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    Sunday, April 01, 2007

    Every Cloud Has Its Silver Lining Department: Public figures get cancer and lobbyists see a chance for money for their pet cause, even when their pet cause isn't cancer:

    Unfortunately, the bravery of these two high-profile figures — and that of thousands of other people coping with cancer far outside the media spotlight — is not yet being matched by bold action on the part of lawmakers and public health institutions. As a dietitian who works with cancer survivors, I still meet far too many people who don't realize the crucial role that healthy diets can play in cancer prevention and survival.

    ....Unhealthy food is backed by heavy-duty marketing muscle. The McDonald's Corp. alone spends more than a billion dollars a year marketing its products to consumers. Lawmakers should at least match that figure by pumping a billion dollars into new education efforts in support of healthy dietary patterns.

    Finding the political will to carve out that funding for nutrition education won't be easy. But if lawmakers need a shot of courage, they can simply look to Snow and Edwards for inspiration.


    The author works for a organization that promotes healthy eating for cancer patients. I have yet to meet the cancer that has been cured or prevented by "eating healthy." While it's certainly true that starving people have more difficulty fighting disease, we clearly do not live in a nation of starving people. And while it's certainly a worthy goal to encourage the sick and dying to eat well, it isn't a project that's worthy of our tax dollars, especially if funding it will take away from something more important - such as infrastructure or Medicaid funding.

    UPDATE: Comments suggest that The Cancer Project is really a PETA group with an agenda. Looks like that is correct:

    While PCRM presents itself as a doctor-supported, unbiased source of health guidance, the group’s own literature echoes Newsweek’s observation that 95 percent of its members have no medical degrees. And even the five-percent doctor membership that PCRM claims is open to question. Anyone claiming to be a physician or a medical student can join without paying a dime -- even if their only motivation is to collect free waiting-room reading material.

    ...The American Medical Association (AMA), which actually represents the medical profession, has called PCRM a “fringe organization” that uses “unethical tactics” and is “interested in perverting medical science.”

    PCRM is a font of medical disinformation. The group has argued, with a straight face, that experiments involving animal subjects “interfere with new drug development.” PCRM even rejects the consensus of the respectable medical community by claiming that animal experimentation “leads AIDS research astray.”

    PCRM discourages Americans from making donations to health charities like the American Heart Association, the American Cancer Society, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, the American Foundation for AIDS Research, the Christopher Reeve Paralysis Foundation, the American Red Cross, and even Boys Town. All because they support research that requires animals, in order to cure human diseases. PCRM’s multi-year crusade against the March of Dimes, which includes protests directed at March walkers, volunteers, and donors, has been reported widely.


    When I read the original op-ed, I had confused the Physician's Committee for Responsible Medicine with Physicians for Social Responsibility. Evidently, the two don't get along.
     

    posted by Sydney on 4/01/2007 08:28:00 AM 3 comments

    3 Comments:

    The Cancer Project is a PETA project under the guise of the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10:44 AM  

    Truthfully?

    Truthfully.

    By Blogger sydney, at 1:46 PM  

    Glad to be of help. I'm glad you pointed out that article because it cracked me up, with its calls for the need to "earmark serious new money for the woefully underfunded 5 A Day Program." I'd just written about what a waste of money it was, the complete failure of the program for 15 years now, and its 2000% increased budget since 1999. And, of course, every single "study" she cited has been similarly debunked.
    :) Sandy

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 2:36 PM  

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