Marketing can be an ugly business. We live in a world where marketing a product can simply consist of an unknown television “news” program interviewing an “expert”. The script is read from a pad of paper and the cameras role. At its worst a campaign will rely on “de-marketing” – a product is promoted by attacking its competitors.
Enter Beth Troutman (the “host”) interviewing Dr. David Friedman (the “health expert”) on the Lifetime Television Network show ‘The Balancing Act’.
“What type of fish should we eat?” Ms. Troutman innocently asks the “expert” seated across from her. She’s funny too, “something fishy is going on here,” she says. That’s good stuff. They both giggle. It’s cute.
They both agree that fish is an important part of ones diet…but only if you get them in the “wild”. Then they quickly transition into the typical rant against fish farming – with a special focus on salmon. Surprise, surprise. Eating farmed fish can “lead to cancer” they say. Really?
• Dr. Friedman says farm-raised fish have high level of dangerous PCB’s (up to 10 times). Eating farmed fish, he says, can “increase your risk of cancer by 10 times” if you eat it more than twice a month. We (and many more credible scientists) busted that one back in 2004.
• He says farm-raised fish are fatty because they “are confined in smaller cages and don’t exercise” (he does a little dance here that apparently resembles a salmon exercising?). That’s just stupid. Fish swim 24/7 no matter where they live – that’s an exercise plan many Americans should follow. Species of fish have different fat levels because of their genetic make-up and diet, not their swimming regime.
• He says “a lot of fish farmers inject dyes into the fish” to give it color. Nonsense. No dyes are injected into salmon flesh. Farmed and wild salmon and trout receive their flesh pigmentation by eating carotenoids in their diet.
• He encourages listeners to only buy wild salmon. Marketing, pure marketing. Besides, good luck meeting the demand for salmon with only “wild”.
So who is Dr. David Friedman? Is he an expert toxicologist? Is he a biologist or nutritionist? Well, here it is….Dr. Friedman is a chiropractor. Yes, a chiropractor. But wait, it gets even better. In 2003 a company called Seasilver USA, of which David Friedman held a seat on its advisory board, was charged with deceptive marketing.
Seasilver produced dietary supplements and was caught making outlandish and unsubstantiated claims about the product’s ability to prevent, treat and cure disease. Amongst the products false claims which David Friedman personally helped promote was “Seasilver could cure cancer” (Friedman DR. Interview on “The Jane Donigan Nutrition Hour” (radio infomercial), broadcast in 2003.).
Well, if David R. Friedman holds the cure for cancer, then can he needn’t worry about eating all the farmed fish he wants, right?
This “doctor” should stick to crackin’ backs.