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Thread: FYI: No threads removed "after contact with The Vegan Society"

  1. #1
    Ex-admin Korn's Avatar
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    Apr 2004

    Default FYI: No threads removed "after contact with The Vegan Society"

    Hi all,

    Someone (on another discussion site) has launched the idea that one of our threads about B12 has been removed after some apparent contact between The Vegan Society and this forum. Just to clarify: this has not happened.

    After contact with Vegan Society in UK, we hosted a closed Vegan Society-section for interested VS members some years ago - for limited time - mainly dedicated to discussions before the annual AGMs, but has always been independent from Vegan Society and is not associated with VS - or other - organizations.

    The person who launched the idea above also have suggested that our forum somehow belongs to religious, American cults/a category of people who "refuse that humans need B12" and who "refuse that molecules exist" - and more. Oh well.
    I will not eat anything that walks, swims, flies, runs, skips, hops or crawls.

  2. #2

    Default Re: FYI: No threads removed "after contact with The Vegan Society"

    Quote korn View Post
    the person who launched the idea above also have suggested that our forum somehow belongs to religious, american cults/a category of people who "refuse that humans need b12" and who "refuse that molecules exist" - and more. Oh well.

  3. #3

    Default Re: FYI: No threads removed "after contact with The Vegan Society"

    Hi Korn

    Any chance anyone from here can post your response on that forum?


  4. #4
    Ex-admin Korn's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2004

    Default Re: FYI: No threads removed "after contact with The Vegan Society"

    Hi Leedsveg,

    the misinformation from this person is so far fetched that it isn't even worth discussing. This guy has accused someone in the same thread for deliberately trying to cause brain damage in others, called our members psychopaths, claimed that some people think that humans/vegans don't need B12, and don't like that various PubMed reports etc. suggest that some vegan sources may contain active B12. He also wants us to delete one of our subforums. He threateing-ish posts about contacting the police (even mentions forced hospitalization) to stop opposing viewpoints, and - who knows - maybe also have reports he don't like removed from PubMed and other sites for what I know. The problem is that nobody he is discussing with (or anyone else) ever have suggested what he thinks they have (that nobody should take B12 etc).

    Since I mentioned that always has been independent from Vegan Society, I should also mention (I don't recall if you were here then) that several VS-members who were active in our Vegan Society section actually suggested a cooperation between VS and us. We had phone talks discussing what this would imply (in terms of expenses etc), and since I run a closed area for VS members where some of those who work there also were active, we also had some talks about the practicalities around this (eg. how to make sure that only Vegan Society members could get access to that area). This lasted for a couple of years or so.

    When the old Vegan Society forum was hacked, it just disappeared and was never resurrected. Maybe something was wrong with their backups? Anyway - VS and VF was and is separate, but it's kind of surprising that they haven't started a new, public forum yet. That would probably have been a good idea.

    We also had another guy - a vegan doctor/author who had an assistant contacting me and suggest that we could join forces in running this forum at some point - and at least three others have suggested either to buy the forum of some kind of collaboration. Let's see what the future brings, but I kind of like it just the way it is.

    Not only that, but I think there are many reasons why they urgently should update they confusing and sometimes misleading B12 info. Here are 12 of them:

    1) Reliable B12 info sources. They refer to as a good source for info, but disagree (at list publicly, currently) with the owner of on the three most important topics. This - independently of whether their, or's info, or all those who disagree with both them are right - is confusing for their readers.

    2) Best B12 markers. They claim that the homocysteine test is the best way to test active B12 levels in humans bodies, and fail to mention that many experts disagree. Many insist that MMA tests - although they are also still being discussed - are more reliable, and some claim that MMA tests currently are the only tests that should be relied upon as B12 markers. Homocysteine can be influenced by much more than just B12, and is therefore disputable as a reliable B12 marker. But this isn't really about who is right and who is wrong: it's about letting their readers know that most experts insist that there is too little research on this, and that they only represent one of several, possibly ways to look at B12/Hcy situation.

    3) Treating symptoms? We know that taking vitamin supplements will lower homocysteine levels in the body, and that's not a bad thing - sometimes that's all a human needs. But there's an ongoing discussion - especially related to homocysteine and heart disease - if reducing the homocysteine levels as such will make us 'safe', and solve problems associated with high homocysteine levels. Maybe Hcy is a symptom, and not always a cause. Vegan Society's literature can create a false impression that as long as the Hcy levels go down, we should be happy - but there's a lot more to it than that.

    4) Many ways to lower homocysteine. They definitely fail to emphasize the many nutrients and other factors which may be used to improve homocysteine status. There are many ways to deal with high homocysteine levels in the body, but a small group of people sticks out in this discussion, and present B12 as some kind of wonder pill. This is important - and not only when it comes to heart disease. Unfortunately, some of Vegan Society's info can be categorized in the relatively small 'wonder pill' group. All vegans deserve to get more info about the other ways to deal with high homocysteine, especially in literature for vegans about homocysteine.

    5) Cancer. Even if they won't, for some reason, focus on that many of the health problems associated with high-B12 diets, or that these problems actually may be associated with exactly that: the high B12 levels, they should IMO definitely mention the link between high B12 and prostate and esophagus cancer.

    6) Be honest about disagreements about the homocysteine theory/studies - or tell people openly that they possibly could be wrong and that more research is needed. The homocysteine theory the promote, which it was launched (it was even considered controversial when it was presented) - and not something commonly agreed upon when they published their book either. Although many new reports may suggest that his theory doesn't hold water, more research is needed, because even some of the newest reports that more or less declare the heart/Hcy theory dead may need to be verified as well. More studies will come, but if something is a little on the controversial side, they should let people know. If they inform about these disagreements, they are also more 'safe' if it shows up that their info is wrong.

    7) Fail to inform about the disagreement re. B12 in some plants. It doesn't help their own cause to not mention that there are well respected sources out there who insist that useful B12 can be found in some plants. They don't need to even agree in this, but if they fail to properly mention that there may be reliable, plant based B12 sources out there, they push people away. If it shows up that these researchers are right - they have pushed people away for no valid reason at all.

    8) They even disagree with themselves about B12 and plants. They claim on their site that they know that there are no reliable plant sources of B12 - which should suggest that no further studies are needed, but in their book they write something else. This is confusing for their readers. And when they write that vegans generally get enough B12 to avoid anemia, they don't talk about vegans who take supplements. If vegans generally get enough B12 to avoid anemia - where do they get it from? Are they refering to eg. these studies? More clarity would be good.

    9) 3 mcg enough? Many also ask why they write "Alternatively a supplement can be provided. Daily amount: 3 micrograms" if they think that a daily B12 tablet isn't a good solution. There's no link, in this text, to other info suggesting that they think we should take several 3 mcg doses daily in that section.
    While most nations suggest that between one and three mcg B12 daily is enough, and sources suggest that this already is enough to compensate for the fact that not all B12 eaten is absorbed, Vegan Society suggests 10 mcg daily (if one should take one pill). They should focus a lot more on why they think the UK government and all other governments see it differently - in the same section where they state "Daily amount: 3mcg".

    10) They seem to have forgotten that one minus one is zero. If people get some B12 from their vegan or non-vegan diet, but are exposed to all kinds of stuff which reduced/destroys or prohibits absorption of this B12, the result may be zero B12 absorption. This is very important - both for people who rely on supplements, and particularly important for eg. those who unfortunately choose to assume that they'll get B12 from not washing their plants. If plants would contain the small B12 amounts some sources claim they do, these small amounts wouldn't be enough if the amounts are destroyed by all those factors that Vegan Society barely mentions. More info here would help vegans to understand that not washing plants just isn't good enough.

    11) The megadose dilemma. In addition to the general concern about allergic reactions against B12, the mentioned cancer dilemma and other reasons - it's important to mention, clearly, that too much B12 isn't good. I've seen vegans who think that taking 1000 mcg daily, every day means 'to be on the safe side'. With more info, Vegan Society could prevent problems people would get from such high amounts.

    12) The unforgivable one. It's important that they provide vegans with info about what they need to pay attention to in order to remain healthy. But if they don't - in parallel - consistently mention how non-vegans' health are, how they do it in studies regarding nutrient deficiencies and much more, their visitors will get a very unbalanced impression about vegan nutrition. It will look like we - unlike them - need to do a lot to avoid getting sick, while studies show that we are doing really well. To not focus on this crucial topic is rather unforgivable.

    I don't have any opinion eg. about how much they should recommend daily. Maybe we all need 100 mcg B12 daily in the future - so again - my point isn't who is right and who is wrong. It's about how this information is presented.

    There's a poll about this topic - here.
    I will not eat anything that walks, swims, flies, runs, skips, hops or crawls.

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