Healthy Living
George Eisman: Growth Hormones in Animal Products Equals Cancer      
Halo, thoughtful viewers, and welcome to Healthy Living. On this week’s program George Eisman, a highly respected vegan registered dietitian in the United States, will explain how consuming animal products causes cancer as well as how the animal agriculture industry destroys public health.

Our diet benefits from lowering our animal products. Every serving we get out, we lower our cancer risk by 20 to 30%, right down to no animal products at all.

Mr. Eisman served as a faculty member in dietetics and nutrition at several universities and colleges and has worked in a children's hospital and a nursing home, as well as for public health agencies in four states. He founded The Association of Vegetarian Dietitians and Nutrition Educators, is the co-founder and first Chairman-Elect of the Vegetarian Nutrition Practice Group of the American Dietetic Association, is the director of the Coalition for Cancer Prevention Through Plant-Based Eating and is also an Advisory Board Member of EarthSave International. Mr. Eisman is the author of two books, “The Most Noble Diet” and “A Basic Course in Vegetarian and Vegan Nutrition.”

I've been vegetarian for over 40 years now. And I've been vegan for about 28 years. And my life's work is trying to make people aware of the connection between what they eat and their risk of diseases like cancer. And a vegan diet is by far the best way to lower your cancer risk.

There was a study done in Japan a few years ago that found when people in rural areas went from eating animal products just once a week to three times a week, the breast cancer rate went up by 70%. If you can find a drug that would lower people’s breast cancer rate by 70%, you could make a billion dollars. So all you have to do is get them to cut animal products out of their diet and it goes down by that much.

There were an estimated 12.7 million cancer cases diagnosed around the world in 2008, and this number is expected to rise to 21 million by 2030. Cancer is a term used for more than 100 diseases and is characterized by out-of-control cell reproduction.

To be healthy, the body needs a constant supply of new cells and their regulation is an orderly path of growth, division, and death. When this process is damaged, some cells do not end their lives as a normal part of the cell life cycle. These irregular ones grow uncontrollably and divide, forming a mass of abnormal cells. The complex mechanism of cell regulation is tightly controlled by growth hormones.

The best thing about a vegan diet, from a standpoint of cancer risk is that a vegan diet contains no growth hormones. Growth hormones are proteins that promote growth. And cancer is a disease of abnormal growth. So to put growth hormones in your body, when you’re trying to fight cancer or prevent cancer, is like trying to put out a fire with gasoline. It's just going to make it worse, because it's going to promote growth.

And growth hormones are animal products, because all the animals that are slaughtered for us are killed when they're still fairly young, so they're still growing. And of course, dairy products are meant to grow a baby calf into a thousand pound cow in a year, so they’re full of growth hormones. And eggs are full of growth hormones. So in order to get these growth hormones out of our diet, we have to go to a plant-based diet, and use plant-based milks and egg-substitutes made from plant foods, and of course, things like veggie burgers and tofu and other plant products in place of meat and other animal products.

Organic meats and grass-fed, non-hormone enhanced meats, still are full of growth hormones, because of the age of the animals. We don't let them get old before we slaughter them, we eat them when they're still young. So these growth hormones are in their bodies, whether they’re enhanced, injected with them, or they're just naturally there. Those growth hormones are in our animal products that we consume. These growth hormones are proteins; they're not fats. So if you eat low-fat meat and low-fat dairy products, it’s actually worse because they have more protein than they do fats, so they have more growth hormone.

Mr. Eisman learned about how dietary growth hormones cause cancer from the work of Professor Jane Plant, a cancer victim herself whose tumor went into remission shortly after she adopted a vegan diet.

I came across this book in 1999 called “The No Dairy Breast Cancer Prevention Program” by a woman named Jane Plant, who was one of the top scientists in England. And this book opened up my eyes to the link between cancer and dairy products, and as well as all other animal products. So dairy products are the one food that people think is healthy for them, and it really isn’t. It’s just as unhealthy as meat and chicken and eggs, because it has these growth hormones that encourage abnormal growth.

And that’s why she features this. And that’s inspired me as a dietitian, because we dietitians are also brainwashed into thinking that dairy products are necessary foods. And they’re not only not necessary, but they are not even healthful. And they actually shorten our lives by raising our risk of this deadly disease of cancer.

Let me tell you the story of Jane Plant herself. Jane Plant was diagnosed with breast cancer in 1987. And after five operations, which she lost all of one breast and part of the other breast, she was told she had at most six months to live. Her breast cancer had spread to her neck. She traveled around the world to countries where breast cancer was not a common disease, and compared it to countries where breast cancer was a common disease.

And she said this pattern was very clear to her that the more dairy products, and actually other animal products as well in a diet, the higher the country’s rate of breast cancer. And so she gave up eating all animal products. And within a few weeks, the tumor on her neck started to itch, and it started to shrink. And when she went back to her doctor six months later, instead of being dead, she was cancer-free. And 15 years later she's still writing books.

Why is it that not enough nutritionists and medical doctors know about this?

Well, first of all medical doctors are doctors of medicine. They’re not doctors of health, they’re not doctors of nutrition, they’re not doctors of food. They are doctors of medicine. My brother is a medical doctor, and he says, "We never learn anything about food. I learn about what each vitamin might do in your body, but I don't learn about what foods they’re in. If someone, wants to get that vitamin, I prescribe a pill."

And if you think about it, if people are healthy from what they eat, there's not a lot of sickness and there is not a lot of business for the hospitals and the pharmaceutical industry. It's not the doctors themselves, but the doctors are pushed by the pharmaceutical industry and the healthcare industry to treat disease and not to prevent disease.

Dietitians are not trained to prescribe diets. They're trained to teach people how to follow diets that are prescribed by doctors. But the ideal diet is not something that is really pushed, because it's not economically beneficial for anybody except the individual.

With much of the medical community not informed as to the innumerable benefits of a plant-based diet, it is no wonder the misconception exists that this diet lacks sufficient protein. However nothing could be further from the truth.

Most people think you need to have a lot of protein in your diet, and you really don’t need to have very much. Just a couple of ounces of a day is all you need. And it’s easily gotten from plant foods. And you don’t have to even eat things like soybeans, which are very high in protein. You can eat other beans, things like kidney beans, garbanzo beans, black beans, but also vegetables and grains and nuts and seeds. They all have adequate amounts of protein to meet our needs.

In the US, one can purchase a hamburger at a fast-food outlet for 99 cents. A study by the Center for Science and Environment estimated that the true cost of a hamburger in the US, including government subsidies to the livestock industry, the harm to public health from consuming beef and environmental damage caused by producing it is US$200.

What we really should stop doing is stop subsidizing the meat and dairy industry. We have these farm bills that pass every year, and meat and dairy get most of the money, that's our tax money subsidizing those foods. They're the unhealthiest foods. And those are the foods that should be the most expensive. Instead they're the cheapest because of the subsidies.

Every farm animal is bred intentionally so if we stop consuming them, we can stop breeding them tomorrow and there won’t be millions of them to be producing all these pollutants that are destroying the atmosphere and polluting the water, as well as creating all this unhealthy food. We can stop the breeding of farm animals tomorrow.

On top of all the wonderful things that a vegan lifestyle brings to us in terms of health and well-being, it has many other beneficial effects as well.

But if we really care about our health and the health of the environment and the health of other people, and the health of the animals that we're trying to spare unnecessary suffering, then a whole foods plant-based diet is a win-win-win situation for everybody concerned. We don't get hurt, the animals don't get hurt, the beautiful dog on your lap, and the cows, and the pigs, and the chickens, and the sheep, they have the same feelings that that dog does. And if somebody were to snatch that dog off your lap and try to eat it, people would be so upset. And yet we do that everyday with these other animals who have the same feeling of wanting to survive, of wanting to not be harmed.

Our sincere gratitude, George Eisman, for providing such essential information about the plant strong diet that ensures cancer-free, fulfilling lives. May you always enjoy utmost success on your noble path.

For more information on the Coalition for Cancer Prevention Through Plant-Based Eating, please visit
Mr. Eisman’s books, “The Most Noble Diet” and “A Basic Course in Vegetarian and Vegan Nutrition,” are available at the same website and

Thank you for joining us today on Healthy Living. May all experience everlasting excellent health and long, happy lives.

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