I initially wrote about Evolution Diet, and its promoter Eric Weisman, in 2009. In my first article, I primarily addressed the irresponsible and false advertising for the product, and I only touched briefly on Mr. Weisman’s bogus academic credentials and anti-scientific philosophy. Then a few months ago, thanks to information from a reader, I wrote an update which specifically addressed Mr. Weisman’s long history of violating the laws governing his work as a chiropractor as well as those regulating the practice of veterinary medicine. Beyond simply having a unscientific and utterly false set of beliefs about pet health and nutrition, and an egregiously misleading and inappropriate approach to marketing his products, Mr. Weisman was also clearly a scam artist with no regard for the reasonable and appropriate laws governing veterinary and human medicine.
Fortunately, it now appears that finally, almost 30 years after the first action taken against Mr. Weisman in 1982 by the Minnesota Board of Chiropractic, Mr. Weisman will face criminal charges for his actions. According to news reports, he will face 58 counts, including practicing human and veterinary medicine without a license and animal cruelty. I have argued before that the legal system does not effectively control even dramatic cases of quackery and medical fraud, and it is disappointing the Mr. Weisman has been able to continue to profit from taking advantage of sick people and the owners of sick animals for so many decades. But it is encouraging to see him face at least some consequences at last.
The news reports contain some quite horrific examples of Mr. Weisman’s conduct. He allegedly prescribed nutritional and supplement “treatments’ for people with cancer, diagnosed and treated animals with cancer (including some who did not actually have cancer), and consistently falsely represented himself as trained and qualified to diagnose and treat both human and animal illness.
Perhaps the most disturbing story for me as a veterinarian was of a cat Mr. Weisman brought to the veterinary hospital at the University of Minnesota.
Weisman brought in a cat he suspected had kidney failure and cancerous lesions, the complaint said. According to the U’s veterinarian, the cat had neither – it died of pneumonia, was unable to absorb nutrients from the food it ate and had broken bones in each of its front legs. The suspected cancerous lesions, the veterinarian said, were actually scabs caused by the cat walking on its joints instead of its broken feet, the complaint said.
That someone capable of such cruelty could present himself as a public benefactor and a martyr seems inconceivable, but Mr. Weisman’s delusions include just such a perception of himself.
[I am] being attacked because I try to help make a better, more just society. I try to help those that do not have help or are not getting good assistance.
This case illustrates quite starkly the real harm and suffering that can result from irrational and unscientific beliefs about health and disease, and from the actions of individuals who are so blindly committed to such beliefs that they are capable of inflicting terrible harm on those who come to them for help while still seeing themselves as heroes and victims of government and the conventional medical profession.