Dear GreenSmoothieGirl: The Oxford-Cornell China Project is irrelevant to us, because Campbell studied rats and mice, and then Chinese people. Not Americans.
Answer: I’m not going to comment much on the notion that Chinese and American people aren’t alike enough to compare. Either we all descended from apes, or we were all created from Adam’s rib, whichever belief you subscribe to, and we have the same essential biology, body systems, and health challenges. That’s like saying that if Big Macs aren’t good for women, they still might be good for men. Or that if Kool-Aid is toxic for children, it still might be good food for adults.
As for the animal studies that Campbell’s team conducted (which were duplicated by researchers around the world with consistent results), even they have profound implications for humans for four reasons.
First, humans and rats have virtually identical needs for protein. Second, protein operates in humans the same way it does in rats. Third, the percentage of protein consumption (20%) consumed by rats in the studies is the level of consumption in the typical American diet. And fourth, in both humans and rats, the stage where cancer is initiated is far less important that the stage where cancer is promoted. We all are exposed to carcinogens, but whether we end up with life-threatening cancerous tumors depends on whether or not those cancer cells are “promoted” with excesses of animal proteins.