2002: The Year in Review
In February, an investigation by researchers at PCRM and Georgetown University School of Medicine exposed the little known practice of prescribing estrogens to tall girls in order to suppress their growth. A full report appeared in the February 2002 Journal of Pediatric and Adolescent Gynecology.
Avon, the largest corporate sponsor of the breast cancer cause, enacted a new policy that restricts its funding to nonanimal research projects exclusively.
PCRM staffers deliver petitions to the March of Dimes.
On May 7, Lawrence Carter-Long, born with cerebral palsy, and several other PCRM representatives delivered 118,000 petitions to the March of Dimes Washington, D.C., office, asking the charity to clean up its research programs and discontinue wasteful animal experiments.
Lawrence Carter-Long confronts MOD personnel.
Des Moines University Osteopathic Medical Center cancelled its dog lab–infamous for its nipple-cutting-and-reattachment exercises. The cancellation followed a year-long effort led by PCRM research coordinator Kathryn Kuhn.
ER’s Noah Wyle, “Golden Girl” Rue McClanahan and award-winning actor Edward Asner hit the airwaves of 280 radio stations across the country to announce the Humane Charity Seal of Approval. Artist Peter Max has also lent his support to the campaign, urging other celebrities to join and other charities to apply for the Seal.
PCRM’s Murry Cohen, M.D., visited the University of Illinois Urbana/Champaign to speak to medical students, pre-med students, and faculty members about alternatives to live animal labs.
Simulab’s Trauma Man ™
Several medical centers tested Simulab’s Trauma Man ™ (www.simulab.com) in their ATLS curricula in the spring. The simulator was very well received, and many sites have since incorporated Trauma Man into their regular ATLS courses in place of live animals.
PCRM held a news conference next door to the dairy industry’s Calcium Summit II, which attempted to use U.S. rates of osteoporosis to push milk sales. PCRM nutritionists alerted the press to healthier calcium sources and other dietary factors that influence bone health.
When the government terminated the Women’s Health Initiative (WHI) study on hormone replacement therapy due to serious health risks, PCRM was there to help women sort through the science behind it all, conducting interviews and showing how to utilize more natural approaches to menopause.
When the meat-heavy Atkins Diet became the focus of media attention in July, PCRM president Neal Barnard, M.D., reminded reporters and the health care community about the vast body of scientific literature favoring plant-based diets. To provide ongoing support and information to health care providers and the public, PCRM launched the Web site AtkinsDietAlert.org.
PCRM won its two-year battle to stop the cruel $1.7 million experiment by veterinarian Michael Podell at Ohio State University (OSU) in which cats were dosed with methamphetamine (“speed”), infected with a disease-causing virus, then killed. PCRM also filed suit over the government’s refusal to provide full details about the experiments.
PCRM nutrition director Amy Joy Lanou, Ph.D., and clinical research coordinator Brie Turner-McGrievy, M.S., R.D., presented results from PCRM’s weight-loss research study comparing the effects of a low-fat, vegan diet to a more conventional low-fat diet at the International Congress on Vegetarian Nutrition in Loma Linda, California, in April.
Dr. Lanou and PCRM outreach coordinator Claudia Delman talked to health care professionals about the benefits of a vegan diet at the American Diabetes Association conference in San Francisco in June. Dr. Lanou presented results from PCRM’s weight-loss study finding a vegan diet is helpful for diabetes prevention in post-menopausal overweight women.
Cancer Project Nutrition and Cooking Classes for Cancer Survivors
(Left) Nutrition director Amy Lanou discusses menus with class member Ken Silver. (Center) Student Jeanne Wolf practices her vegan cooking skills. (Right) Staff dietician Jennifer Keller and clinical research coordinator Brie Turner-McGrievy prepare edible study materials.
Due to last year’s success and continuing demand, the Cancer Project’s Nutrition and Cooking Classes for Cancer Survivors held six more eight-week series teaching the value of vegan diets for preventing cancer and improving survival. A new study, set to commence in 2003, has been designed to measure the effectiveness of the class series on the nutrient content of the participants’ diets.
The Healthy School Lunch Campaign was created when a PCRM study found that nine of the ten biggest school districts in the country are failing to provide healthy lunches to prevent childhood obesity and other health problems. Through a new Web site, HealthySchoolLunches.org, and other resources, PCRM is helping school administrators and parents find innovative ways to improve school breakfast and lunch programs nationwide.
PCRM’s Neal Barnard, M.D., and Jennifer Keller, R.D., teamed up with documentary film producer Steven Kostant to develop a pilot video program covering the science, cooking tips, and real-life stories about diets for cancer prevention and survival, based on PCRM’s innovative Cooking Classes for Cancer Survivors.
Best in the World II, sequel to PCRM’s popular collection of vegan recipes from fine restaurants all over the world, appeared on bookshelves across the nation.
PCRM’s Healthy Eating for Life four-book series debuted, covering the latest scientific discoveries on diet in relation to cancer, diabetes, and children’s and women’s health. Nutrition director Amy Lanou, Ph.D., gave talks and cooking demonstrations focused on Healthy Eating for Life for Children from Seattle to Boston, addressing childhood obesity, high performance menus for young athletes, eating disorder prevention, strategies for helping children enjoy vegetables, and teen dining patterns. PCRM volunteer Judy Cammer arranged interviews and book signings.
The Journal of the American Dietetic Association published PCRM’s research study “The Consumer Cost of Calcium from Food and Supplements” in its November issue.
PCRM’s nutrition experts were busy with media appearances on airport meals, school lunches, cruise ship cuisine, and comfort foods. Brie Turner-McGrievy appeared in People magazine, Fitness, and Men’s Health. She and staff dietician Jennifer Keller, R.D., conducted cooking demonstrations at the National Cancer Institute, the Office of Personnel Management, and many other venues.
The Strong Bones Campaign was launched to educate parents about the variety of lifestyle choices that affect children’s bone health. PCRM created the “Parents’ Guide to Building Better Bones” and distributed thousands of copies. To receive a copy, please visit www.StrongBones.org or call 202-686-2210, ext. 306.
On a lighter note, Ed Helms, a correspondent for Comedy Central’s The Daily Show, interviewed PCRM’s Brie Turner-McGrievy about the dangers of dairy products. Among the questions: “Why would cows want to make little kids sick?”
In continuing efforts to reform to federal nutrition policies, PCRM staff members went to Capitol Hill to testify on the need for vegan meals and milk alternatives in child nutrition programs. Jennifer Keller, R.D., spoke to USDA officials regarding emerging obesity trends and the subsidized school lunch items that perpetuate the problem.
PCRM launched the first comprehensive online nutrition college course, attracting students from around the world. Interested students and teachers can visit www.VegetarianCourse.org.
PCRM president Neal Barnard, M.D., spoke to the Association of Health Care Journalists on alternatives to xenotransplantation in April.
Mindy Kursban and Jay Ukryn
On September 5, PCRM attorneys Mindy Kursban and Jay Ukryn, along with a coalition of nonprofit organizations and three individual plaintiffs harmed by toxic High- Production Volume chemicals, filed suit against the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to stop its “all test, no action” animal testing program that does nothing to protect human health. Former EPA toxicologist Chad Sandusky joined PCRM’s staff to help promote alternatives to animal testing.
PCRM, working with local groups in Kalamazoo, persuaded St. Joseph County Animal Control board members to stop selling pound animals to medical research facilities.
PCRM President Neal Barnard, M.D., published a detailed article on toxicity testing of anticancer drugs in Lancet Oncology in July.
Colleen Young, Simon Chaitowitz, and Jeanne Stuart McVey
Communications department director Simon Chaitowitz, liaison Jeanne Stuart McVey, and media relations assistant Colleen Young brought PCRM’s clinical study results, health news, and medical research controversies to the media, ensuring coverage in major newspaper, radio, and television outlets.
Staff writer Kristine Kieswer served as Good Medicine editor while publishing persuasive articles and letters in national newspapers and magazines.
PCRM President Neal Barnard, M.D., appeared on NBC’s Early Show in July to talk about heart-healthy eating.
Managing editor, designer, and publications director Doug Hall oversaw the creative content of Good Medicine magazine and PCRM’s many Web sites and promotional pieces. IT manager/Web coordinator Nick Patch and production coordinator/copy editor Isabel Clark joined the team to ensure all of PCRM’s communications are disseminated effectively.
Stephen Kane, Alan Heymann, and Kathryn Kuhn
Corporate affairs director Laurice Ghougasian skillfully managed many of PCRM’s operations–volunteer and internship programs, board member issues, business contracts, and computer systems. Business manager Stephen Kane joined the staff to handle financial and personnel responsibilities.
Literature manager Bill Leonard fielded calls, e-mails, and letters from organizations and individuals interested in PCRM’s many projects and resources.
Development director Peggy Hilden and staffers Jennifer Drone, Claudia Delman, Rod Weaver, Deniz Corcoran, Lisa Lynch, Sossena Dagne, Nabila Abdulwahab, and Alan Heymann alerted physicians, laypersons, and organizations to PCRM’s work, expanding its membership and its strength.
Juliet Capon and Neal Barnard
Assistant to the president Juliet Capon supported Dr. Barnard’s numerous projects and activities in Washington and on the road, as well as those of PCRM’s growing workforce.
PCRM staff members and volunteers promoted good health and good medicine at health care and nutrition conferences from coast to coast, including:
- American College of Surgeons
- American Diabetes Association
- American Academy of Pediatrics
- American Medical Students Association
- Point/Counterpoint Trauma and Critical Care
- ACS Trauma and Critical Care Conference Kansas City
- Trauma and Critical Care Las Vegas
- Toronto Vegetarian Food Fair
- Everyone Has a Heart
- Bay Area Vegetarian Fair
- Charlottesville Vegetarian Festival