Washington, DC – Yesterday an animal rights group with a long history of promoting itself as a mainstream medical charity issued a report suggesting that only meatless and dairy-free airport meals should be considered “healthy.” Today the nonprofit Center for Consumer Freedom is firing back, calling on the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM) to “come clean about its animal-rights motives for attacking restaurants (and airports) that don’t emphasize strictly vegetarian fare.”

According to The Center for Consumer Freedom, PCRM has well-documented ties to the animal rights movement, including over $1.3 million in financing from People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA). More than two-thirds of PCRM’s budget now comes directly from Nanci Alexander, the wealthy founder of the Animal Rights Foundation of Florida.

PCRM’s leader, a non-practicing psychiatrist, is also a past president of The PETA Foundation. According to a February 2004 Newsweek story, less than 4 percent of PCRM’s members are actually physicians.

In an expansive November 2004 New York Times story about PCRM’s dietary recommendations for airport travelers, travel writer Joe Sharkey concluded that “the physicians’ committee has a PETA link, and its food rankings reflect that agenda.”

“Holiday travelers already have enough to worry about without wondering what’s behind phony nutrition surveys like this one,” said David Martosko, the Center for Consumer Freedom’s Director of Research. “There’s nothing special about this so-called ‘physicians committee.’ It’s just PETA in a lab coat. The least they should do is be honest about their animal-rights agenda.”

“7 Things You Didn’t Know About PCRM,” a two-page primer on one of America’s most deceptive charities, can be downloaded at http://tinyurl.com/PCRM7things