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Practice English Speaking&Listening with: The War on Wheat - the fifth estate

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>> Mark: Tonight on the

Fifth Estate.


>> Mark: Get your knives and

forks ready.

This is the battle for your


>> It's garbage, right.

You don't want to put garbage in

your body.

>> Mark: It will challenge what

you believe about food.

>> People want simple solutions

to highly complex problems.

>> Mark: And who you can trust.

>> Dark corners.

Dark shadows.


>> Mark: Are we being fed the

truth about what we eat?

Is there anything inherently

wrong with eating wheat?

>> The short answer is no.

>> Mark: And should we be more

careful about what we put into

our bodies and our minds?

>> This is one of these

arguments that has one smidgen

of scientific fact to it, which

is then exploded into a whole

blob of nonsense.

>> Mark: I'm Mark Kelley and

this is "The Fifth Estate."

Tonight, the war on wheat.

(wind blowing)


>> Mark: Take a long look.

What do you see growing in this


A symbol of Canadian prosperity?

The foundation of the world's

diet for the past 10,000 years?

Or do you see something darker?

A toxin in a sheep's clothing.

The foundation of many of the

diseases that plague us.

From diabetes, to multiple

sclerosis, to breast cancer.

What you see reveals which side

of the war you're on.


>> Mark: It's a cold January

night in Halifax.

>> The scene...

Seasons restaurant at the

Atlantica Hotel.

A private dinner is being

prepared for a very select


It's the perfect setting to talk

about food.

Especially the grain that's on

everyone's lips, but nobody's


Over candlelight and red wine

the well-heeled discuss the

future without wheat.

>> Welcome to our restaurant.

We're going to showcase food

tonight that doesn't need any

wheat whatsoever.

>> Cheers.

(background chatter)

>> Mark: Here sits Dr. William

Davis, the world's most

influential anti-wheat


He's changing not only what we

eat, but how we see food.

>> You know what bugs me?

People are not given the full

benefit of all the information

that there really is available,

that empowers you in your own

health and your family's health.

>> This is a salad.

We have a lemon dressing.

We have an avocado foam.

>> Avocado foam?

>> Mark: No that's avocado foam.

For the uninitiated, like me,

the evening is like a boot camp

to galvanize the anti-wheat


No beer.

Yes to wine.

No pizza.

No bagels.

No bread.

The dinner party conversation

reveals how the trenches are

being dug.

Are you wheat free?

>> Yeah.

>> Mark: What difference has it

made for you?

>> Weight loss and energy.

>> You wake up in the morning

and you don't feel tired.

I haven drank beer in four and a

half years.

>> Mark: That's a serious


>> Yeah, it was.

>> Mark: And it was because of

the book?

>> Yeah.

>> Mark: Wow, you're a believer!


>> Mark: The book they're

reading is Wheat Belly, written

by Dr. William Davis.

It's the bible of the wheat-free


Nearly 3 million copies of his

book sold in 33 countries.

More than 100 weeks on the New

York Times best-seller list.

Not a diet book, but a


The gospel according to

Dr. Davis: Wheat is killing us.

We must fight back.

Word spreads quickly he's in


>> He's the author of the number

1, New York Times best-selling

book, Wheat Belly Total Health.

Please welcome, Dr. William



>> Mark: Like in city after city

all across North America,

hundreds of people show up

for Dr. Wheat Belly's sermon

about the sins of wheat and

those who eat it.

>> Could I get a little poll?

Who's read Wheat Belly, or at

least seen some of our TV spots,

etc, have some understanding?

>> Mark: At first, Dr. Davis

comes across like a friendly old

uncle, sharing some homespun

wisdom about wheat.

>> I didn't set out on this path

to make myself the enemy of


I didn't say, I hate these darn


I'm gonna pick on them.

And kick 'em.

I really set out to help people

empower themselves in health.

>> Mark: But then things

suddenly get serious.

Wheat, he says, causes 70 to 80%

of all known diseases.

>> Rheumatoid arthritis, lupus,

amyotrophic lateral sclerosis,

multiple sclerosis, type 1

diabetes in children, type 2

diabetes, seborrhea, psoriasis,

dandruff, acne, joint pain,

arthritis, arthralgias, hair


>> Mark: The list goes on and on

and so does he, for full effect.

>> Autoimmune alopecia,

depression, eating disorders, on

and on and on.

If all of these, at least some,

if not most of them are caused

by grains, what happens if we

eat no grains?

I'm going to propose to you that

many, if not most of these

diseases disappear.

They go away.

>> Mark: Wheat, he argues, is

not what it used to be.

It's a genetically modified

monster he calls Frankenwheat.

And who's to blame?

Well, big food companies and big

government for unleashing the

beast on unsuspecting consumers.

>> Dark corners.

Dark shadows.


I think that's what we have in

the world of wheat and grains.

>> Mark: His message is

alarming: don't trust government

food guidelines or food


Instead, trust him.

>> This is our chance to pull

back that curtain, expose the

whole thing to the light of day.

All right, thank you very much

for listening.


>> Thank you very much.

>> Mark: This is the drumbeat

of the war on wheat.

>> Dr. William Davis is a

cardiologist and the author of

the best-selling book "Wheat


>> Please welcome, Dr. William


>> Welcome to the show.

>> Welcome Dr. Davis.

>> Mark: He uses the platform of

the TV talk show circuit,

touting his shocking message.

>> Wheat is making us sicker

than ever.

I don't think anybody should be

eating this.

>> Mark: And claiming he has

science is on his side.

>> They've created this thing

that is extremely destructive

for health.


>> Mark: But when you hear his

back story, Dr. Davis is an

unlikely warrior.

He was a cardiologist in

Milwaukee, trying to lose a few

pounds to help fight his type 2


>> Mark: Tell me what your life

was like before the Wheat Belly

phenomenon exploded?

>> Mark, I wish I could tell you

that I came at this in a huge

flash of insight and understood

the entire terrain of all thi --

I did not.

I stumbled and bumbled my way


>> Mark: He admits he never

conducted any of his own

scientific studies.

He just cut wheat from his diet.

He says his blood sugars


His extra weight melted away.

He urged his patients to follow


And the anecdotes began to pile


>> Patient after patient came

back and said, well I did that,

yes, my blood sugar's much

better but I also lost 43 pounds

and I didn't do anything else.

>> Mark: Would you consider that

you're waging a war on wheat


>> I'm waging a war against

misinformation in health in

which one of the major and most

destructive messages is to

create a diet rich in healthy

whole grains.

You know Mark, I think this

movement is so large.

It's such a huge,


world-changing, life-changing


I don't think any one person can

take all the credit.

>> Mark: But you would consider

that there is a movement afoot

right now?

>> No question.

>> Mark: The movement he spawned

has shaken an industry to it's

very core.

56% of Canadians now report

they're cutting down on whole

grains like wheat.


>> Mark: That means cutting out

one third of all food: like

bread, breakfast cereals,

pastas, pastries, pretzels and


That's a big slice of the pie.

Kelloggs and General Mills

report a huge drop in cereal


Weston bakeries shut down

factories and Maple Leaf foods

sold its bread division.

>> Have you tried gluten-free

Chex Oatmeal and new Chex

Granola mix?

It's gluten free.


Full of...

>> Mark: And now, gluten and

wheat free products are filling

store shelves with more than $6

billion in sales last year.

All of that a win for the

anti-wheat movement.

>> I had told myself there was

no way this could be true.

How could a world of

nutritionists, dieticians and my

colleagues get it so utterly

wrong for so long?

Uh, well, once you start to peel

back this onion, you start to

realize it is quite rotten.

It's quite rotten to the core.


>> Mark: Could he be right that

everyone else has got it wrong?

Well his book cites some 295

studies as proof that wheat is

indeed killing us.

Coming up, we take a look at

whether the claims in his book

are solid science, or paper


>> When you find something in a

book that is absolutely wrong,

then it makes you question

everything else that is in




>> Mark: Saskatchewan,

the breadbasket of Canada,

the land of the wheat kings.


>> Mark: They've been growing

the grain here commercially

since the 1880s.

>> Here there was rich hard

kernels of health.

The wheat falls beneath the


>> Mark: Over generations, wheat

has migrated from prairie farms

to processed foods.

>> There no other cereal like

Nabisco Wheat Honeys.

>> Mark: To kitchen cupboards.

>> Wheat Thins taste really good

and they're full of natural

whole wheat.

>> Mark: Generations of TV

viewers were fed the same

message over and over again.

>> Cream of Wheat gives you five

times more iron than any leading

hot oat cereal.

>> Have some Wheat Chex, Tim,

they're good for you.


>> Mark: And when the summer

sun shines in Saskatchewan,

the wheat fields glow.

To farmers here, that's the glow

of money.

Saskatchewan now provides 10% of

the exported wheat in the world.

A war on wheat is an all out

assault on a 2 billion dollar

cash crop.

Now it's true millions of people

do get sick eating wheat.

People with celiac disease.

But that's about 1% of the


Others have allergies and

sensitivities to wheat.

But Dr. William Davis insists

Wheat is bad for all of us

because, it's not your

grandparents wheat.

He says it's something much


Modern wheat's dirty little


Wheat proteins - gluten and

gliadins - that he claims, have

been modified by scientists and

now act like a chemical on our


A chemical we get hooked to,

like junkies.

Modern wheat, he says, is an

opiate, like heroin.

Creating food addictions.

>> Modern wheat is a perfect

chronic poison.

It's literally an opiate or

an opioid.

Gliadin partially breaks down

and becomes opiates that bind

to the human brain.

>> When you find something in a

book that is absolutely wrong,

then it makes you question

everything else that is in


>> Mark: We asked Joe Schwarcz

to examine the science behind

Wheat Belly.

He's a chemist at McGill

dedicated to demystifying

science and debunking big


>> Is there any evidence that

wheat is addictive?

>> No, certainly none that I've

seen, and if it is addictive it

is not because it contains any

of these peptides.

Those peptides are also found in

spinach, they're found in dairy

and a whole range of other


>> Mark: He says opioid peptides

are produced when some foods

are digested.

But just because they can bind

to opiate receptors in the brain

doesn't mean they produce a

morphine-like effect.

>> If we're going to say that --

that is addictive, it would be

along the line that people like

foods that have wheat in them.

>> Mark: But that's not a

physical addiction?

>> It's not a physical


And I know of no evidence

of physical addiction.


>> Mark: Turns out Dr. Davis

bases this claim mainly on one

study of rat brains, done on

dead rats in 1979.

To date, there has been no study

on humans that conclusively

proves wheat is addictive.

It gets a lot more dangerous

than that.

Dr. Davis says wheat also causes


>> The wheat of today is by far,

hands down, the worst possible

thing you could eat.

High blood pressure, heart

sisease, dementia, cancer.

>> Mark: Colon cancer,

pancreatic cancer, esophageal


He says women with wheat bellies

have a 400% greater likelihood

of getting breast cancer.

So let's follow his logic here.

Research has indeed linked

obesity to cancer.

But lots of things can make you


Davis concludes that because

wheat is one of them, it causes


But the direct connection has

yet to be made.

>> Mark: he makes the link that

wheat causes breast cancer.

Have you seen any evidence of


>> I've never seen any evidence

of that.

I mean, there's four new

scientific papers that come out

every single minute of every

day, 365 days a year.

You know?

How is it that they missed the

connection between gluten and

breast cancer, you know, having

worked for decades in this area?

>> Mark: But it's not just

physical illness.

Dr. Davis also links wheat to

mental illness - from depression

to dementia to schizophrenia.

He devotes an entire chapter to

this astounding claim.

>> PMS, depression, bipolar

illness, paranoia,anxiety, acid

reflux, irritable bowel

syndrome, depression, on and on

and on.

Why do we observe the phenomenon

of paranoia and hearing voices

-- auditory hallucinations --

recede dramatically when we take

the wheat out of the diet of our

schizophrenic patients?

>> Mark: The study Dr. Davis was

just talking about was conducted

in 1966.

And once again, after almost 50

years of research, no one can

point to any definitive study

that specifically links wheat to


>> It's relatively easy when you

know some science to cherry pick

the data and to make it sound

much more compelling than It is,

and -- especially if you can

kind of portray yourself as kind

of the knight in shining armour

who's going to save the

population from the clutches of

this unholy alliance between

big pharma, big food, the

agriculture industry, academic

scientists, who, for some

reason, want to undermine our


This is one of these arguments

that has one smidgen of

scientific fact to it, which is

then exploded into a whole blob

of nonsense.


>> Mark: But the big question:

Are we being terrorized

by genetically modified


It's the foundation of the Wheat

Belly argument.

>> The wheat of today is nothing

like the wheat of 40 years ago.

It's not wheat.

I call it Frankenwheat.

Nobody, no human should be

eating this modern creation of

genetics research.

>> Mark: Modern wheat, he

argues, is a crude result of

experimentation, a frightening

brainchild of agricultural



>> Mark: Researchers at the

University of Saskatchewan

wanted to see if that's true.

Has wheat's basic protein

structure been altered?


>> Mark: This is the only lab in

The world doing this kind of

research and one of the few labs

that smells like fresh baked


Here at the University of

Saskatchewan they've been

studying wheat for more than a

hundred years.

Everything from how it grows, to

how it bakes, to how it tastes.

This is bread grown with wheat

developed in 1935.

This one from wheat developed in



>> Mark: Hmm.

You'd never know the difference.


>> Mark: Okay so, it tastes the


But deep down is it really still

the same?

So show me some of the

differences here, if you can,

between these grains.

>> So first thing, this is red


>> Mark: The research is being

led by Dr. Ravi Chabbar.

He's a wheat geneticist.

He's paid to advise the grain


But he says this project is

being funding by a federal

government program which invests

in: "the world's most

accomplished and promising


>> Mark: And this is the...

>> The oldest.

>> Mark: The oldest.

>> 1860, yeah.

>> Mark: 1860.


> Mark: Over time, yes, wheat

has been modified to produce

high yield crops.

But what about its proteins -

gluten and gliadins?

Well, researchers studied the

genetic profiles of 37 different

Varieties of wheat grown in

Canada since the 1800s.

It may look different over time,

but research shows it's not


Chabbar's discovery?

For all intents and purposes, it

is your grandparents wheat.

>> What we want to say is that

between the ancient wheats and

the modern wheats, they are very


They're very similar.

They're nutritionally good

because proteins, you need

proteins, right?

>> Mark: How can someone just

stand up and say wheat is bad,

wheat is toxic?

>> That is that person's



>> Mark: But it's not just any

person's opinion.

Dr. Davis has won the

unqualified trust of millions of


Coming up, we find out why.

>> The truth is not easy to


The trust is not sexy.

The inconvenient truth of

healthful living is that it does

require effort.



>> Mark: Wheat feeds more

people than any other single

source of food in the world

but that's Changing.


As the war on wheat convinces

more people to eat wheat free.


>> Mark: More than half of

Canadians say they are cutting

back on grains like wheat from

their diet.


>> Mark: The movement is winning

over more and more intelligent,

Influential, and nutrition

conscious converts.

>> Mark: And food is their life.


>> A little flavour, a little


>> Mark: Meet Rachael Hunt and

Rachel Bies, two women with a

shared enemy, wheat.

>> Mmmm.

>> Mark: Now they're educating

others about the health benefits

of going wheat free.

Bit by bit.

Bite by bite.

>> And then we did quinoa brown

rice pasta with organic ground


And a bunch of seasonal


>> Bon appetit.

>> Mark: The Rachels started

Gluten freedom week in


>> You know when you've been

hit with gluten.

It's like within 45 minutes,

it's like, boom.

>> Mark: A public awareness

campaign to convince restaurants

and food retailers to join the


>> And are you fully gluten free


>> Yeah.

It was so difficult but it

changed my whole way of eating.

>> Mark: And it's not just

people who are going wheat free,

so are entire businesses.

Like this one.

It's called "Feast."

That's an acronym for "fabulous

eats for allergic and sensitive


Like Rachel and Rachael.

Show me some of the gluten-free

products here that I could try

and taste because this is all

new to me.

What do you really love here?

>> Coconut bacon.

>> So good.

>> Mark: Coconut bacon?

>> It's honestly addictive and

I go through about one of these

a week.

>> Mark: Let me see this.

Here goes.


That's good.

So why did the Rachels go


Well their reasoning is ripped

right from the pages of the best

seller "Wheat Belly", written by

Dr. William Davis.

>> It's not all wheat, it's our

wheat in North America.

It's been genetically modified.

It's not our parents wheat from

the '50s.

It's now this, you know, some

people call it Frankenwheat.

It's addictive.

It's garbage, right?

You don't want to put garbage in

your body, so...

>> Mark: Neither of them has

been tested to see if they have

Celiac or a wheat sensitivity.

Neither had a doctor prescribe a

wheat-free diet.

They trusted their gut on this

one, and for them it works.

>> My energy levels, my mental

capacity, my -- even my skin

my digestive system.

Everything started to just work

as it should work.

I'm more productive in a day

than gluten Rachel.


>> New and improved Rachael

is Gluten-free.


>> Mark: Truth is, for most

people, Wheat Belly isn't about

a new lifestyle,

it's about losing weight.

And you will, at least in the

short term.

By losing the wheat, you

dramatically reduce your carbs

and calories.

So why then is this book making

such an impact.

Well, it's one part celebrity

author, a side order of

celebrity endorsements, and

a heaping helping of hype.


>> Mark: Fantastic.

What do we have here?

>> We have our pumpkin ravioli.

And we have the gnocchi here.

>> Terrific.

>> Mark: Yoni Freedhoff is a

family doctor in Ottawa and a

diet expert, who runs a

nutrition clinic.

He doesn't believe in fad diets,

or miracle foods.

Or Dr. Davis.

>> Mark: So I guess this is

wrong on every level in terms

of a wheat-free diet?

>> I don't think Dr. Davis would

join us for this meal.

>> Mark: Dr. Freedhoff says

Wheat Belly is similar to other

carb-free diets that cut out

bread, pasta and potatoes.

The big difference?

Dr. Davis.

>> Mark: Good.

>> This just took it to another

level with a very charismatic

doctor, who has a presentation

that to me is reminiscent of an

Evangelical preacher.

You know with -- you can be

healed and away you go, and I

think that is, again, it's what

people want to hear.

We want to believe in magic.

>> Mark: If none of this has

been proven, why do so many

People believe it to be true?

>> You know, the truth is not

easy to sell.

Um, the truth is not sexy.

The inconvenient truth of

healthful living is that it does

require effort.

>> Mark: Dr. Freedhoff says he

would never recommend this diet

to his patients because he

believes wheat is good for us.

>> Unlike what Dr. Davis has

been saying, there's no question

that diets rich in whole grains

have been shown to be protective

against a myriad of diseases

including type 2 diabetes,

cardiovascular disease and just

mortality as a whole.

There was a study published

just a couple of weeks ago

that reconfirmed that fact.

>> Mark: And it's not just

Dr. Freedhoff.

Many medical associations won't

endorse the wheat belly diet.

If you don't have celiac

disease, even the Canadian

Celiac Association won't endorse

a gluten-free diet.

Neither does the American Heart

Association, the Obesity Society

or the American College of


And Dr. Davis is a cardiologist.


>> I think what's driving this

Is a tidal wave of change.

We have sparked a movement.

>> Mark: But there is one

Influential community that does

support the wheat-free movement.


Take a look.

Their food choices are the

staple of morning TV talk shows.

>> People including Hollywood

A-listers like Anne Hathaway and

Gwyneth Paltrow are eliminating

the protein found in wheat,

rye and barley from their diet.

>> Cutting out gluten does seem

to be gaining in popularity.

Even Chelsea Clinton opted for a

gluten-free wedding cake.

>> Mark: Dr. Davis' wheat free

philosophy has attracted high

profile disciples...

>> Miley!

>> Mark: Such as the pop star,

Miley Cyrus.

Canadian basketballer Steve


And the chief glutenista of all,

actress Gwyneth Paltrow, seen

here on the Dr. Oz show.

She has 2 million followers on

Twitter where she promotes her

Gluten-free lifestyle.

>> I felt great.

I had lost weight and I though

there really is something to


So what I do here is...

>> Mark: She has let the world

know she won't consider feeding

her young children bread, pasta

or rice.

>> Mark: Bon appetit.

>> Mark: Lots of people look up

to Gwyneth.

Tim Caulfield, a health policy

professor, isn't one of them.

>> This is great.

>> Mark: This is great.

He questions the impact

of celebrity on science in his

new book: 'Is Gwyneth Paltrow

Wrong about Everything?'

He even did her 30-day cleanse

to see if it would make him a


It didn't.

From your experience who do

people trust more?

Is it the food evangelists like

Dr. Davis or a celebrity like

Gwyneth Paltrow, or is it a

food scientist who's out there?

>> This is an excellent point.

I think that there is a trust

issue that's going on.

But in addition to that it helps

reinforce that eating gluten as

a form of self-expression or

part of a community that eats


You know, I drive my Prius, you

know, I recycle, I'm gluten free

and I think that's part of why

this has become so popular.

>> Mark: Caulfield says people

may not trust food scientists,

but they do trust their friends

and neighbours who swear

Wheat Belly works for them.

Don't these anecdotal examples;

don't they become sort of a body

of scientific evidence?

>> First of all, a bunch of

anecdotes added together does

not make good data, right?

They're just -- it's just

anecdote plus anecdote and

having a whole bunch of it

doesn't make it stronger.

>> Mark: You know what makes the

claims stronger?

>> Just because you're going

wheat free doesn't mean you need

to go taste free.

>> Mark: Powerful platforms

like the Dr. Oz show.

Two doctors united in the war on


>> In fact, there are so many

adverse components of wheat, I

wonder why we even try to eat

this stuff.

>> Mark: Sure, Dr. Oz got into

trouble recently, scolded by a

US senate committee for making

fantastical claims about another


>> I don't get why you need to

say this stuff when you know

it's not true.

>> My job, I feel, on the show,

is to be a cheerleader for the


So my show is about hope.

The Wheat Belly diet's never

been easier or faster --

>> Mark: And hope was what

he was selling with Dr. Davis.

>> Complete relief within 5


>> Within five days.

>> Mark: Unchallenged claims

broadcast to Dr. Oz audience

in 118 countries.


>> Mark: Here at Stanford

University in California, one of

the world's leading scientists

says enough is enough.

>> How can we guarantee quality

when we have not just a few

scientists but a huge --

>> Mark: Dr. John Iaonnidis made

his name researching scientific


And take it from him, he says

Dr. Davis cannot claim to have

science on his side.

>> This is one example where a

big claim is made practically on

thin air.

I mean, we're not even talking

about science here.

It's not scientific studies that

lead to that claim.

It's mostly a belief system.

>> Mark: But he agrees

scientists are being drowned out

by celebrities and pseudoscience

in the war on wheat.

>> I think that scientists have

lost the rock star battle.


>> The public have not been used

to listening to science.

They have been used to listening

to movie stars, and no numbers,

just big claims, big quotes.

>> Mark: Without science, what

are we left with?

>> I don't think we're left with


I don't think we can really have

a meaningful, rational life and

expect to make any progress.

>> Mark: Coming up, we go

against the grain with

Dr. Davis.

Have you ever sat down and

wondered, looked up and thought,

what if I'm wrong?



>> Mark: The debate about

Whether wheat is good for us, or

killing us, plays into a much

bigger food fight.

Although we've been consuming

food since the dawn of humanity,

we still can't seem to agree

about what is good for us.

>> A new study raises the

possibility -- think about

this -- that high milk

consumption may be linked with

more bone fractures and a higher

death rate.


>> Mark: Just turn on the TV:

Food science can be confusing.

>> For decades we've looked at

cholesterol as the number one

public health enemy.

But now, new research, they're

always bringing out new


>> More research, including one

study out today finds saturated

fat isn't so bad after all.

>> Mark: It's easy to see why

people don't know what or who

to believe about food.

So, are more people questioning



A recent survey polled 3000

scientists and 2000 everyday

people about current

controversies from vaccines to

climate change.

But the biggest difference in

opinion between the two groups,

it was around food.

Despite widespread support from

scientists, only 37% of the

population believes food that's

been genetically modified is

safe to eat.

And into that chasm of doubt

walks Wheat Belly author

Dr. William Davis.

He says he is leading a war on

misinformation, while claiming

wheat has caused 'more human

disease and suffering than

all wars combined.'

He blames experts who support

eating wheat for creating a

'collective madness' larger than

the Salem witch trials or the

'fear-mongering of the red


Their nutritional advice makes

'bleeding with leeches' or

'frontal lobotomies' seem


>> When I've actually engaged...

>> Mark: Despite selling

millions of books, and winning

over millions of converts, the

anti-wheat evangelist insists

the battle is just beginning.

Do you think you are now in the

process of winning the war?

>> You know, it's more like the

war on terror.

It's not something that has a

discrete start and end.

It's going to be an ongoing


I think I'm part of the

conversation driving that.

You know, I feel bad for those


They're just trying to do their


I don't think they're bad

people, just as the tobacco

executives of the 1960's and

70's, you know, who under

Congressional testimony said,

you know, well, I did it because

I needed to pay my mortgage and

my son's tuition.

They're just nice people trying

to do their job.

I don't think...

>> Mark: But do you equate

somebody growing wheat or

selling wheat products with

people who sell cigarettes?

>> I would if it becomes

increasingly clear that this is

stuff that humans never should

have eaten in the first place.

>> Mark: One of your biggest

claims is that wheat has killed

more people than all wars


Do you stand by that?

>> Yes.

You know, we can't be real

precise in the numbers, but

think of it, how much diabetes,

obesity, autoimmune disease,

ulcerative colitis, crohn's --

I could go on.

We're talking about hundreds of

millions of people, or more,

over the years.

>> Mark: Okay, so let's talk

about a real person: me.

So I'm a wheat consumer.

I don't over-consume.

I have a healthy diet.

I have none of these health


Why not?

Why am I healthy if I eat wheat?

>> There's going to be great

individual variation.

There are people -- there's an

occasional person, Mark, who

escapes all the effects for a

lifetime, but they're very


Much more common is this,

someone thinks they're escaping

the process, the problems but

are either unaware of the

problems or they're developing

slowly beneath the surface of

perception so it's a very tough

cause/effect to connect.

>> Mark: But hold on.

His whole war is about cause and


Is he feeding us a message that

hurts us or helps us?

Your critics will say, at best,

you're peddling hope, at worst,

you're spreading misinformation,

and profiting from it.

How do you respond to that?

>> Oh, the same way I'd respond

to their arguments.

They're -- they misinterpreted

the data to begin with.

I believe they're the ones

who've not looked at all the


>> Mark: Have you ever wondered,

look up and thought, what if

I'm wrong?

>> I did up until about three

years ago, because I have the

wonderful benefit of seeing it

play out.

If I did this in ten people and

it worked in all ten, that'd be


One hundred times, that's

getting real interesting.

A thousand times, wow, maybe

we're on to something.

Ten thousand, a hundred-thousand

times, over and over and over

and over, you see success play


Experience would suggest that

we've stumbled on to something

that is incredibly effective,

yet flies in the face of all

traditional notions of


>> Mark: Wheat Belly is packed

With anecdotes, stories of

miraculous weight loss and

transformational health changes.

So we asked Dr. Davis if any

scientists or medical

associations have endorsed his

'grain-free lifestyle'?

He said no.

Researchers will tell you that

on the pyramid of evidence,

anecdotes, they're not only on

the bottom, they're in the


It's like hearsay.

Does an accumulation of

anecdotes actually really equate

to science?

>> No, absolutely not.

So I try to make that as clean

as I can.

That is, anecdotes are provided

for human interest because it

makes fun reading.

People want to hear about people

like themselves, but if I wrote

a book only about the science,

Which by the way, I'd love to

do, but sad to say, most of the

public would not read it.


>> Mark: So, is Wheat Belly just

an entertaining story carefully

crafted to sell books?

And if so, what about the

millions of people who believe

in the gospel according to

Dr. Davis.

So are we digging in?

>> Yeah.

We've got three different types

of patties here.

>> Mark: people like Rachael and


People who are so inspired by

what they read they make

dramatic changes to what they


>> Mark: That's good.

There's a lot of science out

there that challenges the

science that William Davis

is referring to.

>> Right.

>> Mark: Are you skeptical about

those studies?

>> Absolutely.

Who's funding the studies that

are saying that wheat that's

processed, heavily processed

wheat is good for you, right?

I'm skeptical of people that are

putting things out there that

are making a dime off of it.

I'm skeptical of anyone


>> Mark: But isn't William Davis

doing that?

>> Absolutely, but people

aren't -- if people are going to

start following or taking out

gluten, I don't think people are

going to be worse off for it.

>> Mark: I think the big issues

at the end of the day for a lot

of us, all of us, no matter

where you stand on this, is


>> Yeah.

>> Mark: Who do you trust at the

end of the day?

>> Your body.

>> Yeah.

I think at the end of the day,

it's just trusting your instinct

and what makes you feel better.


>> Mark: despite the fact the

vast majority of scientists and

health organizations don't

support much of what Dr. Davis

says, more and more people are

giving up wheat.

They say they're doing it

because it makes them feel


And maybe that will be the

deciding factor in the war on



>> Mark: you may not agree with

everyone or everything you heard

on the show tonight.

So we encourage you to go to our

website and add your voice to

the debate.

You will also find lots more

information and scientific

studies you may want to read.

It may also help you decide

which side of the war you're on.

Stay with us, The Fifth Estate

will return.


The Description of The War on Wheat - the fifth estate