Filed Under: Meat

Advocacy Posing As ‘Research’

Two new studies in the latest Journal of the American Dietetic Association set new standards for conflicts of interest in scientific research. Both reach essentially the same conclusion: that a strict vegan diet can (with careful monitoring) result in good overall health for children and even infants. While this would indeed be unusual and groundbreaking news if it were reliable, a closer look at the “scientists” presenting these reports raises some serious questions.

Virginia Messina sits on the scientific advisory board of the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (an animal-rights front group posing as a nutrition-advocacy organization). She is also the author of two books: The Convenient Vegetarian and The Vegetarian Way. Not exactly an open-minded and unbiased researcher. Messina’s lab partner, Ann Reed Mangels, is also hard to consider impartial. A board member of the Vegetarian Resource Group in Baltimore, Mangels wrote a chapter of Debra Wasserman’s 1999 book Simply Vegan, in which she openly advocated meat- and milk-free diets for all children.

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