Dr. Joel Brind is a professor of human biology and endocrinology at Baruch College, City University of New York since 1986, a research biochemist since 1981, and CEO of Natural Food Science, a maker of glycine supplement products founded in 2010. (Glycine supplements are of questionable value because the body makes its own glycine and also acquires glycine from any protein-rich diet.) Brind is a leading advocate of the abortion-breast cancer hypothesis, which states that abortion increases the risk of breast cancer. This idea is rejected by mainstream medical professional organizations. Brind is openly contemptuous of mainstream medical professional organizations and journals, accusing them of conducting a deliberate cover-up with the goal of "protecting the abortion industry", and asserting in print that the National Cancer Institute "...is just another corrupt federal agency like the IRS and the NSA."
Early life, education, and religious conversion
Brind grew up in Laurelton, Queens, where he decided he wanted to become a biochemist at the age of 10 after reading an issue of Life Magazine where the cover story described the discoveries scientists had recently made about the inner workings of the cell, using electron microscopy. He has a bachelors degree from Yale (1971) and a Ph.D. from New York University in biochemistry, immunology and physiology. Four years after receiving his PhD in 1981, Brind had a spiritual awakening, after which he converted to Christianity and decided to try to use science to pursue what he saw as a "noble" goal of discouraging women from having abortions.
Working on studies concerning amino acid metabolism and aging, Brind concluded that most diets are deficient in the amino acid glycine, and that this deficiency is responsible for illnesses caused by chronic inflammation, including arthritis, diabetes, cardiovascular disease and cancer. These conclusions are not supported by mainstream medicine. He also attributes what are thought to be normal responses such as pain and stiffness following strenuous exercise and injury, to glycine deficiency. In 2010, Brind founded Natural Food Science, LLC, through which glycine supplement products Proglyta and Sweetamine are manufactured and sold.
Following his conversion to Christianity, Brind began working as a consultant and expert witness for pro-life groups like Christ's Bride Ministries. He fought against the legalization of RU-486 testifying at a federal hearing that "thousands upon thousands" of women would develop breast cancer as a result of using the drug. Brind was an invitee to the National Cancer Institute's conference on the abortion-breast-cancer issue where he was the only member to file a dissenting opinion. In a meeting between Colorado Right To Life and the Denver affiliate of Susan G. Komen for the Cure regarding Komen grants to Planned Parenthood, Brind urged the breast cancer group to re-consider the idea that abortion is linked to breast cancer.
In 1999, in collaboration with several physician colleagues, Brind founded the Breast Cancer Prevention Institute. The Breast Cancer Prevention Institute is a non-profit corporation, which, through research publications, lectures, and the internet, promotes a link between abortion and breast cancer.
Dr. Brind et al. (1996) conducted a meta-analysis of 23 independent epidemiologic studies. It calculated that there was on average a relative risk of 1.3 (1.2 - 1.4) increased risk of breast cancer. The meta-analysis was criticized in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute for ignoring the role of response bias and for a "blurring of association with causation." for selection bias by using studies with widely varying results, using different types of studies and not working with the raw data from several studies, and including studies that have methodological weaknesses. The statistician who collaborated with Brind later stated of their findings: "I have some doubts. I don't think the issue has been resolved. When we were talking about the conclusions, he [Brind] wanted to make the strongest statements. I tried to temper them a little bit, but Dr. Brind is very adamant about his opinion."
Experts believe Brind overlooks methodological weaknesses of some studies he uses as evidence for an abortion-breast cancer link. Furthermore, medical researchers note Brind overstates his findings since his own research shows a "barely statistically significant" increase in breast cancer rates. In reaction to the criticism an editor of the journal that published Brind's study noted with concern:
However, in the light of recent unease about appropriate but open communication of risks associated with oral contraceptive pills, it will surely be agreed that open discussion of risks is vital and must include the people – in this case the women – concerned. I believe that if you take a view (as I do), which is often called 'pro-choice', you need at the same time to have a view which might be called 'pro-information' without excessive paternalistic censorship (or interpretation) of the data.
- Friedman, G. D.; Blaner, W. S.; Goodman, D. S.; Vogelman, J. H.; Brind, J. L.; Hoover, R.; Fireman, B. H.; Orentreich, N. (1986). "Serum retinol and retinol-binding protein levels do not predict subsequent lung cancer". American journal of epidemiology 123 (5): 781–789. PMID 3962962.
- Brind, J. L. (1991). "Direct radioimmunoassay of androstenediol-3-sulfate in the serum of normal men". Steroids 56 (6): 320–324. doi:10.1016/0039-128x(91)90054-y. PMID 1926228.
- Levitz, M.; Raju, U.; Arcuri, F.; Brind, J. L.; Vogelman, J. H.; Orentreich, N.; Granata, O. M.; Castagnetta, L. (1992). "Relationship between the concentrations of estriol sulfate and estrone sulfate in human breast cyst fluid". The Journal of clinical endocrinology and metabolism 75 (3): 726–729. doi:10.1210/jc.75.3.726. PMID 1387652.
- "Research and Destroy" by Chris Mooney
- "The Care of Women Requesting Induced Abortion" (PDF). Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2007-10-31. Retrieved 2007-11-07.
- "Is Abortion Linked to Breast Cancer?". American Cancer Society. 19 June 2014. Retrieved 8 September 2014.
- "WHO – Induced abortion does not increase breast cancer risk". who.int. Archived from the original on 13 January 2011. Retrieved 11 January 2011.
- Safe abortion: technical and policy guidance for health systems (PDF) (2nd ed.). World Health Organization. 2012. p. 49. ISBN 9789241548434.
Sound epidemiological data show no increased risk of breast cancer for women following spontaneous or induced abortion.
- Committee On Gynecologic, Practice (June 2009). "ACOG Committee Opinion No. 434: induced abortion and breast cancer risk". Obstetrics and Gynecology 113 (6): 1417–8. doi:10.1097/AOG.0b013e3181ac067d. PMID 19461458.
- "A primer on how to recognize a cover up of the abortion-breast cancer link (ABC link) - NRL News Today".
- "The scientist who hated abortion". Discover Magazine.
- short bio of Brind
- "Joel Brind, Department of Natural Sciences, Baruch College".
- "PublicEye.org - The Website of Political Research Associates".
- "About Natural Food Science". Proglyta. Retrieved 7 August 2013.
- "Concerned Women for America - Family Voice". Archived from the original on 1 March 2012.
- "Summary Report: Early Reproductive Events Workshop". National Cancer Institute.
- Minority dissenting opinion at the Wayback Machine (archived September 23, 2006)
- "Race for the Cure Protest".
- Brind J, Chinchilli VM, Severs WB, Summy-Long J (1996). "Induced abortion as an independent risk factor for breast cancer: a comprehensive review and meta-analysis". Journal of epidemiology and community health 50 (5): 481–96. doi:10.1136/jech.50.5.481. PMC 1060338. PMID 8944853.
- Weed DL, Kramer BS (1996). "Induced abortion, bias, and breast cancer: why epidemiology hasn't reached its limit". J. Natl. Cancer Inst. 88 (23): 1698–700. doi:10.1093/jnci/88.23.1698. PMID 8943995.
- "Planned Parenthood - Anti-Choice Claims About Abortion and Breast Cancer published". plannedparenthood.org. Archived from the original on October 25, 2008. Retrieved 2007-11-04.
- SkepticFiles.org: Study Linking Breast Cancer, Abortion Widely Criticized
- Yeoman, Barry; Michael Lewis (1 February 2003). "Scientist Who Hated Abortion". Discover. Retrieved 9 September 2014.
- Donnan S (December 1996). "Abortion, breast cancer, and impact factors--in this number and the last". J Epidemiol Community Health 50 (6): 605. doi:10.1136/jech.50.6.605. PMC 1060372. PMID 9039374. Retrieved 2008-08-21.
- Induced abortion as an independent risk factor for breast cancer: a comprehensive review and meta-analysis (original source) by Joel Brind et al.
- Baruch.cuny.edu – Brind faculty page
- Brind biography
- Discover: The Scientist Who Hated Abortion by Barry Yeoman
- Saved copy of deleted dissenting opinion cited in reference as "Minority dissenting opinion". by Joel Brind