Washington, DC – 50 years ago, the world celebrated the advent of an effective polio vaccine. But had the misnamed Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM) existed in 1955, it would likely have opposed the very experiments that led to this medical miracle. PCRM opposes all medical research that requires the use of animals—the very work that helped humankind nearly eradicate polio, smallpox, and measles.

This weekend, PCRM will celebrate 20 years of pursuing its misguided efforts against medical research. Hollywood stars like Alec Baldwin, Emmylou Harris, Ed Asner, and Noah Wyle have lent their names to the group’s black-tie birthday gala.

Dr. Frederick Robbins, who won a Nobel Prize for his work on polio, would later write that “all we learned about the disease came from studies with animals.” And Albert Sabin, the 60-year veteran of biomedical research who developed the oral polio vaccine, wrote in 1992 that studies using animals “were necessary to solve many problems before an oral polio-virus vaccine could become a reality.”

Blindly ignoring scientific progress, the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine is siding with lab rats instead of sick people—and letting its true agenda show. PCRM is an animal rights group, not a mainstream medical charity. People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) has already steered more than $1.3 million to PCRM. And PCRM president Neal Barnard also serves as president of the PETA Foundation, the organization that owns PETA’s real estate, issues its payroll checks, and funds its many overseas offices. This makes Barnard one of the most powerful people at PETA.

PCRM’s radical animal-rights agenda drives it to discourage Americans from supporting charities like the American Heart Association, the American Cancer Society, the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, the American Foundation for AIDS Research, the Christopher Reeve Paralysis Foundation, the American Red Cross, and the March of Dimes.

“PCRM unethically opposes the research that will one day lead to a cure for AIDS, cancer, and other diseases,” said Center for Consumer Freedom Director of Research David Martosko. “It’s hard to imagine anything more irresponsible.”

To read more about PCRM’s unholy alliances, suspect pronouncements, and questionable leadership, visit www.consumerfreedom.com/PCRM.