David Bissonnette Debunked

by Steven Carney on February 2, 2017

This is post #132 on the site, debunking misguided health claims made by David Bissonnette, RD PhD. He’s an assistant professor at MNSU, with terrible ratings from his students. 

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I first encountered David Bissonnette after he put up a posting in a Linkedin Nutrition and Wellness group, with almost 57,000 members. His topic implied that optimal nutrition and super foods were overrated, especially for weight, obesity and health issues. I thought his posting was strangely titled and the information in his summary was oddly constructed.

Shortly after I started challenging some of his biased and misguided nutritional research claims, I found a large number of terrible ratings from his nutrition students at MNSU (Fall of 2016-Spring 2017). I will include many of those “Awful” ratings and negative comments later (most students gave Bissonnette an “Awful” rating of 1 out of 5), and many included terrible comments about his condescending, authoritarian and rude attitude.

For example, this rating and quote is typical of his student comments:

Awful, a 1 of 5 rating on 12/9/16: DO NOT TAKE WITH HIM. Condensing, rude, not helpful. He wrote his own book that the class is based off of which has multiple errors, his concept checks are not “concept” based at all rather pointless information that he didn’t even teach us about, and has a 75 pt quiz on a documentary he POORLY made. If you have to take it like I did, Good luck. 

NOTE: If you would like to skip to the student ratings now, here is the link:

http://www.ratemyprofessors.com/ShowRatings.jsp?tid=420577

When I first read those ratings and comments about his terrible teaching and condescending behavior, I felt badly for those students and how mistreated they felt! College should be a time of inspiration, excitement and new learning, not misery, struggle and loss of self-esteem!

But I also recognized Bissonnette’s personality and style from my own encounters with him on Linkedin. He seemed like the same authoritarian, condescending person I was dealing with (sadly, those attitudes are ones I find in doctors and registered dietitians too often). For now, I’ll say he comes across as stubborn, myopic and close minded (I’ll include a complete list later). I’ll add a mean and crazy comment he made about obese people where he says they lack self control and they need to pray more!

I’ll also include summaries of my messages to his Department Chair, Heather Von Bank, at MNSU, Minnosota State University at Mankato where Bissonnette teaches, and his Dean, Kristine Retherford at the MNSU College of Allied Health and Nursing. Retherford never responded to my message or concerns, so I decided to write this article (later, I contacted Richard Davenport, the President of MNSU by phone and e-mail. Like Kristine Retherford, no response)!

None of those department or executive people showed much concern or interest in these issues, and they all seem to place themselves and their interests ahead of their students! Thus, they have enabled David Bissonette to continue to harm his students’ growth, learning and careers!

As you read the comments and my analysis about David Bissonnette, you will probably be asking why this person is teaching anyone or involved in a medically-related field? My experience is that he seems to have troubling cognitive, mental health and personality traits, something his students also observed.

Bissonnett’s provocative title and content on Linkedin

Note: although he wrote this as one long, rambling paragraph, I broke into 3 paragraphs for easier reading:

Could the Notion of Optimal Nutrition be Overrated and Unnecessary for a Healthy Life?

For most of the 20th and beginning of the 21st centuries, chronic diseases have been affecting American society, and have been growing in prevalence at alarming rates, reaching, in many instances, epidemic status. As of 2010, 33.8% of the US adult population was obese, and a disturbing 74% of American men and 64% women were either overweight or obese according to the National Center of Health Statistics. This prevalence is shocking given that body weight disturbances of this magnitude are at the center of numerous secondary diseases such as heart disease, cancer and type-2 diabetes (Taken from Bissonnette, 2016).

Moreover, 47.45% of all mortality in the United States can be attributed to either cardiovascular disease or some forms of cancer. Obesity and therefore overeating is intimately tied to an epidemiological disaster. The CDC estimates that between 1980 and 2010 the U.S’ national health expenditure grew from $256 billion to an astounding $2.6 Trillion. This represents a 915% increase in healthcare costs, a percent that should send shock waves to Congress.

Since obesity is the driving force of our national health care cost, should we not be thinking less about optimizing our nutrition and more about reducing and simplifying it? I understand the natural inclination to want to eat right so as to contain the risk of disease, and I am certainly not advocating against eating right. However, the idea of optimizing our nutrition has been well marketed by the pharmaceutical and nutraceutical industries, who have made, over the last ten years, a pretty penny convincing us that super foods and supplements should be taken regularly to optimize our nutrition and abate our health concerns. There are however, nine randomized controlled clinical trials that pharma does not want the public knowing about. These trials showed increased risk of disease tied to supplements.
(https://atbcstudy.cancer.gov/pdfs/atbc33010291994.pdf )
(https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15572756)

Some initial observations

His title and the assumptions behind it seemed a bit odd, perhaps chosen to be deliberately provocative. But implying that optimal nutrition is bad or unworthy seems ridiculous, given the unhealthy diet so many Americans eat. Then again, RDs (a Registered Dietitian which Bissonette is), and other medical practitioners have a terrible history of misinforming the public. They told us for decades that we should avoid eggs, butter, cheese and saturated fat, pushing margarine (trans-fats), highly processed veggie oils, grains and carbs instead. That advice was never correct and it’s the very reason we have an explosion of carb-based junk foods and excess weight for so many.

And most people I meet, including clients and people online, are interested in leading a more healthy lifestyle, including nutrition. Many care about optimal (or improved) nutrition for themselves and their families and many of those people would rightfully question his premise, because he questions the usefulness of optimal nutrition. His quoting of himself at the end of that first paragraph is bizarre yet common with him (his students said he did it too), something most people never do! And I have to say, his topic and background information is not very good writing, especially from a PhD!

As I read through his somewhat rambling, disjointed initial paragraph, I thought he made some relevant points, but others made little sense. The points about growing weight/obesity issues and how they can add to other diseases and increase medical costs are reasonable.

But his simplistic views about obesity and overeating seemed rather judgmental; overweight and obese people need our help, support and encouragement. His comment about thinking less about optimizing nutrition and eating superfoods seems to make little sense. He seems to forget that we are individuals of differing ages, genders, health and fitness levels, etc., and by nature, we have differing needs for nourishment (does a sedentary 70-year-old need the exact same nutrition as a 25-year-old trainer)? Of course not! Where is that credible scientific perspective from this PhD?

Then he made even less sense at the end of his summary, when he claimed that pharmaceutical and nutritional companies have made lots of money by marketing super foods and supplements, implying they are all useless or bad. But it’s really not drug or supplement companies that talk about super foods (often thought of as nutrient-dense foods like blueberries, almonds or Greek yogurt). Those are healthy foods for most people, and healthier than most junk foods!

Then he really went off the rails by implying a conspiracy to hide some anti-supplement studies which have in fact, been well-known to those of us knowledgeable about nutrition for years, and which have also been debunked for their flawed design and highly-exaggerated findings.

His unfounded, conspiratorial claims seem bizarre and amateurish (although other medical practitioners use those same studies to routinely attack supplements). Many have debunked those studies over the years including me, and I’ve accumulated some good source material, details and quotes from the actual study authors (see links and details below). I had never encountered Bissonnette before so I was a bit unsure about his background or intent.

My initial comment:

Although I agreed with most of your intro material, you lost me at the end. Using those poorly-designed, reductionist studies to claim that vitamin A or beta carotene supplements increase disease risk is very troubling.

I and others have debunked those studies for many years. They don’t hold up because they are very poor science throughout. Feel free to review these articles and source links (scroll down for debunking those studies, I could put up many more):

http://www.endsicknessnow.com/dr-david-seres-debunked

And this article too (again, scroll down)

http://www.endsicknessnow.com/dr-david-seres-debunked-again

I hoped that my initial comment would start a conversation about the reliability or accuracy of those studies, but he never responded to those links (it’s weeks later now). I don’t think he ever read any of the links I provided, including ones I added later. This is his #1 refusal to respond to me or my requests for studies or to answer questions (there are many more to come)!

If you are unsure what reductionism is, here is a recent article I wrote about it and why those studies are so misleading (and I included some points about Bissonette near the end):

http://www.endsicknessnow.com/why-medicine-fails

Then another PhD and RD named Patricia (who recently defended her PhD dissertation) added an insightful comment about the value of individualized nutrition and that it had replaced population standards for nutrition, based on individualized, epigenetic testing. Her comment included a personal story about what she went through to make some healthy changes in her life. Her comment showed insight and clearly reflected more enlightened thinking about nutrition!

My response to Patricia:

Well said Patricia! I’m writing a detailed article about reductionism now, including its tendency to grossly oversimplify medical approaches and practice. I’ve said for years that nutrition needs to be an individualized practice (so many variables medical people don’t include). I also discuss epigenetics regularly, including those effects for all lifestyle areas like nutrition, activity, stress management, sleep quality, etc. As you probably know, these are the key areas for prevention and possible treatment. Nice to see how enlightened you are!

She responded with some details about her research into the nutritional habits of dietitians and she wished me luck with my work.

My response to her, just before Christmas:

Same for your work! It’s a big achievement and you are definitely headed in the right direction! So glad you see beyond what I generally encounter. Keep us posted and have a great holiday!

Bissonnette weighed in (I thought he was being disrespectful and dismissive of her insights and inspiring personal journey, where she was tested and found to have some genetic issues with nutrients):

Thank you for your comments and thoughts regarding this idea of optimizing our nutrition. While I agree that individualizing diets founded on genetics is a good idea, we are nevertheless facing a societal health disaster that needs to be addressed at a public health level, not an individualized level. Failing to recognize that obesity is a public health concern will only worsen the epidemic. Cholera, for instance, was not resolved by individual interventions but by a public health approach that focused on improving water delivery and sewers systems in large urban centers. David Bissonnette RD, PhD

Some thoughts on his comment

Here again, his take on things seems odd and unresponsive. Many of us on Linkedin (and elsewhere) are educated and aware of the serious health concerns surrounding obesity. She didn’t fail to recognize obesity as an issue, she was responding with some sincere thoughts and ideas about the new insights she had and her personal journey to health through epigenetic testing and her use of supplements.

Then to bring in cholera was a really odd thing! Cholera was an infections disease, prevalent in Europe, Russia and other areas largely during the 1800s! It has never been a serious issue in the U.S., and it’s not comparable to issues with nutrition, obesity or non-infections, chronic health problems.

Cholera is caused by bacteria in untreated water and from poor sanitation, something that cities and governments manage, while nutrition and health issues, including obesity and related health conditions are largely an individual’s responsibility to resolve. And he quoted and referenced himself again (it already includes his name at the beginning of the comment, like it does for everyone on Linkedin). Adding his name and credentials again seems so egocentric, even bizarre.

I’ve dealt with lots of people with advanced degrees. He’s the only one I’ve seen who quotes his own work like he’s using a citation or reference for someone else. He apparently believes his work carries some kind of authority? Based on my experience with his writing and comments, just the opposite is true (see more comments and details below)!

My response to Bissonnette’s new comment (I caught a few typos in my comments so I fixed them in this article version. I also had to shorten the comment a few times as it was over the limit for characters, so not as clear as I hoped):

If I may offer a few observations, I go back to the introductory piece you started with. Is it taken from your book? Aside from the mash-up of health stats, many of which we know about, you only touch briefly on healthy eating/eating right.

I’m sure we all see and agree that weight and obesity are serious health concerns but you offer no solutions (bringing in cholera as an infectious disease based on a lack of sanitation is so unrelated to obesity). As an educated person in a wide range of health and prevention, it’s also unclear what you think should happen. 

I’ve written about and researched these very subjects many times, down to an epigenetic level. I’ve also coached clients to lose weight with little effort by assessing and helping them to re-balance their nutrition and lifestyle habits, including areas like activity, sleep and stress management, all of which are key players in weight management, health and disease prevention. What are your ideas and your solutions?

He never responded to this comment, including my request for his ideas and solutions (his #2 failure to respond), and never offered any real solutions or useful ideas that would work in 2016 or 2017. In some later comments, Bissonnette relies on bible stories for his ideas about weight management, as he glorifies a few, cave-dwelling monks wandering the desert, spending their days in prayer and labor (see his comments below)! Those situations are not remotely relevant to modern life. Who is going to pay the bills for food, rent, utilities, a mortgage, gas, the car loan, kids expenses and clothing?

After a few other comments were added by new people, this relevant and credible comment was made by a Dr. Bens, PhD, a nutritional expert and speaker (initially, he is referring to flaws in the studies Bissonnette referenced), the same ones I debunked in my first comment links:

The studies mentioned were seriously flawed due to use of the wrong form of vitamin E and the lack of consideration of other influencing lifestyle factors. There are over 15,000 studies proving the efficacy of quality nutritional supplements and no studies showing that someone can get all the nutrients they need from food alone. The National Cancer Institute studied over 16,000 people and could not find one person with a healthy diet. There at least ten factors that influence nutrition and disease such as processing, time of food from harvest to table, organic or not, soil quality, over cooking, under chewing, metabolic type, lifestyle factors and age related reduction of enzymes and acid. Let’s concentrate on the real science-based priorities instead of the imagined ones.

Here is my response to Dr. Bens, also a PhD:

@Dr. Bens: Yes, you are correct! I have debunked those studies, including SELECT and others many times. They are poor science and anyone who uses those studies as proof of something or claims they are valid has no place in the scientific community. Relying on those studies shows gross ignorance!

Although my language may seem strong, it’s true. I’ve seen those studies quoted by dozens of doctors and amateurs for years. It’s important to know that the authors of those studies expressed uncertainty and skepticism about their results and mentioned that chance could have played a role in the findings (see my original links and some quotes below).

But you have to read the whole study and know where to look for those discussion points and limitations. You also need to look at drop outs, the use of Relative Risk (RR) to exaggerate insignificant findings, compliance levels and many other details to know if a study holds up (many don’t). The ones Bissonnette used do not pass that kind of scrutiny, something he seems clueless about!

Bissonnette comments again

He includes me and Bens this time. He never acknowledged the possibility or truth of either of our comments. Bissonnette refused to respond to the validity of Dr. Bens’ details and thousands of studies that support supplements or the studies that show a consistent lack of healthy eating (I predict he has never searched for, or read them)! Instead, Bissonnette digs deeper and re-states the same debunked studies in a biased and slanted way. He also skips Dr. Bens’ comments about the many reasons why foods have less nutrition now (I’ve covered those same issues in past articles). This is Bissonnette’s #3 failure to respond.

Bissonnette responded by scolding me for telling the truth and disrespected us both:

Steven, your comments are a little harsh and not conducive to a good healthy discussion. First, the beta carotene alpha tocopherol Finish study was published in 1994 in the New England Journal of Medicine…pretty high impact..when you publish there, you let me know. This study was 8 years in duration and followed roughly 29,000 men. It was a randomized single blind controlled trial that was able to tease out the effect of smoking and the protective effects of the supplement. I clearly showed that the supplement did not protect and in fact accentuated the risk of cancer in those taking the supplement. Although Dr Ben’s makes some sweeping remarks and claims to have debunked the findings of such a highly rated peer-reviewed journal…let’s not be too prideful, if fails to point out the problem with the study. Let’s keep the discussion erudite please, and please don’t insult participants.

This response from him needs some additional dissecting. First, those poorly-done studies are 20-30 years old and have been debunked by many experts for years, including me. The actual intervention was only with a few synthetic supplements (alpha-tocopherol/vitamin E and beta carotene, a vitamin A precursor) for heavy, life-long smokers or smokers exposed to asbestos, both cancer-causing substances. Even those study authors doubted their conclusions (see quotes and details below).

I predict that Bissonnette has not followed the science and never read those studies in detail, or he would have realized the study authors stated they were quite uncertain about the findings and that they might have been due to chance. Quoting studies you never read is highly unprofessional and irresponsible! Plus, it’s a rule of science that human studies need to be replicated numerous times with large groups of subjects. Those studies (ATBC and CARET) are not the same and neither has ever been replicated.

Bissonnett’s inclusion of the impact factor for the NEJM shows his early indoctrination as an RD, and his superficial knowledge about journals and research credibility. A journal’s impact factor has no relevance to its publishing accuracy or credibility! The impact factor merely reflects how often the studies in that journal are cited in other research.

It’s the same issue for calling it a highly rated peer-reviewed journal because that doesn’t guarantee accuracy or a lack of bias. Peer review is well-known to be a cursory exercise for many studies and many highly rated journals publish biased research all the time! I’ve covered these issues extensively in previous posts (see link below for Why Medicine Fails). I’m not impressed, nor should anyone else be. This is a shallow talking point, with no real scientific understanding behind it!

But this is a common theme in doctors and dietitians, as they are taught to “trust and believe” the journals that publish biased or faulty research. Most medical practitioners never read the studies in detail or look for bias, errors or limitations. As a result, those big pro-drug and anti-supplement headlines are taken as fact when they are almost never accurate or truthful!

This practice of taking study headlines and abstract summaries for granted and not exercising any judgment is very dangerous; it results in a constant flow of misinformation to the media and public! I’ve raised this issue many times in previous posts (most recently, Why Medicine Fails), see link below. Medical misinformation contributes to millions of injuries and deaths.

No matter, most doctors and dietitians have defended this horrific practice for years! I have yet to meet or encounter any traditional MD or RD who takes the time to read and analyze studies from top to bottom. Bissonnette surely “believes” and has never questioned or read the biased and poorly-done studies he keeps quoting! My grade for Bissonnette, the PhD is a big fat F!

http://www.endsicknessnow.com/why-medicine-fails

Bissonnett’s puffery and swag is not science. He has refused to discuss or debate the actual studies in detail (my debunking links surely did, exposing their numerous flaws and statistical exaggeration), so he resorted to puffery. Ironically, Bissonnette claims we didn’t point out problems in the study, but I did exactly that in my first comment and I included very detailed links with author quotes that covered the flaws in the studies in detail. See why I have concerns about his mental and cognitive abilities and his lack of accountability? And his claim of me insulting the participants is a fabrication! I only challenged him. I didn’t insult anyone!

Just for some perspective here (I wish I had used this in the discussion but it wasn’t handy), here is a famous and damning quote I’ve used in previous articles. It’s from Marcia Angell, the former editor of that same journal Bissonnette quoted, the NEJM:

It is simply no longer possible to believe much of the clinical research that is published, or to rely on the judgment of trusted physicians or authoritative medical guidelines. I take no pleasure in this conclusion, which I reached slowly and reluctantly over my two decades as an editor of The New England Journal of Medicine.

As for Bissonnette’s sweeping claims against Dr. Bens’ comment about supplement studies and the lack of healthy eating, he again offers no actual scientific rebuttal. In essence, he dissed Dr. Bens in a really tacky way. I call BS on Bissonnette!

My response to Bissonnette:

I provided 2 links in my original comment that showed why the ATBC and CARET studies were so terribly flawed! Anyone who uses material that is old and debunked needs to be called out for misinforming the public. Medical journals are notorious for publishing anti-supplement studies (where have you been?). These issues have been written about for decades!

I added this extra comment 

I also have a quiz for you. The questions are all True/false so it should be easy to respond to them:

1. Are there evolutionary influences on weight gain?
2. Are there social, educational and cultural influences on weight gain?
3. Are there hormonal influences on weight gain?
4. Are there brain influences on weight gain?
5. Does inactivity play a role in weight gain?
6. Does physical capacity or health status influence weight?
7. Does chronic stress play a role in weight?
8. Does gut bacteria and ecology influence weight?
9. Does socioeconomic status influence weight?
10. Does self esteem play a role in weight issues?

I wanted to get him to look at those questions but he simply ignored them (how would you answer them?). So Bissonnette never responded to or answered any of those questions, nor did he ever mention any of them (his #4 failure to respond).

Again, he continued to come across as pompous and arrogant, like only he gets to ask the questions! Here is his response to my previous comment, which continues to show how naive and ignorant he is about research studies and the overuse of Relative Risk (RR) to drive headlines and media coverage, while failing to be scientifically accurate (something I already knew).

Bissonnette’s nasty unprofessional response

Steven, as a nutrition coach, I would have expected you to further investigate the topic of my forum, rather than bomb it with absurdities like…medical journal are bad. Had you done a literature search, you would have found many studies also confirming at least the non-efficacious nature of supplements. For instance, the Physicians Health Study II showed that supplementation had no effect on preventing many types of cancers (See National Cancer Institute). The Selenium and vitamin E Cancer prevention trial which began in 2001 was forcibly stopped in 2008 because the supplements clearly had not effect, but a 2011 follow up showed a 17% greater risk of developing prostate cancer among supplement users compared to placebo. Also a 2007 review in the Amer. Journal of Clinical Nutrition (http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/85/1/314S.full) also reviewed previous trials and concluded that food was protective but not vitamin supplements. Look for prospective cohort studies…gold standard

Bissonnette distorts what I said about those studies as he continues to skillfully avoid thousands of positive supplement studies that have been done for decades. He constantly references those few, poorly-done, negative, un-replicated studies that fit his biased, preconceived and ignorant positions (his new link was mostly a re-hash of the studies he already mentioned, and again an older study). That’s now how science works at all. Science is ongoing; it’s a process. Good studies will include supportive and unsupportive studies references. Biased conclusions from 10-20 years ago are often not valid later and those studies were never good science. His inability to see the obvious or to question or analyze bad studies undercuts all of his credentials. He seems like an imposter to me!

Again, it’s clear that he hasn’t kept up with all the research, and constantly relies on a handful of old, biased, poorly-done studies that appear to have negative conclusions, but the details reveal bias, poor designs and leave many unanswered questions. BTW, I predict he would have barely passed or even failed my quiz! If you want, you can answer yes or no and leave as a comment.

Here are 5 key links that offer serious debunkings of his claims for those previous studies and research conventions in general, conventions he seems really ignorant about (scroll down for those bad study debunkings in first 2 links):

http://www.endsicknessnow.com/dr-david-seres-debunked

http://www.endsicknessnow.com/dr-david-seres-debunked-again

This article explores several key elements of biased research and the overuse of Relative Risk (RR) to exaggerate most pro-drug and anti-supplement studies by debunking the work of several Forbes writers:

http://www.endsicknessnow.com/forbes-bias-and-misinformation

This link shows how a retrospective (recycled) study about fish oil (when none was given or tracked) was utterly false, yet it swept national and local media outlets a few years ago (later, the authors agreed that their conclusions were probably overstated and there was no significant effect after all):

http://www.endsicknessnow.com/fish-oil-and-cancer-research-fraud

This link covers several national news outlets and their gross ignorance about supplements and their false headlines and research claims:

http://www.endsicknessnow.com/anti-vitamin-propaganda

Here is my response to his largely nonsense comment that I should review the literature about supplements:

I’ve read many thousands of studies and summarized them often, clearly I’m more up-to-date than you are. Let me guess:

1. You have never read and analyzed the ATBC, CARET or SELECT studies in total detail, including subject histories, health status, time frames, supplements used (dosages, forms, balance, etc.), charts, graphs, footnotes, drop-outs, non-compliance and author limitations. Your use of Relative Risk indicates you are an amateur when it comes to understanding research.

2. You’ve also not kept up on any follow-up analysis that other researchers have done, which I included in the links I included in my FIRST COMMENT.

3. You are refusing to review the links I have provided, filled with credible quotes from the actual study authors and hundreds of additional source links?

Your link is from 10 years ago and included many of the same trials I’d said have been debunked! But you apparently skipped this closing section, which touches on some of the limitations, limitations which UNDERCUT your bold, misleading claims:

“Factors contributing to the variable results observed in trials of multivitamin supplements include issues of dose and form, effects of combinations of nutrients, and modulation by lifestyle behaviors. In several trials, doses substantially above the recommended dietary intake were used; the Linxian and SU.VI.MAX trials are exceptions to this. Too high a dose of an antioxidant vitamin possibly may interfere with the generation of reactive oxygen species needed for beneficial processes, such as normal immune response and induction of apoptosis in precancerous cells. Toxicity (as in the increased cancer rates observed for ?[beta]-carotene in the ATBC and CARET) may also be a consequence of pharmacologic dosing.”

I added more below as Linkedin has a character limit and the full study quote wouldn’t fit:

Here is the remaining limitations quote (still too long so I’ll shorten):

“The form of vitamin or mineral used may affect the outcome of a trial. For example, vitamin E comprises 8 tocopherols and tocotrienols, each with 4 different forms. The most biologically available form of vitamin E is α-tocopherol, which is the most common form in supplements, whereas γ-tocopherol is the most prevalent form of dietary vitamin E. This difference in form by intake source could complicate analysis of studies assessing the effect of vitamin E intake on cancer prevention. The Women’s Health Study, for example, found that dietary folate and vitamin B-6 but not supplemental forms of these nutrients reduced the risk of colorectal cancer despite the increased bioavailability of the supplemental forms.”

I added this comment to better summarize my last 2 comments:

The kind of question that you referenced about food vs. supplements comes from someone who knows little about nutrition or supplements. As Dr. Bens pointed out (the part you never addressed), many people have significant deficiencies in a wide array of micro-nutrients, such as B-vitamins (a complex), vitamin C, vitamin E, vitamin D, etc. Then you look at minerals, and you find the same problems. Same for anti-oxidants. Again, you quote a single study or two and you find that definitive. Again, where have you been for the last 10 years? Again, here are a series of links that explore these issues beyond the minimum amounts to avoid diseases like scurvy, rickets and pellagra (all with source links at the end):

http://www.endsicknessnow.com/vitamins-for-health

Plus 2 links for minerals:

http://www.endsicknessnow.com/magic-minerals-part-1

http://www.endsicknessnow.com/magic-minerals-part-2

Plus this post:

http://www.endsicknessnow.com/aging-and-antioxidants

And before I forget, here is one of the key quotes I took from the first link I provided in my very first comment, made by the authors in the ATBC study. It’s from the Discussion section again, and indicates a major caveat for the ATBC study findings (I couldn’t fit it into the Linkedin comments because of their limitations), but it again shows that Bissonette was never interested in finding out the truth about that study, where these author discussion caveats have been for decades:

We are aware of no other data at this time, however, that suggest harmful effects of beta carotene, whereas there are data indicating benefit. Furthermore, there are no known or described mechanisms of toxic effects of beta carotene, no data from studies in animals suggesting beta carotene toxicity, and no evidence of serious toxic effects of this substance in humans. In the light of all the data available, an adverse effect of beta carotene seems unlikely; in spite of its formal statistical significance, therefore, this finding may well be due to chance.

Bissonnette again skipped my list of accurate rebuttal points, where I pointed out his failures to read the actual studies in detail or review my debunking links for his studies (his #5 failure to respond). He also refused to respond to those actual study quotes I copied directly from the study authors he referenced, where the authors indicated uncertainty and reasons why their own results might not be accurate (his #6 failure to respond).

He also skipped my new, well-researched links about vitamin, mineral and anti-oxidant deficiencies and the important role they play in health (his #7 failure to respond), never saying a word about them. I predict he never looked at them. Is that pompous enough for you?

Instead, he responded with more nonsense and swag, showing how manipulative he is, and how politically naive and gullible he is about most cancer research (filled with anti-supplement bias using those same, few biased studies again and again, and focused mostly on expensive drug and radiation treatments), not actual prevention or cures:

His response:

But I am also quoting National Cancer Institute and National Cancer Society positions which are formed from a good and exhaustive analysis of the many good quality studies that are published. These bodies also a good understanding of risk versus benefits, and given the many studies (pros, cons and equivocal) that are published they still give greater credence to the protective effect of diet versus supplements at this stage anyway….things can certainly change, but the goal of this forum is to discuss what is known and in doing so, the use of position papers from authoritative bodies holds great value and should incite discussion…

He clearly “believes” in journals and cancer organizations but has never analyzed the studies or work in any detail on his own. How irresponsible and unprofessional is that? Very! He continues to demonstrate his incredible naivete´and gullibility, never questioning any of his source material on his own. As a result, he is helping to misinform the public and most likely his students.

Here is my response:

Except for one big problem. How many of the people doing those studies you are so taken in by, have real expertise in nutrition and health (very few), and the actual causes of disease, including prevention and wellness? It’s lots of guessing. Cancer is a complex, multi-factorial disease that usually takes decades to progress to visible symptoms or tumors (another big flaw in those short-term studies you like to quote). You continue to show a shallow, limited range of understanding of human health vs. disease and the broader picture of a unique human being with their education, cultural practices, emotions and beliefs. The studies you retreat to are reductionist by nature and your bold claims continue to ring hollow. Your attempt to hide behind often biased, poorly done science and exaggerated claims is obvious. Those limited reductionist studies routinely ignore the totality of the whole being in favor of a narrower perspective of a few variables. And I’ve seen the ACS and NCI too!

I added that comment because a claim he made was really questionable, if not false: That the NCI and ACS have done an exhaustive study analysis and that they know or have certainty about cancer causes when there is actually little they are certain of so I exposed those issues.

His response was again shallow and manipulative:

These are not my claims, they are the claims from position papers published by the American Cancer Society and the National Cancer Institute…

He offered no substance to my points as he tried to shift responsibility back to the ACS and the NCI (his #8 failure to respond). During this back-and-forth, I went back to those sites again (I’ve seen them several times before). I found some general summaries for cancer risks and I also found a position paper on lifestyle risks. But as I stated, they offer lots of guesswork and include those same, poorly done, debunked studies he quoted in his first comment (the ATBC and CARET studies). It’s like a dog chasing its tail, round and round we go.

My response to his comment (I drilled down into his nonsense claim about their exhaustive analysis):

And you are well-indoctrinated into repeating their claims (exhaustive analysis? Really?), because I’ve been to both sites and it’s mostly just guessing for risks and causes outside of smoking and chemical exposure. You clearly embrace the idea that reductionism is god-like when those studies are guaranteed to miss numerous confounders and important variables, often leading to false conclusions like the studies you have quoted so often. Do me this favor. Put up on link from the NCI or ACS that shows definitive proof (which means the work needs to be a large, human study with at least 100 subjects, hopefully, 1,000, that has been replicated at least 3 times that shows consistent results. Don’t include mouse or rat studies, those animal studies fail to work in humans 80-90% of the time.

As I expected, he never put up any studies to support his big claims (his #9 failure to respond), and he also failed to respond or address the substance of what I said, including my important comment about animal studies (his #10 failure to respond), which significantly undercut his claims for the so-called “exhaustive” work of the ACS and NCI. I’d call their work on nutrition and other lifestyle behaviors superficial, not exhaustive.

The pattern with Bissonnette is clear: He skillfully manipulates his responses by ignoring any question or challenge that he can’t support with actual science. He only responds to selected bits of things and he seeks to use authority figures to create leverage but he doesn’t stand on his own two feet or know what he is talking about! Throughout this thread, he has skipped numerous challenges and requests for studies I asked for (#10 to here)! That’s unprofessional and shows that his claims are shallow and mostly opinion and belief, not credibly based on science or human health. He continues to act like an imposter who knows little about human digestion, metabolism, hormones, fitness, weight, organs and systems, etc. 

I responded with this comment, growing sick of his lack of responsiveness:

I also notice that in spite of me looking at every link you provided (and commenting on those links in detail), you have never once commented on the now 6 links I have included. Is this your idea of a debate or discussion (a strictly one-sided version where you hold court)? I’m amazed by the stubbornness you display, along with the ignorance and narrow view of health. I bet you can’t even define true health to any credible degree.

Of course, I was right! And as I expected, he didn’t respond to this comment either (his #11 failure to respond). And it’s clear that he really doesn’t understand health as a continuum. Like so many in medicine, health is merely the absence of disease. False! Health covers a whole range, from great health, vitality, fitness and high functionality, to ailments, to chronic conditions, to more acute disease states. Bissonnette often skips those higher levels of health and vitality.

Then he sent a shill named Taitum to fight for him instead, and he made an odd, confusing comment filled with typos, saying Bissonnette and I should meet. He included a lecture about truth and honesty, mostly directed at me! That was rich! Then he said he loved Dr. B and not to fall into the trap! This was a ridiculous comment, void of credibility or reality on many levels! This was pure gashlighting! It’s all about games and manipulation for Bissonnette, like being on the Twilight Zone!

Here is my response to Taitum, suspecting that Bissonnette’s surrogate has no understanding of our discussion or the complex science involved, or how his pal, Bissonnette, has consistently disrespected me and the other PhD’s in the discussion. He also had no clue how often Bissonnette has failed to respond to my questions or requests for research to back his claims 11 times already, or what a skillful manipulator his pal is:

I can appreciate your interest in better communication, but you obviously know Bissonnette. I have some questions for you:

1. What made you decide to come to this thread and offer your support to him?
2. Did he communicate with you about it?
3. Did you read the entire thread from beginning to end (including links) before you added your comment?
4. What is your background in human nutrition, nutritional supplements and research, health, disease prevention, human aging, cancer risk and development, chronic disease and development, cancer research, epigenetics, medical research, research designs, methods and biases, research conventions like P values, Relative Risk (RR), Absolute Risk (AR), research fraud and corruption, study types and their value, research replication, etc.

As I suspected, there was no response to my questions from Taitum or from Bissonnette (#12 failure to respond)!

Then we had some MLM people jump into the thread, trying to recruit people or sell their supplements. Maddening! I’ll skip those and Bissonnette’s comment, which focused strictly on situations where people had a severe vitamin deficiency, often helped in a hospital setting with injections or doses of nutrients. This is part of a long-standing issue with Western medicine, obsessed with disease and illness but not health. Bissonnette’s comment had little relevance to this thread about optimal nutrition, super foods or obesity!

Then a guy names Alfanza jumped in, offering a website link and some testing for doing individualized nutrition assessments. Although I’m not against it after more basic approaches are tried, it’s still lacking a broader, more holistic perspective of health and lifestyle, so I’m leaving it out.

Bissonnette’s odd and telling reply:

These very complex algorithms would appear to make the basic concept of eating a very complicated issue. But should we be doing this? Could it be a formula that caters to the growing narcissistic society described by Twenge and Campbell in their best seller: A Narcissistic Epidemic. Saint Anthony of the dessert (270AD) led an austere life, eating a very simple diet averaging no more than 1000 kcal/day and yet lived a long and productive life until his death at 105 years of age. The story of his longevity had little to do with algorithms of individualized dieting and more to do with a way of living that encompassed intellectual and physical work conspiring with prayer to provide a deep-rooted peace. Saint Benedict in 500 AD created a monastic rule that had less austere rules about food restriction, but was nevertheless a very simple diet. Is not possible to just eat fruits and Veg, whole grains + organic meats and be healthy?

Bissonnette’s oddball comments continue! Now he offers up some harsh comments about narcissism in health choices (something I don’t think is all that common or relevant here). Then he adds some irrelevant examples of desert-dwelling, hermit monks! These odd additions really show how irrational and far gone Bissonnete is! There is so little relevance of his bible-type stories from over 1,500 years ago to our modern lives; so little to be learned from those examples, and I said so in my response. I also reminded him about the studies from the ACS and NCI he never provided:

@Bissonnette: You put up a similar comment in that Turmeric thread. Although I can understand the value of stories meant to inspire people, how are these religion-based stories from thousands of years ago relevant to today’s fast-paced, high-stress, overworked society filled with profit-driven, factory foods (including meats, fish, dairy, fruits, veggies and other GMO crops)? How does your thesis work with those people are struggling to make ends meet in a completely different world? Have any studies to back your claims? BTW, I’m still waiting for your studies from your cancer claims days ago (remember you said they had done exhaustive study analysis?). . .

As is often the case with Bissonnette, his response skirted the important points I made about our current society, factory foods, GMOs and people on tight budgets (this is the #14 time he failed to respond to my points), and he doubled down on his strange, unproven and largely irrelevant claims about how monks lived thousands of years ago (the exception does NOT prove the rule, except for media, who use that approach all the time). Notice I again asked for some studies and I reminded him about the cancer studies he claimed existed but never provided.

Here is Bissonnette’s goofy response:

The stories from a thousand years ago are relevant because first, there is documentation of what they ate, and the monastic order encompassed a lifestyle not so much a diet that brought longevity. How is this relevant? Well to your point…we are living very stressful lifestyles which may very well be killing us in concert with the very awful diets (highly processed and impoverished) we are now consuming in the modern age. The idea here, which is central to the discussion, is that longevity and health could be very much tied to living and eating more simply and not embracing super foods. Or are we ready to advance that even our fruits and vegetables are of such poor quality that not even diets rooted in the Mediterranean diet can help us live a healthy existence?

It’s one of the only times he responded to my some of my challenges and requests, but he still avoided several key points, such as what these monks actually ate in detail (I think it was bread and figs), how to lower our stress levels (no ideas for reducing stress), or people struggling to make ends meet who have less for healthy foods (his #15 failure to respond). Then he returned to the irrational idea that super foods are bad, never explaining what he thinks they are or how he might define them! Ridiculous! This is a professor and a PhD? Really? I’m totally unimpressed! Again, he carries on like an amateur and an imposter! I’ve seen high school kids with more common sense!

Here is my response:

I asked for studies and science. I know some studies have been done on calorie restriction and a few people can stay on it, but I see no research to back your other sweeping claims. Narcissism may play a small role in nutritional choices but again, no science or studies offered. The notion that we seem to be eating super foods and not other foods is both undefined and unsubstantiated. How do you define a “super food? Who is eating them? And where are your studies about comparative nutrient value of foods from 1,500-2,000 years ago and today? Do you have lists of the foods that were grown in a desert setting that are still widely available or applicable today? Is there any comparison? BTW, longevity is far more than nutrition. Stress management, activity, quality sleep, and understanding your own epigenetics are all important factors. Finally, do you live on 1,000 calories/day?

As before, Bissonnette didn’t respond to my requests for studies or more details on his claims of narcissism, or anything more about his idea of superfoods (it’s not an agreed upon or defined term), but in general, super foods are said to be nutrient-dense foods like almonds, blueberries or yogurt. Bissonnette never responded to my key question about living on 1,000 calories himself (I’m sure he doesn’t because he lives in Minnesota).

He also seems to know nothing about the reality of the food lobby or the corruption of big food companies. They are perfectly willing to sacrifice the nation’s health for more profits, and they have mislead us for decades with junk science!

This is the #15 time he failed to answer a legitimate question or request! Funny how he thinks that’s such a great idea but he doesn’t follow his own advice to live on 1,000 calories per day (I know he lives in or near Mankato MN, which is really cold in the winter). That’s called hypocrisy!

Then, that Alfanza guy commented again, and he also challenged Bissonnette about the relevance of those desert monk stories. He rightfully pointed out our time is different, because we have highly processed, nutrient-deficient, GMO-based foods, including extensive chemical use and non-local foods shipped in where nutrients are often lost.

Bissonette offered this odd response (yep, more about desert monks again) filled with big, unsupported claims and an old rat study he did in 1996:

Hi Alfonza: living in the desert, it does not matter how far back you go, is not the ideal environment for the best nutrition. My point is that despite such hard and harsh conditions the bodies of these monks resisted disease and exhibited health by virtue of their productive intellectual and physical outputs. There is an enigma here which I am proposing: physical output and health are not completely synchronized with nutrition. I showed this in a 1993 study: Bissonnette, D.J., Madapallimatam, A, AND Jeejeebhoy, K.N. 1997, Effect of hypocaloric feeding and high carbohydrate refeeding on muscle tetanic tension, relaxation rate, and fatigue in slow and fast twitch muscles in rats. Am. J. Clin. Nutr. 66:293-303.

I found that old paper he quoted from 20 years ago and it’s Bissonette’s thesis project! Notice that he again quotes himself! It was a study on 2 leg muscles in rats that only lasted a few weeks, and focused narrowly on their muscle response based on feeding them average or below average calories!

This paper is not relevant science to broader human nutrition or health, obesity or chronic disease development, which are often multi-factorial and take decades to develop. His “great” science has little relevance in supporting Bissonnette’s overblown, unproven claims about monks and their health (in truth, we don’t know, we have no test results or objective facts to review).

My reply was rather blunt because his nonsense has gone on too long:

My head spins over this comment! In so many ways, it’s not related to your original premise and appears to be your Master’s theses. And yet it is so like you to quote yourself, which most people do not do (it’s creepy)! First, you can’t say with any evidence what diseases or ailments St. Anthony of the Desert might have had. I’ve asked you for citations about these religious stories before. You have provided none. And your bold claim that “physical output and health are not completely synchronized with nutrition” is also without clarity, modern relevance, human application or citations. Has your study been replicated multiple times in large human studies? If not, its conclusions are questionable at best, because most animal studies DO NOT carry over into humans:

http://jn.nutrition.org/content/128/10/1723.full

Once again, Bissonnette didn’t respond to any of the points I made or offer any proof about monks, health and modern-day living and issues like obesity. The idea that a study of rat muscles is definitive for human weight or health, because it claims to show a short-term (a week or two) lack of synchronicity between nutrition and muscle output is looking myopically at small details of muscle function, then making wild leaps of unscientific logic to make unrelated claims that are not supported by that premise.

Bissonnette is again using puffery in lieu of science and it’s so obvious to me! What about all the other elements of human health, lifestyle, vitality and aging? Then Alfanza made a comment which also questioned the results of a rat study in a lab vs. actual life today.

Bissonnette kept up the posturing and exaggeration:

Others besides myself found similar results…notably Graham Hill out of New Zealand. There is not a directly proportional effect between muscle performance and nutrition. We know this as well from studies done on patients with anorexia nervosa before they reached the end point of hospitalization. In these cases patients actually are able to show reasonably elevated physical performance levels despite being clearly underweight and malnourished. Marathon runner who have BMIs of 17 also demonstrate this phenomenon. Physical function must be noted as one of the most objective indicators of low morbidity. It is used in hospitals as part of the subjective nutritional assessment protocol. What is this demonstrating…consistent with the title…are we a little over zealous about vitamins and minerals or is it really much easier than what the nutraceutical industry would lead us to believe?

Once again, his comment is myopic, using narrowly-constructed, reductionist research to extrapolate way beyond that work with no real scientific support for broader populations! I actually looked into Hill’s work and Hill seemed to mostly do research into malnourished hospital patients, so I’m not sure how it’s relevant to overweight/obese people who are leading lives outside a medical setting.

And Bissonnett’s bold claim that, What is this demonstrating…consistent with the title…are we a little over zealous about vitamins and minerals or is it really much easier than what the nutraceutical industry would lead us to believe? is again a total jump and simply irrational. We go from under-feeding rats or starved humans to a claim that we are overzealous about using vitamins and minerals! What?

These wild claims and leaps of logic are NOT how science works! It is how egomaniacs work, making bold, unsupported proclamations and expecting others to simply accept those claims as proven!

My response to his continuing nonsense was this:

You seem like you might be a good poker player [a good bluffer]. Your original premise was a mash-up of health and weight/obesity stats, rising medical costs and the contribution obesity (and overeating) was making to disease and health costs. You then made an odd leap to say that in order to reduce obesity, we should simplify nutrition but not optimize it. That never made any sense to me. Then you claimed that drug and nutritional companies tried to sell supplements but hide 2 studies you found compelling, but many other well-rounded experts found biased and poorly done. After debating those, you pivoted to narcissism and bible stories with apparent calorie restriction in monks and things like work and prayer from thousands of years ago, never offering any science. Now we’re talking about muscle performance and nutrition with another toss away comment about supplements. Sorry but this is reductionist flailing and consistently shows your lack of broad health, vitality and disease-prevention knowledge.

That summary comment I made shows how badly Bissonnette lacks logical and rational thinking skills, while showing his extreme compartmentalization of thought and myopic views on weight and human health! He has also demonstrated breathtaking ignorance about supplement and food research, along with other lifestyle effects on epigenetics! Bissonnette again reminds me that PhDs can be deeply ignorant and lacking in real-world knowledge and understanding!

As the thread kept going, especially with MLM people joining in, I’ll end it here. But another embarrassing, unprofessional comment Bissonnette made in a thread about turmeric and weight around the same time.

Here is Bissonnette’s mean comment about obesity and will power:

This completely unnecessary information. Tumeric does not cause weight loss nor does it help in weight loss. There is no evidence to support this claim. The causes of obesity run very deep, much deeper than health professionals had originally thought. The cause of obesity is related to a problem of intemperance. It was the Benedictine rule, introduced in the 6th century by Saint Benedict that brought important reforms to monastic life in Europe, notably a varied diet geared towards meeting the nutritional and energy needs of monks. The timing, the quality and the amount of food portioned out to the brethren was determined in order to benefit the physical and spiritual health, and productivity of the monk. In the end, the solution was balance between physical work, intellectual study and prayer. The solution to obesity is not about dietary components or macronutrient manipulation. It is in the end, it understanding ‘ ora et labora.”

For those who don’t know what “ora and labora” is, it means prayer and labor! So Bissonette’s solution to our modern weight and health crisis is prayer and labor, not nutrition, activity, stress management, quality sleep, etc.! Really? Remember, he’s an RD and PhD! I found his comment stunning and grossly ignorant! Does he sound sane to you?

He clearly believes that we need to copy monastic life and religious doctrine. This is totally useless and irrelevant for modern lives where people have to work, pay bills, raise kids, deal with traffic, bad bosses, highly processed junk foods that trigger cravings with salt, sugar and fat, etc.!

He seems to forget that monks lead a protected life and their earthy needs are largely taken care of: food, clothing, shelter, even if they contribute some labor. They are often given donations or financial support and live in outlying areas, away from the stress and hectic pace of urban living.

I also called him out for being a skillful manipulator, which is a term I use when I’m condemning someone’s character. Skillful manipulators have practiced and honed their manipulation skills to a high degree. Skillful manipulators lack personal and professional integrity, which is exactly what I see in Bissonnette and his student comments. Enough Bissonnette!

Before I include his student comments, here is the Vision Statement for MNSU at Mankato, in almost total contrast to the comments Bissonnett’s students made (see link below, including Core Values and Goals which Bissonnette also violates):

Minnesota State Mankato will be known as a university where people expect to go further than they thought possible by combining knowledge and the passion to achieve great things.

Our foundation for this vision is our heritage of both dedicated teaching and the direct application of knowledge to improve a diverse community and world. We will achieve it by actively nurturing the passion within students, faculty and staff to push beyond possibility on the way to realizing dreams.

https://www.mnsu.edu/president/vision.html

Keep that Vision statement in mind as you read the ratings and comments below. First is the website link for his ratings as a teacher, and below that link are the ratings and comments I copied from his students on that site a few weeks ago (as I recall, the first one I copied is now gone and a new one is there, still 1 of 5 again, but I’ll keep what I copied initially):

http://www.ratemyprofessors.com/ShowRatings.jsp?tid=420577

NOTE: some of these comments have typos and many students used all caps to emphasize their thoughts and frustrations in their comments. I copied the comments intact:

1. Awful, a 1 of 5 rating on 12/26/16: “Dr. B is ridiculous. The class is ridiculous. If MNSU by some unlikely chance hires another person to teach this course, then under no circumstances should you take Dr. B’s class. Sorry but good luck if it is required. Write down every formula and definition and team up with a classmate to succeed. Many people have to retake. Don’t take during summer.”

2. Awful, a 1 of 5 rating on 12/9/16: “The material in this course is not hard. IT IS THE PROFFESSOR that does not care of the students grade but more about being the authority figure and making students know that. The saddest thing about Nutrition for health care prof. Is that he is the only one who teaches it and all of our careers depend on his grade. He is more than an awful prof.”

3. Awful, a 1 of 5 rating on 12/9/16: “DO NOT TAKE WITH HIM. Condensing, rude, not helpful. He wrote his own book that the class is based off of which has multiple errors, his concept checks are not “concept” based at all rather pointless information that he didn’t even teach us about, and has a 75 pt quiz on a documentary he POORLY made. If you have to take it like I did, Good luck.”

4. Awful, a 1 of 5 rating on 12/9/16: “You must use your book and highlight through every section. The tests are ridiculously hard and irrelevant at times. It’s a very stressful, time consuming, and rewardless class. I feel like I haven’t learned anything after all of that work. Good luck.”

5. Awful, a 1 of 5 rating on 12/5/16: “I would reread his textbook inside out & still had a very hard time on his exams. His exams are nothing like the study guides. There are so many errors in his textbook & often times it gets even more confusing. If a majority of your students are failing or struggling, as a professor you’re supposed to be helpful – not brag that your class is hard.”

6. Awful, a 1 of 5 rating on 12/5/16: “Avoid this professor at all costs. Regardless of how hard you study, it is so difficult to get an A in this class. He wasn’t helpful & often times was very condescending when I asked questions. I felt as though he was setting my peers and I up for failure. There are some questions worth 20 points & others worth 1 point. Makes zero sense. Stay away.”

7. Awful, a 1 of 5 rating on 12/5/16: “STAY AWAY FROM THIS PROFESSOR! He will not curve anything he thinks when students do bad that it is your own fault. He tests you on things that he never even talks about and a lot of the time his lectures say something different than the book-how are you supposed to know which one is right?! when you ask for help he is a completely rude.”

8. Awful, a 1 of 5 rating on 12/3/16: “From reading all of the comments you pretty much know how messed this professor is. Honestly no matter how hard you study the major assessment will be ridiculously confusing. And don’t even waste your time on the study guide because the major quiz is not based on the questions study guide. PowerPoint lectures are waste of time.”

9. Awful, a 1 of 5 rating on 12/2/16: “Do not even consider taking this class. He is the worst teacher I have ever had to deal with, I do not know why he still has a job. So rude, so unhelpful, makes his class way to hard. I hope nobody ever has to deal with him and his awful class.”

10. Awful, a 1 of 5 rating on 11/6/16: “Too many quizzes and get ready to read the text book. Made us buy a dvd which was poorly designed.”

11. Awful, 1 of 5 rating on 10/27/16: “I usually get As and Bs but was doing so horribly that I had to withdrawal from this class. So many quizzes and exams that were all very hard. Discussions were easy but only 3 of them worth a small amount of points. This was the hardest 200 level class I’ve taken. Very difficult professor-do not take his classes.”

12. Awful, 1 of 5 rating on 10/16/16: “Do not take this class with this professor. He requires way too much from students for only a 200 level course. His tests are extremely difficult and detailed. He is not helpful when you are confused and does not put in the same amount of time he expects from you. AVOID THIS CLASS.

There were many more, all similar in ratings and comments. As you can tell, Bissonnette’s students are struggling under his teaching methods and style: many pointed out Bissonnette’s unhelpful, uncaring, condescending, rude and inconsistent teaching approach, forced to use class materials that were from the “great” Bissonnette, filled with typos or poorly produced.

Why isn’t MNSU monitoring these serious issues? Those students are suffering and struggling to learn, in spite of Bissonnette and his authoritarian, condescending approach! Why is the school so apparently unaware of how badly Bissonnette is as a teacher, causing unnecessary resentment and raising student’s anxiety?

I decided to contact some people at MNSU to see if they knew about these issues and what I experienced with him, which was remarkably similar. First I had an exchange of e-mails with Heather Von Bank, their Department Chair at the Family Consumer Science Department. I included a link to the student ratings and comments, some info about Bissonnette’s Linkedin comments and his comments about how obese people were lacking in will power (intemperance), plus they should do more prayer and labor.

Heather said she was not his boss and he was not under her direction, which sounded odd because she was the Department Chair. She said she would forward my info to his dean but didn’t say who that was. I heard nothing more after a few weeks so I did some research and I found out who the dean was Kristine Retherford, the Dean of their College of Allied Health and Nursing, and sent her an e-mail. I included a summary of the same issues and mentioned that I had contacted Heather previously.

Unfortunately, Kristine never acknowledged my message. She never responded to my concerns or had anyone else address them. Because MNSU was so unresponsive, I decided to publish this article. As is too often the case in institutions these days, no one wants to be accountable for bad decisions or incompetent people. Too many people are willing to enable bad teachers like Bissonnette and simply look the other way, leaving his young students to pay the price. Based on their comments, his students are being abused.

In closing

David Bissonnette has no business being a teacher and using his own mistake-ridden materials to boot! His overall behavior and his comments on Linkedin also reveal a misguided and unprofessional person with these negative qualities:

• Biased
• Ignorant
• Manipulative
• Arrogant
• Unhinged
• Unscientific
• Irresponsible
• Incompetent
• Authoritarian
• A terrible teacher
• Uncaring
• Rude
• Condescending

Congratulations Dr. David Bissonnette!

You are a new inductee into my Hall of Shame! You are the newest person to join my Hall of Shame (created for the most unprofessional people I encounter), for your terrible teaching and your unhinged health quackery!

If I have any updates, I’ll post them here:

On Wednesday, February 8, 2017, I left a message at the office of Richard Davenport, President of MNSU, regarding the lack of responsiveness I have seen. I mentioned that I was sending an e-mail about an area of concern with a professor there. I then sent this message:

“Dear Richard:

Like many of your students, I had a very negative experience with one of your professors at MNSU. His name is David Bissonnette, and he’s in the College of Allied Health and Nursing.

I’ve attempted to contact his Department Chair, Heather Von Bank, and his Dean, Kristine Retheford. Neither has been responsive to the serious issues I have raised, including poor student ratings and complaints about his terrible, rude teaching style, using his own error-filled, poorly-done course materials.

Here is an article that covers the issues: http://www.endsicknessnow.com/david-bissonnette-debunked

Best,

Steven Carney”

As has been the case with MNSU, no response or acknowledgment of the message, no response regarding the issues or concerns I raised. This is not how professionals behave. I now think that the constant stonewalling and whitewashing is a scandal, reaching to the President’s office!

© 2017 by Steve Carney/End Sickness Now

 

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