If you follow us regularly, then no doubt you saw that the misnamed “Physicians Committee” for Responsible Medicine, a PETA-linked animal rights group, recently put up a billboard in Wisconsin showing the Grim Reaper wearing a cheesehead (following legal threats, PCRM modified it). This isn’t the only nonsensical nutrition stunt pulled by the group this year: In August, the group put up a billboard comparing hot dogs to cigarettes. PCRM even wants a cancer warning on a package of franks.
Thankfully, McGill University chemistry professor Joe Schwarcz is speaking out from a scientific angle, blasting PCRM for ridiculous, agenda-driven hyperbole. (PCRM’s dietitian, Schwarcz remarks, is a graduate of a school of naturopathy. “This is not exactly Harvard,” he notes.)
My main complaint against PCRM is that it masquerades as a just scientific body. Cherry-picking data, a common PCRM practice, does not mesh with the scientific method. Should a study come out demonstrating some benefit from consuming dairy products, or absolving meat of some accusation, would PCRM publish that on its website? We both know the answer to that question. That’s the difference between an operation like yours and my Office. We go where the data lead, we don’t lead the data. Having a preconceived agenda leads down a treacherous road. You might want to take a look in the closet of the organization that you are working for. You’ll find more than the occasional skeleton. Extremism in the pursuit of an agenda is almost always a vice, while moderation is a virtue. That is true even when the agenda has some valid points.