Joel Brind

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Joel L. Brind
Alma mater
Known for Abortion-breast cancer hypothesis
Scientific career
Fields Endocrinology
Institutions Baruch College
Thesis Studies on the androgen-dependent differentiation of cells of the mouse preputial gland : metabolism of testosterone and effects of selected drugs and hormones (1981)
Website Brind's faculty page

Joel Lewis 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. Brind is a leading advocate of the abortion-breast cancer hypothesis, which posits that abortion increases the risk of breast cancer.[1] This idea is rejected by mainstream medical professional organizations and there is overwhelming evidence in the peer-reviewed medical literature debunking it.[2][3][4][5][6] Brind is openly contemptuous of mainstream medical professional organizations and journals, accusing them of conducting a deliberate cover-up[7] with the goal of "protecting the abortion industry."[8] Brind asserts that the National Cancer Institute "is just another corrupt federal agency like the IRS and the NSA."[9]

Early life, education, and religious conversion[edit]

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.[1] He has a bachelor's degree from Yale (1971)[10] and a Ph.D. from New York University in biochemistry, immunology and physiology.[11] Four years after receiving his PhD in 1981, Brind had a spiritual awakening, after which he converted to Christianity,[12] and decided to try to use science to pursue what he saw as a "noble task" of discouraging women from having abortions.[1]


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.[13] 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.[14]

Following his conversion to Christianity,[12] Brind began working as a consultant and expert witness for the anti-abortion cause.[15] Discover magazine reported in 2003 that since 1997, "Brind has spent about 90 percent of his time outside the classroom investigating and publicizing" his claimed abortion-breast cancer link, testifying "in courthouses and statehouses in Arizona, Florida, Massachusetts, Ohio, North Dakota, New Hampshire, and Alaska."[15]

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.[16] Brind was an invitee to the National Cancer Institute's conference on the abortion-breast-cancer issue[17] where he was the only member to file a dissenting opinion.[18] 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.[19]

In 1999, Brind co-founded the Breast Cancer Prevention Institute, a non-profit group which promotes a link between abortion and breast cancer. The group is identified in the academic literature as an anti-abortion activist group that promotes "the notion that a link to cancer has been both irrefutably proved and deliberately concealed by the medical establishment."[20]


Brind et al. (1996) conducted a meta-analysis of 23 independent epidemiologic studies.[21] 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."[22] It was also criticized 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.[23][24] 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."[25]


Experts believe Brind overlooks the 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.[24] 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.[26]

Selected publications[edit]

  • 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/jcem.75.3.1387652. PMID 1387652. 
  • Brind, J; Condly, SJ; Mosher, SW; Morse, AR; Kimball, J (2015). "Risk of HIV infection in Depot medroxyprogesterone acetate (DMPA) users: A systematic review and meta-analysis". Issues Law Med. 30: 129–39. 
  • Brind, J (2005). "Induced abortion as an independent risk factor for breast cancer: A critical review of recent studies based on prospective data". J Am Physicians Surg. 10: 105–10. 
  • 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". J Epidemiol Community Health. 50: 481–96. doi:10.1136/jech.50.5.481. PMC 1060338Freely accessible. PMID 8944853. 


  1. ^ a b c Chris Mooney, Research and Destroy: How the Religious Right Promotes Its Own 'Experts' to Combat Mainstream Science, Washington Monthly (October 2004).
  2. ^ "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. 
  3. ^ "Is Abortion Linked to Breast Cancer?". American Cancer Society. 19 June 2014. Retrieved 8 September 2014. 
  4. ^ "WHO – Induced abortion does not increase breast cancer risk". Archived from the original on 13 January 2011. Retrieved 11 January 2011. 
  5. ^ 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. 
  6. ^ 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. 
  7. ^ "A primer on how to recognize a cover up of the abortion-breast cancer link (ABC link) - NRL News Today". 
  8. ^ "The scientist who hated abortion". Discover Magazine. 
  9. ^ Joel Brind, [1], LifeNews (December 2, 2013).
  10. ^ short bio of Brind
  11. ^ "Joel Brind, Department of Natural Sciences, Baruch College". 
  12. ^ a b " - The Website of Political Research Associates". 
  13. ^
  14. ^ "About Natural Food Science". Proglyta. Retrieved 7 August 2013. 
  15. ^ a b Barry Yeoman, The scientist who hated abortion, Discover (February 2003).
  16. ^ "Concerned Women for America - Family Voice". Archived from the original on 1 March 2012. 
  17. ^ "Summary Report: Early Reproductive Events Workshop". National Cancer Institute. Archived from the original on 2007-10-11. 
  18. ^ "Minority dissenting opinion". Archived from the original on September 23, 2006. Retrieved 2014-01-20. 
  19. ^ "Race for the Cure Protest". 
  20. ^ Jasen, Patricia (Oct 2005). "Breast Cancer and the Politics of Abortion in the United States". Med. Hist. 49 (4): 423–444. doi:10.1017/s0025727300009145. PMC 1251638Freely accessible. PMID 16562329. 
  21. ^ 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 1060338Freely accessible. PMID 8944853. 
  22. ^ 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. 
  23. ^ "Planned Parenthood - Anti-Choice Claims About Abortion and Breast Cancer published". Archived from the original on October 25, 2008. Retrieved 2007-11-04. 
  24. ^ a b Study Linking Breast Cancer, Abortion Widely Criticized
  25. ^ Yeoman, Barry; Michael Lewis (1 February 2003). "Scientist Who Hated Abortion". Discover. Retrieved 9 September 2014. 
  26. ^ 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 1060372Freely accessible. PMID 9039374. 

External links[edit]