Saturday, May 10, 2014

The Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine as much as admits it's an animal rights group -- plus a couple of good questions reporters should ask

Via media reports last week, PCRM is posting this billboard in College Station, TX

As Sidebar readers know, for years I've been growling about the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM) because of the group's perverse relationship with my father.

The deep-pockets, celebrity driven Washington, D.C. nonprofit has also been criticized for failing to disclose its agenda.

Per junk science debunker Joe "Dr. Joe" Schwarcz PhD, Director of McGill University's Office for Science and Society:
This organization identifies itself as a “Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting preventive medicine, especially better nutrition, and higher standards in research.” I disagree with that description. I consider PCRM to be a fanatical animal rights group with a clear cut agenda of promoting a vegan lifestyle and eliminating all animal experimentation.
I'll leave it to others to determine if PCRM has been playing "hide the agenda."

But in this quickie video posted on the group's YouTube site a few days ago, PCRM executive Colin Schwartz, pretty much echoes Dr. Joe's description (sans the "fanatical").

About 20 seconds in, he describes PCRM's mission as "increasing plant-based nutrition and ending the use of animals in research, training, and testing."

That sounds like an "animal rights group" to me.

Via PCRM's biography of Schwartz:
He is personally invested in the organization – the Physicians Committee’s work on plant-based nutrition helped Colin adopt a vegan diet.
Speaking of investing in a vegan diet, check out my recent item about what Schwartz's boss, the somewhat gaunt Neal Barnard MD, considers healthy eating.

PCRM founder/president Neal Barnard MD, who has devoted much of his career to ending the use of animals in medical research, recently told a Cincinnati reporter he considers my father to be "a role model." But my father used beagles to develop "the Heimlich" and a few years ago my father's Heimlich Institute donated $615,000 to fund cancer research using mice.

Dr. Barnard and his organization never respond to my inquiries, but if any reporters are reading this, next time you're doing a story about PCRM, why not ask if he considers his organization to be an animal rights group?

Here's another fair question to ask Dr. Barnard and crew.

Do they think any medical research using animal models -- for example, the development of the Heimlich maneuver -- has been beneficial?