famous for leading the huge "China Study" on diet and disease. This
intensive study of populations in China found a strong correlation
between higher animal protein consumption and cancer. In "Whole", his most recent book, he tells of his career as a researcher, biochemist, as a professor, and as a member of national health boards. He describes how research findings can be skewed or influenced by many factors and how food policy is heavily influenced by the need to produce a profit. Similarly, medical education and research are influenced by commercial interests.
Campbell offers a very good discussion of how reductionist thinking - the need to isolate one factor to study - influences medical research and the health system. He makes a case that adopting the diet he advocates - a whole food, plant-based diet (low fat, vegan) - would solve many world-wide environmental problems as well as severe health problems of many countries.
This book increased my concerns over how money influences research and policy. Indications are that our meat, dairy and animal fat is unhealthy but this may be due to confined feeding practices, use of hormones, etc. I agree that whole foods have many more benefits than the element we can analyze. Campbell gives as an example some interesting research showing the overall antioxidant effect an apple is about like 1500mg of vitamin C though it contains only a few milligrams of Vitamin C. The benefits of a whole foods plant-based diet may be related to what people DO eat on this diet, than from total avoidance of animal foods.
My own belief, based on research studies and personal experience, is that using small amounts of naturally raised animal foods (about 2 ounces a few times a week) is advantageous, both to human health and for efficient use of land. Most likely, the nutrition and quality of the food is more important than the strict elimination of animal foods. It is also important to consider individual variations both genetic and acquired; sensitivities, digestive problems, cultural preference.