A recent report on cancer and diet has created a lot of buzz, and at least one phony “astroturf” letter-writing campaign by anti-meat activists. The same exact letter submitted by Ted Pringle (“Study links cancer to processed, red meat,” Nov. 8) also appeared, word-for-word, in more than a dozen other newspapers this month. I don’t believe in coincidences.
For the record, U.S. cancer rates are decreasing every year. Americans’ life expectancy is at an all-time high. India, arguably the most vegetarian country on earth, has a life expectancy five years shorter than ours. There is no scientific evidence that vegetarianism is an effective cancer cure.
And the single biggest study on the subject, a 2004 Harvard University project, found no link between meat eating and cancer diagnoses.
It’s understandable that save-the-cows activists want to use recent news to convert another crop of vegetarians. But if they have to resort to organized form-letter campaigns to make a point, they don’t deserve to be taken seriously.