7 Things You Didn't Know About PCRM
The Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine
- PCRM is an animal rights group, not a real “physicians committee.” Contrary to what its name implies, less than ten percent of PCRM’s members are actual physicians. Among the group’s relatively few active physicians is PCRM president (and former PETA Foundation president) Neal Barnard, a vegan psychiatrist who claims that cheese is “dairy crack” and “morphine on a cracker.”
- PCRM’s anti-meat activism is bought and paid for by the wealthiest animal rights activist in America. Through her personal foundation, Animal Rights Foundation of Florida founder Nanci Alexander provides more than 60 percent of PCRM’s $9 million budget. People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) has steered another $1.3 million to PCRM. This explains why the group’s platform has more to do with the “rights” of animals than the health of people.
- PCRM has been linked with FBI-designated terrorist groups, including the Animal Liberation Front (ALF) and Stop Huntingdon Animal Cruelty (SHAC). Dr. Jerry Vlasak, the ALF “Press Officer” who is known for openly advocating the use of violence to further animal liberation goals, was a PCRM spokesperson when he first called for the “political assassination” of medical research scientists in 2003. “I don’t think you’d have to kill—assassinate—too many,” Vlasak told activists that year. “I think for 5 lives, 10 lives, 15 human lives, we could save a million, 2 million, 10 million non-human lives.” In 2001, PCRM president Neal Barnard co-signed a series of threatening letters with the U.S. president of SHAC, who was convicted on federal terrorism charges in 2006.
- PCRM has created a separate deceptive charity called The Cancer Project to help push an animal-rights diet on some of the most vulnerable Americans. The Cancer Project, which shares staff, funding, and even an office with PCRM, is devoted to advancing a fringe anti-meat agenda and promoting the false belief that only a strict vegan diet can minimize the risk of cancer.
- PCRM has been repeatedly criticized by the mainstream medical community. The American Medical Association has called PCRM a “fringe organization” that uses “unethical tactics” and is “interested in perverting medical science.” When he was the AMA’s Vice President for Scientific Affairs, Dr. Jerod M. Loeb wrote that PCRM was “officially censured” by the AMA. That statement also condemned PCRM for supporting “a campaign of misinformation against important animal research of AIDS.” And the American Academy of Neurology has denounced PCRM for “engag[ing] in a multi-year crusade against the March of Dimes including protests directed at March walkers, volunteers, and donors.”
- PCRM promotes strict vegan diets for children—despite numerous examples of serious health complications and even death brought on by plant-based diets in childhood. Ignoring the consensus among pediatricians that vegan diets can be extremely dangerous for children if not managed carefully, PCRM continues to promote childhood veganism indiscriminately. Downplaying a 2005 case when three Arizona children were found emaciated and extremely malnourished from their vegan diets, PCRM’s president insisted that “vegan diets are not only good for kids, it’s a preferable diet for kids.”
- PCRM discourages Americans from making donations to more than 100 respected medical charities, including the American Heart Association, the March of Dimes, the American Cancer Society, the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, the American Red Cross, the American Foundation for AIDS Research, and the Christopher Reeve Paralysis Foundation—solely because they support disease research that requires the use of animals.