Moms Across America is a group of well-meaning moms, who, concerned about their children’s health, have become anti-GMO activists. Led by well-meaning uber-mom Zen Honeycutt, whom we interviewed last year, they demonstrate and publish their views and have been holding some streaming video interviews and seminars. However, none of them are scientists or have much scientific training, and if you scroll to the bottom of their web page, you will find they have extensive support from the organic industry.
As we noted before, much of the anti-GMO movement has changed from claiming GMOs are poison to focusing on glyphosate (Roundup) being sprayed on GMOs as the actual agent that they believe is causing health problems. Of course, there is simply no evidence for this, as Roundup is generally only present as minute traces which have never been shown to have any adverse health effects, even in long-term studies such as Snell’s, as summarized here by Entine.
Recently, Honeycutt met Priya Advani and asked if she could give an interview on their web site. The interview, which occurred last night (9/23/15) was probably as frustrating for Honeycutt as it was for the viewers. It is now available for streaming from the MAM site.
Priya Advani calls herself “Dr Advani,” but her doctorate is a Doctorate in Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine, which is not recognized by any medical board and is essentially mystical quackery. As QuackWatch notes, you should “Beware of Acupuncture, Quigong and Chinese Medicine,” because there is no evidence they work, and have no scientific basis. Science Based Medicine also has a recent piece condemning NPR for implying the acupuncture and alternative medicine have any measurable effect.
Nonetheless, Advani held forth for the better part of any hour, claiming that she cured patients of their ills, which included sinus infections and more serious ailments by removing “GMOs” from their diets, combined with meditation and acupuncture.
She quickly made it clear that she only recently even heard of genetically modified crops and concluded that since nearly all soy and corn in the US is genetically modified, she recommended her patients adopt alternative diets to eliminate these GMOs. She did not even mention any cause and effect relationship, nor did she seem to know that the overwhelming scientific consensus is that GM foods are no more dangerous than conventional crops.
It is probable that Advani is a really nice woman in person, with a lot of charm, but on the video, her halting valley-girl style of speech made her less than credible, even as she was advocating meditation, acupuncture, detox (which doesn’t do anything either), and removal of “GMOs” from your diet.
Here’s a brief excerpt:
Zen: Tell us a little bit more about your patients recuperating.
Priya: So basically things like that with a lot of allergies, a lot of chronic sinus issues. I’ve had patients with, you know, diabetes, cholesterol, basically things like that. It was interesting, I had a patient, who was a new patient who came just to do a detox, and when I sat down with her, I spent an hour and a half for consultation, sat down with her and talked about GMOs versus organic; she’d never heard of GMO before, she actually was on board with changing out her food…she heard what I had to say about it and she did her own research and she was again shocked…
But after this word salad, Honeycutt kept pressing for details of her treatments and patient reactions, and Advani kept skating across the surface, avoiding answering directly. You could see that this really wasn’t a productive interview.
Advani did claim that on an organic diet, you don’t need to eat as much because it is “the chemicals that make you hungry,” again a claim without any actual scientific basis. She also mentioned Samsel and Seneff’s publications in 3rd rate pay-to-play journals that claim that Roundup causes dozens of diseases, but not mentioning that that paper contained no research data to support its claims and has been pretty thoroughly discredited.
She also claimed that glyphosate is a chelator (it is but not a very effective one) that robs food of its nutrition (again never shown) and even of its Vitamin D. But there is no science to support her fantasies. It’s just made up!
Overall, Advani is not a doctor, barely understands science, and should not be treating patients. She is a practitioner of alternative medicine and the definition of alternative medicine remains “things we don’t know work and things we know don’t work.” Detox is quackery, acupuncture is quackery and herbology is quackery. She does seem like a nice person, though.