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The Physicians Committee

PCRM 2001: The Year in Review


Humane Charity Seal of ApprovalThanks to the efforts of research coordinator Kathryn Kuhn, PCRM joined other health care organizations to form the Council on Humane Giving, which will issue the Humane Charity Seal of Approval to charities that utilize only nonanimal research methods.

PCRM launched the Web site so donors can see whether a charity has received the Humane Charity Seal of Approval. Organizations can apply for the Seal right online.

PCRM dietitians analyzed bestselling weight-loss books and found only two—Eat More, Weigh Less by Dean Ornish, M.D., and The McDougall Program for Weight Loss by John McDougall, M.D.—earned the top rating of five stars for promoting a low-fat, vegetarian diet.

PCRM staff scientist Nicole Cardello,States with Highest Prostate Cancer Mortality Rates M.H.S., began an aggressive campaign against animal experiments conducted by Michael Podell, the Ohio State University veterinarian who is infecting cats with feline immunodeficiency virus under the guise of human HIV research.

PCRM launched a television ad campaign on diet and prostate cancer in the seven states hit hardest in prostate cancer mortality.


The American Medical Student Association's annual convention offered attendees even greater access to ethical practitioners and research methods tDr. Caldwell Esselstyn in Indiahan last year, thanks to outreach by PCRM mentors.

Cleveland Clinic cardiologist Caldwell Esselstyn, M.D., took his "Heart-Attack Proof Tour" to India to teach physicians how to fight heart disease and diabetes with a vegan diet.

PCRM's research department uncovered gross flaws in the EPA's High Production Volume Challenge, a massive animal-testing plan for industrial chemicals.

Suzanne Bobela and Neal Barnard, M.D.Suzanne Bobela oversaw PCRM president Neal Barnard's 40-city lecture tour, which communicated new research findings on genetics and weight problems, teaching audience members how to overcome a variety of challenges with simple diet changes.

Alerted by PCRM, the Jamba Juice chain refused to allow its March of Dimes donations to be used for animal experiments and redirected funds toward human-centered research and educational programs.

PCRM's Cooking Classes for Cancer Prevention and SurvivalPCRM's Cooking Classes for Cancer Prevention and Survival debuted. Open to cancer survivors and their loved ones, classes include presentations by nutrition director Amy Lanou, Ph.D., Jen Keller, R.D., and Neal Barnard, M.D., along with hands-on cooking demonstrations.

PCRM attorney Mindy Kursban filed a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission to stop the dairy industry from claiming its products are effective for lowering blood PCRM attorney Mindy Kursbanpressure, a dangerous misinterpretation of the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) study.


PCRM's nutrition department assessed the cost of calcium from a wide variety of foods in geographically diverse locations across the United States. What's the cheapest calcium source? We'll let you know soon. The study is pending publication in a scientific journal.

Lisa Lynch and Miyun Park brought PCRM's new virtual Web Mall to life, establishing partnerships with nearly 50 companies for carefree, online shopping and a new way to support our work.

PCRM staff scientist Nicole Cardello, M.H.S.Staff scientist Nicole Cardello, M.H.S., reviewed all proposed chemical tests the government was set to approve through its High Production Volume Challenge, a massive animal-testing plan. The Associated Press ran the story nationwide, and several chemical companies were prompted to abandon specific animal tests.

Information for instructors and trainees is on PCRM's new Web site

PCRM physicians urged the presidents of the University of Texas Health Science Center and Baylor College of Medicine not to replace the 35,000 animals who perished while caged in laboratories during the summer flood, and to use the opportunity to adopt modern, nonanimal alternatives.

Duke University makes it a clean sweep: All top-ten medical schools in the United States now use simulators, computer programs, and live observations instead of animals in their curricula. Currently, 93 of the country's 126 medical schools offer cruelty-free education.

PepsiCo, Sara Lee, and Publix, a large southern supermarket chain, agreed to restrict their March of Dimes donations so that none will go to animal experiments.

Digital FrogDigital Frog 2, the award-winning, interactive computer program that replaces live dissection exercises, was an overwhelming success when introduced to the Dallas school system by PCRM physician John Pippin and staffer Jennifer Drone.

PCRM responded to public concern over mad cow disease by issuing a set of recommendations to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

D.C. Mayor WilliamsD.C. mayor Anthony Williams reversed his decision to declare a "Drink Your Chocolate Milk Day" for the city's youngsters after PCRM president Neal Barnard, M.D., and associate director for preventive medicine Milton Mills, M.D., held a press conference publicizing dairy's link to cancer and other serious illnesses.

The LD-50, an archaic test that determines the dose of a chemical that kills half the animals exposed to it, was banned from internationally accepted testing guidelines.

Rating the nation's ten busiest airports on the availability of healthy food choices, PCRM dietitians found San Francisco International Airport on top with 96 percent of all its restaurants offering vegetarian choices. Less than 60 percent of the airport restaurants we surveyed offered healthy, vegetarian meals.


Staff scientist Nicole Cardello, M.H.S., was appointed to the panel of experts who decide how new human exposure data can be incorporated into the Voluntary Children's Chemical Evaluation Program.

PCRM's Web site for cancer prevention and survival,, was redesigned by Miyun Park to include more life-saving information on the diet-cancer connection.

PCRM went to court to force the EPA to develop nonanimal test methods in its Endocrine Disruptor Screening Program. The program, as currently constructed, will kill as many as 100 million animals.

A U.S. Department of Agriculture panel, formed in response to a petition filed by PCRM with the Federal Trade Commission over misleading milk advertisements, agreed that many "milk mustache" and "got milk" ads' health claims have no scientific basis.

PCRM dietitians found the National School Lunch Program fails to routinely serve healthy, nutritious meals to school children, with just 1 in 12 substituting plant protein for meats.

Brie Turner-McGrievy, M.S., R.D., and Neal Barnard, M.D., conducted a 14-week clinical study on the effects of a vegan diet for weight loss and are currently following up with participants in bi-weekly group meetings. Results have been submitted to medical journals for publication.

PCRM donated three soymilk factories, called "soy cowParents' Guide to Building Better Boness," to communities in India.

The Parents' Guide to Building Better Bones, a straightforward look at the science behind which foods really strengthen bones, was developed for parents and teachers.

PCRM dietitians Jen Keller, R.D., and Brie Turner-McGrievy, M.S., R.D., were elected as state representatives for the Vegetarian Nutrition Dietetics Practice Group for Washington, D.C., and Maryland, respectively.

"Prescription for Life" PSAsMedia liaison Zora Lathan oversaw PCRM's star-studded "Prescription for Life" campaign, which reminds the public, through television, radio, and newspaper ads, that effective cancer prevention strategies are as close as the grocery store.

Throughout the Year

PCRM representatives were a strong presence at dozens of conventions including:

  • American Academy of Pediatrics
  • American College of Surgeons
  • American Dietetic Association
  • American Medical Student Association
  • NBC-4 Your Health Expo
  • Society for Nutrition Education
  • Toronto Vegetarian Food Fair
  • Trauma and Critical Care 2001
  • Vegetarian Summerfest

Writers Group supervisor A.R. Hogan, along with Caroline Kweller, Peter A. Brandt, Allison Lee Solin, Karen M. Pirozzi, and Beth Geisler, published countless persuasive articles and letters in newspapers and magazines.

Communications department director Simon Chaitowitz and liaison Jeanne Stuart McVey pulled in major television, radio, and print coverage, putting PCRM's vital health alerts and research controversies front and center in local and national media.

Managing editor and designer Doug Hall shared his wonderful talents (including those delightful cartoons) with Good Medicine and our many other publications.

Good Medicine editor Kristine Kieswer published the latest in science, health, and nutrition news in PCRM's quarterly magazine, and edited four new books on health and nutrition for John Wiley & Sons due out early this year.

Literature manager Billy Leonard corresponded with thousands of individuals and organizations, ensuring PCRM's message is disseminated far and wide.

Corporate affairs director Laurice Ghougasian oversaw the expansion of PCRM's Washington, D.C., headquarters along with the continual growth of its staff.

Business manager Godfrey Fernando managed PCRM's accounts and personnel issues.

Development director Peggy Hilden and staffers Laurel Kadish, Jennifer Drone, Claudia Delman, Lisa Lynch, Rod Weaver, Deniz Corcoran, Sossena Dagne, and Nabila Abdulwahab each played an invaluable role in growing PCRM's membership base through numerous outreach efforts and creating innovative partnerships with individuals, organizations, and policymakers.


Winter 2002 (Volume XI, Number 1)
Winter 2002
Volume XI
Number 1

Good Medicine

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