It’s no surprise to us that there’s an economic component to the orchestrated attacks on meat, dairy, and genetically improved foods. After all, those misguided activists at PeTA repeatedly call for a federal tax on meat, claiming that “America’s meat-based diet costs this country billions of dollars in health care costs and billions more in environmental destruction.”

Well, the tax crusaders have a new ally in Cornell Professor David Pimentel, who is promoting a book called Ecological Integrity: Integrating Environment, Conservation and Health. Pimental argues that foods should be graded according to how much environmental and public health harm they cause. Then, he says, the offending foods should be taxed heavily to discourage their consumption. You can probably guess what the “bad” foods are. Just look at the book’s title again.

Dr. Pimentel is best known to the mass media for his annual warning (usually around Thanksgiving) that American agriculture won’t be able to produce enough food for our growing population. This prediction hasn’t yet come true, despite Pimental’s best efforts to scare us into looking the other way while tax advocates pick our pockets.