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2000 Year in Review
On Capitol Hill
PCRM president Neal Barnard, M.D., and research coordinator Andy Breslin provided in-depth critiques of the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA's) High Production Volume Challenge, a massive animal testing program designed to analyze industrial chemicals that are produced in large quantity. Because most of these chemicals have already been tested, PCRM joined a lawsuit to eliminate the program.
PCRM also tackled a second EPA program of cruel and unnecessary animal tests, this one to determine the levels of chemicals children should be expected to tolerate. Dr. Barnard met with Vice President Al Gore, spoke out at EPA meetings, offered an alternative plan that included no animal testing at all, and gained support from numerous animal protection, environmental, and health advocacy groups. PCRM billboards opposing the program were displayed in Cincinnati, Sacramento, Cleveland, and Washington, D.C.
The Guide to Cruelty-Free Giving was updated by research coordinator Kathryn Kuhn so members can be assured their charity dollars go to ethical organizations that never fund animal experimentation.
PCRM publicized the March of Dimes' notorious animal experiments by leafleting at WalkAmerica events in nearly 100 cities and flying airplane banners in Dallas, Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Diego, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Denver, and Rockville, Md. Billboards carried the message in Dallas, San Diego, San Francisco, and Washington, D.C. Several sponsors decided not to renew their support for the March of Dimes.
Medical Schools: Ending 'Dog Labs'
Bill Maher, host of ABC-TV's Politically Incorrect, spoke out against medical school dog laboratories in PCRM's television, radio, and newspaper advertisements, under the direction of research coordinators Jennifer Drone and Kathryn Kuhn. PCRM physicians Murry Cohen and Ray Greek spearheaded our bridge-building efforts to assist medical schools still working to eliminate animal labs. At Duke University, Dr. Cohen delivered an influential presentation to students and faculty on alternatives to animal use.
In Denver, an airplane banner reading "CU Med School: Stop Killing Dogs" flew over Mile High Stadium during the season's opening football game. PCRM had previously supported a University of Colorado student's lawsuit to obtain the right to receive a medical school education without killing animals. PCRM's pressure in 2000 meant that a record number of students opted out of animal labs without penalization.
To date, 85 out of 126 U.S. medical schools have discontinued all animal labs in favor of state-of-the-art computer programs, simulators, and human surgery observation. PCRM continues to act as the major support system to compassionate medical students across the country.
PCRM's Clinical Research
PCRM's weight loss study, conducted in affiliation with Georgetown University, began in January. Twenty-six participants followed a low-fat, vegan diet or a low-fat, omnivorous diet for 14 weeks. Dr. Barnard and colleagues will compare the diets by weight lost, food acceptability, and their effects on metabolism. The results will be released in mid-2001.
Our previous study on the power of a vegan diet to ease PMS and menstrual pain yielded a major publication in Obstetrics and Gynecology, which in turn led to praise for vegan diets in dozens of women's magazines, including Allure, Cosmopolitan, Ladies' Home Journal, and Self, and by many newspaper, television, and radio outlets. The cholesterol-lowering effect from the vegan diet was the greatest ever reported in this age group, and results were published in the American Journal of Cardiology. The Journal of Nutrition Education, the leading journal in its field, published our study showing the acceptability of low-fat, vegan diets in its November issue.
Star-Supported Vegetarian Campaign
Celebrities have continued their enthusiastic support of PCRM's pro-vegetarian "Do It for Someone You Love" campaign. Under the supervision of media liaison Zora Lathan, new public service announcements (PSAs) starring Marilu Henner, Kevin Eubanks, and Edward Asner, as well as a compilation video featuring celebrities from last year's all-star lineup—Keenan Ivory Wayans and champion skateboarders Ed Templeton and Jamie Thomas—are reaching millions of viewers, urging them to include more vegetarian meals in their diet.
Print PSAs—including one featuring renowned author Alice Walker—have been distributed to more than 8,000 newspapers and select magazines. Adding radio PSAs to the media mix has disseminated our message farther and wider than ever before. Special thanks to directors Robert Sebree and Drew Carolan for contributing their creative talents.
PCRM's new "Prescription for Life" campaign—an extension of the Cancer Project—sends a reminder that simple daily steps, such as eating well and exercising, can help prevent the disease that affects far too many lives. Distribution through vast media outlets is set for early 2001.
New Nutrition Department
Amy Lanou, Ph.D., took over direction of PCRM's nutrition department. Dietitians Brie Turner-McGrievy, M.S., R.D., and Jen Keller, R.D., designed nutrition workshops for cancer patients, studied the costs of various calcium sources, and launched the second phase of PCRM's weight loss study.
In the Courthouse
PCRM moved to block industry influence over federal dietary guidelines. PCRM staff counsel Mindy Kursban, Esq., filed suit in U.S. District Court to combat the livestock industry's influence, which keeps unhealthy meats and dairy products, without sufficient alternatives, in all federal food programs. The result was massive publicity spotlighting the hairy hand of industry in what Americans are told to eat.
Dr. Barnard again testified before the U.S. Department of Agriculture's panel on dietary guidelines. Due in part to PCRM's pressure, dairy-free alternatives such as soymilk were allowed in federal diet guidelines for the first time in history. PCRM's pressure also forced the government to include support of vegetarian diets.
We learned that the "Milk Mustache" campaign, threatened by PCRM's efforts to educate people of color about the prevalence of lactose intolerance and the negative health consequences of drinking milk, stepped up its efforts to push dairy products in minority communities. In response, PCRM has filed a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission.
Clearing the Dairy Controversy
When the milk and prostate cancer controversy erupted, PCRM's Joel Fuhrman, M.D., appeared in television ads in more than a dozen major cities illustrating that numerous research studies have indeed linked dairy foods to prostate cancer.
Communications director Simon Chaitowitz and assistant Meredith Morrissette pulled in heavy media attention with each emerging PCRM campaign. Major television, newspaper, and radio coverage brought focus to these and many other critical issues.
Good Medicine magazine and PCRM Web sites PCRM.org, CancerProject.org, EPAStopStalling.org, and CharitiesInfo.org, which are created and maintained by publications director Doug Hall and production coordinator/Web site director Miyun Park, continue to provide lifesaving information in an inviting format.
FROM MAGAZINES TO MEDICAL JOURNALS
Staff writer Kristine Kieswer composed numerous articles highlighting the power of a vegan diet for medical journals and mainstream health and fitness magazines. Topics included osteoporosis prevention, incorporating soy in the American diet, enhancing fertility without drugs, overcoming racial disparities in diet-related illness, and beating today's common chronic diseases with better nutrition.
Literature manager Billy Leonard responded to countless inquiries by phone, e-mail, letters, and PCRM's Web site from people requesting assistance, educational materials, books, and merchandise. Laurice Ghougasian joined PCRM as corporate affairs director in April, keeping every aspect of our operation in efficient running order.
NEWSPAPER OP-EDS AND LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
Op-ed commentaries and letters to the editor, researched and written by the Writers Group, headed by A.R. Hogan, appeared in print more than 200 times, including pieces in The Washington Times, Detroit Free Press, Houston Chronicle, San Francisco Examiner, Baltimore Sun, and Charlotte Observer. Writers Allison Lee Solin, Caroline Kweller, Karen M. Pirozzi, Beth Geisler, Peter A. Brandt, and numerous health professionals sculpted persuasive pieces on such critical issues as the U.S. Dietary Guidelines, the value of vegan diets, the dairy-prostate cancer link, cloning and xenotransplantation, animal experimentation, and the domestic violence-animal abuse connection.
Peggy Hilden, Claudia Delman, Laurel Kadish, Lisa Lynch, Rod Weaver, Sossena Dagne, Deniz Corcoran, and Nabila Abdulwahab focused on building membership by responding to innumerable inquiries and creating innovative outreach programs for individuals, families, educators, health professionals, and policymakers who share our vision of higher ethical standards and better prevention initiatives in medicine. Thanks to their efforts, PCRM continues to grow and continues to make significant progress.
Suzanne Bobela, Nicole Cardello, Claudia Delman, Jennifer Drone, Laurel Kadish, Lisa Lynch, and many others promoted preventive health care and ethical research at major health conferences, giving physicians and laypersons valuable tools for improving health naturally and affordably.
- American Medical Student Association
- NBC-4 Your Health Expo
- National Hispanic Medical Association
- Animal Rights 2000
- Campaign Leadership Conference and Federation Fair
- Masjid Muhammad Muslim Health Fair
- American College of Surgeons
- American University Health Fair
- International Conference on Children's Health and the Environment
- American Association of Family Physicians
- American Dietetic Association
Special thanks to some of those who offered their support and expertise in 2000
Donna Hurlock, M.D. • Nancy Harrison, M.D. • Milton Mills, M.D. • Murry Cohen, M.D. • Jules Oaklander, D.O. • Ray Greek, M.D. • Tom Barnard, M.D. • Howard Klein, M.D. • Sam Jacobs, M.D. • John McDougall, M.D. • Don Sloan, M.D. • Marj Cramer, M.D. • Caldwell Esselstyn, Jr., M.D. • Lisa Dorfman, R.D. • Joel Fuhrman, M.D. • Rich McClellan, M.D. • Lawrence Jacobs, M.D. • Patricia Bertron, R.D. • John McArdle, Ph.D. • Terry Swearingen, R.N. • Patrice Green, M.D., J.D. • Ryck Caplan, M.D. • Bob Stagman, M.D. David Perlmutter, M.D. • Jeffrey Bland, Ph.D. • Timothy Smith, M.D. • Josh Novic, M.D. • Patricia Muller, M.D. • Theodore Vickman, M.D. • Robert Hoffman, M.D. • John Lee, M.D. • Susan Shattuck • Michael Janson, M.D. • Deborah Bernal, M.D. • Lauri Chonko, R.D. • Robert Neger, M.D. • Richard Gartner, M.D. • Peggy Carlson, M.D. • Thomas Ramundo • T. Colin Campbell, Ph.D. • Rhoda Ruttenberg, M.D. • William Harris, M.D. • Michael Klaper, M.D. • John Chissell, M.D. • Steve Kaufman, M.D. • Nancy Loewen, R.N. • Robert Goldstein, M.D. • John Jay Pippin, M.D. • Henry Heimlich, M.D. • Keith Block, M.D. • Barnet Meltzer, M.D. • Gabrielle Rabner, M.S., R.D.