Over the past few months we’ve been following the anti-hot dog smear campaign led by the Cancer Project, a pseudo-medical organization designed to further the extreme animal rights agenda of the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM). Last night UPI reported that the animal rights group will petition the government tomorrow to “stop handing out hot dogs and other processed meats to the nation’s children” enrolled in the National School Lunch Program. For months now, PCRM’s merry band of PETA worshipers have desperately wanted us all to believe that colon cancer starts with your first wiener. But science had other plans.

The American Dietetic Association explained that “no single food or type of food is necessarily detrimental to health,” making PCRM’s hot dog fixation utterly arbitrary. Confirming this were Harvard researchers who found no association between meat intake and colon cancer. On the contrary, they found that some meat is “associated with a lower riskof colorectal cancer.” Given PCRM’s general scientific meat-headedness, if we were in the mood we could get in a few cheap shots at their expense, citing a recent Oxford University study linking a vegetarian diet with a higher risk of “brain shrinkage.” But we’ll take the higher road today.

Instead, we’ll offer UPI a mild critique. The news service described PCRM as a group “which has been criticized for having links with militant animal rights activists.” Links? No, PCRM is a group of militant animal rights activists. The Cancer Project’s leader recently completed a long tenure as president of the PETA Foundation, the literal mother ship of radical animal rights activists. The Cancer Project is so militant in its animal rights advocacy that it actively discourages Americans from donating to — can you guess? — cancer charities because they acknowledge that some animal testing is necessary to find a cure.

Despite their comically misleading names, neither the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (now 96 percent physician-free!) nor its "Cancer Project" affiliate has anything meaningful to do with advancing the interests of people. Neal Barnard, the president of the Cancer Project, is a nonpracticing psychiatrist. Good for him. But if that makes PCRM a group of nutrition experts, our dip into a pool last month makes us contenders for the 400-meter individual medley in the 2012 Olympic Games.