Sacramento – Today, the nonprofit Center for Consumer Freedom warned health reporters and editors about a deceptive “survey” of fast-food meals being distributed by an animal rights group calling itself The Cancer Project. As reported in this morning’s Los Angeles Times, the Cancer Project survey recommends meatless meals such as veggie burgers and cheeseless bean burritos as the only way to avoid eating “unhealthful” fast food.

Center for Consumer Freedom Director of Research David Martosko said: “It’s important to distinguish animal rights propaganda from genuine health advice. This so-called Cancer Project is basically an offshoot of PETA. Nothing more.”

The Cancer Project is led by Neal Barnard, a past president of The PETA Foundation. More than two-thirds of the Cancer Project’s budget comes directly from the wealthy founder of the Animal Rights Foundation of Florida. The Cancer Project’s parent organization, the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, has also received more than $1.3 million from PETA.

Earlier this year, The Cancer Project demanded that hot dogs be excluded from the National School Lunch Program. The single biggest study ever to examine meat and colon cancer diagnoses, a 2004 Harvard University project, found no link at all between the two.

Martosko added: “It’s pure fiction to promote veggie burgers and bean burritos as a cancer-prevention strategy. This is just as much a part of the animal rights agenda as doing away with circus elephants and seeing-eye dogs. If you wouldn’t take dietary advice from PETA, you shouldn’t trust this ‘Cancer Project’ group either.”

Interviews and reactions to The Cancer Project’s survey are available. For a backgrounder on the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (The Cancer Project’s parent group), see http://tinyurl.com/PCRM7things

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