The China Study by Thomas Campbell

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This was the first and only large study that investigated this range of
dietary experience and its health consequences. Chinese diets ranged
from rich to very rich in plant-based foods. In all other studies done on
Western subjects, diets ranged from rich to very rich in animal-based
foods. It was this distinction that made the China Study so different
from other studies.

Organization and conduct of a study of this size, scope and quality was
possible because of the exceptional skills of Dr. Junshi Chen. Survey
sites were scattered across the far reaches of China. In American travel
distances, they ranged from the Florida Keys to Seattle, Washington,
and from San Diego, California, to Bangor, Maine. Travel between these
places was more difficult than in the United States, and supplies and
instructions for the survey had to be in place and standardized for all
collection sites. And this was done before e-mails, fax machines and cel-
lular phones were available.
It was important that the twenty-four provincial health teams, each
comprised of twelve to fifteen health workers, be trained to carry out
the blood, food and urine collections and complete the questionnaires
in a systematic and standardized manner. To standardize the collection
of information, Dr. Chen divided the country into regions. Each region
sent trainers to Beijing for the senior training session. They, in tum, re-
turned to their home provinces to train the provincial health teams.
Although the U.s. National Cancer Institute (NCI) of the National
Institutes of Health (NIH) provided the initial funding for this project,
the Chinese Ministry of Health paid the salaries of the approximately
350 health workers. It is my estimate that the Chinese contribution to
the project was approximately $5-6 million. This compares with the
U.s. contribution of about $2.9 million over a ten-year period. Were
the U.S. government to have paid for this service in a similar project in
the U.S., it would have cost at least ten times this amount, or $50-60

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