The Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM) is probably hoping you didn’t catch the news this morning. The PETA-linked animal rights group, dedicated to eliminating animal products like meat, dairy, and fish from Americans’ diets, was handed a decisive defeat Wednesday in federal court. Judge Henry H. Kennedy Jr. completely dismissed PCRM’s lawsuit demanding that Washington, DC supermarkets post lactose-intolerance warnings everywhere milk is sold.
PCRM is also likely hoping you don’t remember the fanfare with which its anti-milk lawsuit was introduced some ten months ago. Lawsuits like these are simply publicity stunts meant to drum up attention for whatever agenda the plaintiff happens to be pushing. It’s not as if obesity lawsuits pioneer John Banzhaf didn’t know that individuals are in fact responsible for what they eat, but he’s promoted his share of torts anyway. It was thrown out, but he got what he wanted: free publicity. So too with the Center for Science in the Public Interest‘s latest publicity-grabbing lawsuit: It will be dismissed, but not before netting CSPI lots of free headlines.
What PCRM is undoubtedly hoping for most, however, is that someone, somewhere, has been scared away from drinking milk (“a form of child abuse,” in PCRM President Neal Barnard‘s words), eating cheese (“morphine on a cracker“), or having a little chocolate (“the drug of choice“). Of course, like most anti-food activists, PCRM’s own drug of choice is a publicity-driven lawsuit with no legal merit.