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How the Food and Drug Companies Ensure that We Get Sick and They Make Money


How the Food and Drug Companies Ensure that We Get Sick and They Make Money

Paul Buchheit

Another reason for single-payer health care: The documentary What the Health shows how the lives and health of human beings are considered insignificant, and in many ways threatened, by the pursuit of profits in the meat and dairy and drug industries.

The corporate disdain revealed by this film is nearly beyond belief. And our 'trusted' watchdog agencies, both non-profit and government, are beholden to the biggest companies, accepting money in return for their silence about the dangers of animal and pharmaceutical products.


Walgreens comes to a corner near you. CVS promptly occupies one of the three other corner lots. The message? You need drugs! Don’t forget your Snickers whilst in line. How many products are in the typical "super"market? How many does one need? How many does one crave? Why? “For the love of money is the root of all evil.”


Supermarket lay outs are designed so you must walk past the frankenfood before you arrive at the locations of anything fit for human consumption.

One pill makes you larger and one pill makes you small.
The ones that mother gives you don’t do anything at all - Jefferson Airplane 1967

TV sent us down a rabbit hole and the internet keeps making our journey through the hole more surreal.

The pills to counteract other pills sector keeps expanding. I just watched an ad about a drug to remedy opioid induced constipation.


Sometimes people are so eager for justice that they are too ready to see injustice. I think Buccheit, whom I normally agree with as much as anyone, makes that mistake here.

Yes, the message of the last paragraph, that Capitalism is a lousy motivator for a proper diet, is true, but the overall thesis seems to be a conspiracy theory that pharmaceutical companies, with the aid of corporations that sell meat, want us to eat poor diets so we have to buy more drugs.

He blames lobbyists for the overconsumption of red meat. I’m willing to bet most people would still eat at McDonald’s even if “Big Ag” lobbyists were completely silent.

He suggests that certain restaurant chains are funding ACS, ADA and AHA because diabetes, cancer and heart disease are good for their bottom line. Huh? Very likely they want us to think that meat and dairy are healthy for us, but I don’t think it’s because they profit from our illness, even if they hold large shares of Pfizer or Merck.

And I checked the link on the Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act. It doesn’t limit speech, except when used to threaten or instigate violence, which would be illegal even without the law.

When you want to get a liberal point across, please try not to go so far that you make far-fetched claims that undercut an otherwise sound thesis.


Look around you. Some people don’t have anything but 7 Elevens and McDonalds in their neighborhoods. Do you really believe that statement that fast foods chains don’t give money to these so called not for profit organizations? Of course they do. Money rules, greed and profit at all cost rule.


I didn’t say they weren’t donating money to ADA, ACS and AHA. I said the reason they were donating wasn’t because obesity, diabetes, cancer and heart disease made them wealthier.


Consider the fact that most plastics used to package food and drink or line food and drink cans leach endocrine disrupters into their contents, leading to obesity, diabetes, and other disorders.

The clear plastic bottle (PET #1 plastic) has been used extensively for soft drinks, water, cooking oil, fruit juice, etc, since its invention in 1973 - and the global obesity epidemic began just two years later.


Then, you miss the point of why such food producers donate to those health organizations. The point is that by making donations they can get favorable reports and press releases and other messages put out by those health organizations that downplays the negative health consequences of consuming their products. In other words, those food producers hope to corrupt the health organizations. The sad fact is that it works which causes americans to not get the accurate information they need to make healthy food choice decisions. So americans end up making unhealthy decisions when they think they are making healthy decision which makes those food producers lots of money, then americans end up getting nutrition related diseases which could have been prevented if they had accurate information in the first place, Finally, those americans end up going to the Dr and being prescribed expensive drugs to treat those long term nutrition related health conditions that won’t easily go away which ends up making the drug industry a lot of money. Now do you see what is going on here?


No, I am well aware of that. Are you aware of the fact that if someone dies from eating McDonald’s hamburgers, they probably aren’t going to purchase any more McDonald’s hamburgers?

I’m sure McDonald’s doesn’t WANT their products to kill people, and if they had a magical ingredient that didn’t effect flavor, but would prevent any negative health effects of their food, they would want to use it.

But Buccheit’s ridiculous argument, which is RIGHT THERE IN THE HEADLINE is that these corporations WANT their products to cause deadly illnesses.


If you are “well aware of that” then why are you not acting like it? Because You still don’t get it. The food companies ensure we get sick by making sure that we remain ignorant of the health consequences of frequently consuming their products. They aren’t keeping us in the dark “to get us sick” as you mistakenly assume. They keep us in the dark in order keep us heavily consuming their products. Yes it says it right there in the headline as you point out but you have misunderstood it and made a lot of incorrect assumptions and put words into the author’s mouth. I understand exactly what the author is saying here and completely agree. I also see this first hand every day since I work as a Nutritionist in a Public Health Dept.


In that case why was it necessary to spend time and effort to make something illegal that was already illegal?



OK, I may have misread the article. Paragraph 4, last sentence, made it sound to me that he was saying drug and chemical companies do their part to make red meat more carcinogenic and beef sellers were somehow working with them because drugs related to this carcinogenic factor were making meat more profitable because it fattens up the animals.

The second to last paragraph made it seemed like Big Ag and Big Pharma were somehow working together, with the central link that since Big Pharma makes money fighting the diseases that Big Ag promotes, there was a conspiracy between the two.

I apologize if I misread the article.


Probably for the second section, which prescribes targeted punishments.


You are a free agent.

No one makes you buy anything. If you don’t want processed food, don’t buy it. If you don’t want medication, don’t buy it. No one is holding a gun to your head forcing you to consume. I haven’t been in a McDonald’s (other than to use their bathroom when on the road…) for the last 25 years. Could I eat better? Of course - we all can. I happen to enjoy a nice piece of steak now and then, but it’s my choice.


Your message of personal responsibility makes you sound like a political conservative. If that’s so, how do you feel about your tax dollars being used to promote certain private industry, as when USDA sets up healthy eating guidelines that come from beef and dairy industries?


I have to agree with the writer. I figured this out the hard way. Due to a period of extreme economic stress, I practically existed on the dollar diet at McDonald’s. I eventually developed a rash and developed gastric problems because it’s basically crap pretending to be food. Our taxes subsidize fast food corporations. That is just one toxin in our environment. There are so many. Yes. Big Pharma is in the business to make money on the illness of people. If they were benevolent, they wouldn’t price basic medications out of the reach of regular folk. If our environment and the crap we eat and the pesticides and the radiation, the pollution: it is a system of things interacting upon each other, feeding on each other for profit at the expense of the common folk which is us. And it has always been thus and it will always be so.


Figuratively, they are. In many cases, if you don’t buy their medicine, you die.


The meat industry has been overusing huge amounts of antibiotics on livestock.
This overuse has very serious consequences in the creation of antibiotic-resistant pathogenic organisms. This can lead to epidemicity and huge effects on health and societal costs. Even if one does not eat meat, the effects of the meat industry can still adversely affect one. Enormous amounts of water, food, and energy go into livestock farming, and large amounts of carbon dioxide are also produced, so our health is affected by this too.


I’m not a conservative, but I strongly oppose “crony capitalism”. Corporate welfare has even less place than individual welfare.


Correct you do. But just as you’re not obligated to buy something, no one is obligated to sell you something. We all die in the end. The question is always what are we willing to do, or to spend, to add to that life span.