Group Blasts Phony 'Physicians Committee' for Animal Rights Ties
Thursday November 21, 2002, 10:33 am ET
Misnamed 'Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine' Is PETA Propaganda
WASHINGTON, Nov. 21 /PRNewswire/ -- An animal-rights front group claiming
to be a medical charity is offering phony nutrition advice on airport
food, school lunches, and high-protein diets. The nonprofit Center for
Consumer Freedom today called on the Physicians Committee for Responsible
Medicine (PCRM) and its leader Neal Barnard to come clean about their
ties to radical animal rights activists.
PCRM recently threatened legal action against doctors who prescribe high-
protein, meat-oriented "Atkins" diets, and ran advertisements
calling school lunches that include meat and milk "weapons of mass
destruction." As with PCRM's many other pronouncements, these were
animal-rights judgments masquerading as legitimate medical advice.
The American Medical Association calls PCRM's recommendations "irresponsible"
and "dangerous to the health and welfare of Americans."
"Yet the group's news releases have fooled television producers,
newspaper editors, and even industry insiders," said Center for Consumer
Freedom research director David Martosko, "because they cloak their
animal rights agenda in medical terms."
Less than 5 percent of PCRM's members are doctors, and PCRM has never
made a list of physician-members available to the public. Neal Barnard,
the group's leader, is not a nutritionist, but a non-practicing psychiatrist.
PCRM has long-standing ties with PETA. Since 1999, PETA has used a private
slush fund called the Foundation to Support Animal Protection (co-chaired
by Barnard and Newkirk) to funnel over $595,000 to PCRM. To date, more
than $1.3 million has flowed to PCRM through PETA and other animal rights
groups, including some with links to domestic terrorism.
"A vegetarian diet is a perfectly acceptable consumer choice,"
added Martosko, "but any doctor who says that you absolutely must
'go veg' to be healthy probably has a hidden agenda. In the case of PCRM,
it's all about animal rights extremism. Would you take medical advice
The Center for Consumer Freedom (http://www.ConsumerFreedom.com)
is a coalition of more than 30,000 restaurants and tavern operators working
together to protect the public's right to a full menu of dining and entertainment
choices, through education, training and public outreach.
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