjobs.com.au (environment & NRM jobs)
>http://www.hacjobs.com.au (social & community jobs)
>http://www.comjobs.com.au (communicators' jobs)
>ASC-list mailing list
>list at asc.asn.au
>No virus found in this incoming message.
>Checked by AVG - www.avg.com
>Version: 8.5.409 / Virus Database: 270.13.64/2320 - Release Date:
>08/25/09 18:07:00
>ASC-list mailing list
>list at asc.asn.au

Email Media
PO Box 212

08-8388-5608 (fax: 08-8388-5372)
adverts at emailmedia.com.au

http://www.nrmjobs.com.au (environment & NRM jobs)
http://www.hacjobs.com.au (social & community jobs)
http://www.comjobs.com.au (communicators' jobs)
ASC-list mailing list
list at asc.asn.au
ASC-list mailing list
list at asc.asn.au

More information about the ASC-list mailing list