SA, the roots of the suspicion lie in (1) secrecy and (2) the corporate media.
You’ve read Bad Science, so you know that each chapter successively covers increasingly sophisticated varieties of bullshit, starting at the trivial with the “detox” industry, and working upwards through educational woo, cosmetics, homeopathy, naturopathy, supplements, nutritionism, pharmaceuticals, and vaccines – never forget that it was attempting to work with Big Legal and for Big Pharma that launched Wakefield on his anti-MMR crusade.
But what you may have missed in Bad Science is that nearly every chapter is about how the “news” media distort and misrepresent science, and thereby undermine the public’s understanding of science itself. Bad Science is, more than anything, a scathing criticism of the “MSM”. If the main thing you got from it was to laugh at the quacks, you should read it again. Twice. Big Pharma are only less quackish because they’re more tightly regulated, but they’re every bit as unscrupulous as their cousins, the cosmetics industry.
The public are indeed the pawns, but the science and medical professionals are only knights and bishops. Even the regulators and execs are only rooks and queens. We’re all being played, our health and understanding themselves are both the kings (half of which have to lose), but most importantly there’s only one player, one maker of the rules, one owner of the board, and that’s capital, or Mammon.
I can’t blame Paul for either his suspicion or his lack of understanding, for who is there to tell him? The description of the game as related by the corporate media (from which the alternative media subtends) is so unlike the reality that the actual game is almost impossible to recognise. And well over half of it is hidden behind NDAs anyway.