The so-called Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (only 10 percent its membership graduated from medical school) filed a USDA complaint two weeks ago against a Wayne State University medical researcher for allegedly committing animal cruelty. The Wayne State student newspaper, The South End, did a bit of digging into the allegations—and its investigation ended up looking into PCRM’s ties to the fringe animal-rights movement.

The paper notes that PCRM “has drawn criticism because of its ties to the organization People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals” and that “founding president, psychiatrist Dr. Neal Barnard, was president of a board for the Foundation for the Support of Animal Protection in 2004.” While PCRM spokesman John Pippin responded that PCRM is “not affiliated with PETA (and) we don’t have any overlap of leadership with PETA,” the ideological ties are there for all to see—along with more tangible ones.

That includes the $265,000 PETA gave PCRM from 1988 to 1999 and the fact that the Foundation to Support Animal Protection (formerly called The PETA Foundation, which lists the same address on its tax return as PETA) gave another $500,000-plus to PCRM. Animal People News editor Merritt Clifton alleged that Barnard and PETA President Ingrid Newkirk “lived together for many years.” Oh, and did we mention that Barnard has served as PETA’s medical and scientific advisor?

Another interesting claim Pippin made to The South End is that animal-based medical research is a “fraud.” If so, then why does PCRM honor Dr. Henry Heimlich, who performed experiments on dogs to develop both his eponymous maneuver and an esophageal operation?

The evidence is clear that PCRM is no “Committee for Responsible Medicine,” but rather a vegan propaganda machine that has targeted the American Cancer Society, St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital, and the American Heart Association. Kudos are due to The South End for not taking PCRM at its word.