On Capitol Hill, In the Public Eye
Third Annual Cancer Symposium
More than 300 physicians, dietitians, nurses, and other health care professionals attended The Cancer Project’s 2008 Cancer and Nutrition Symposium. This thought-provoking symposium on diet, cancer risk, and public policy featured eight presentations by top researchers and policy experts from across the nation. Rowan Chlebowski, M.D., Ph.D., John Pierce, Ph.D., and Ruth Marlin, M.D., described how food choices influence survival from breast and prostate cancers. Other speakers addressed controversies in nutrition and public policy, including a proposal by PCRM and Cancer Project president Neal Barnard, M.D., to ban processed meats from school lunch programs. Symposium presentations can be viewed at CancerProject.org.
Author Rory Freedman on Capitol Hill
PCRM brought Rory Freedman, co-author of the best-selling diet manifesto Skinny Bitch, to Capitol Hill to offer nutrition advice, weight loss tips, and samples of delicious vegan food to members of Congress and their staffs. Freedman entertained more than 160 congressional staffers with her candid, tough-love approach to healthier eating. She challenged participants to try a vegan diet for 30 days by making a “veg pledge.”
Spelling Out the Real Cause of Salmonella
After the Food and Drug Administration spent months trying to identify the source of the nationwide salmonella outbreak, PCRM literally spelled out the answer in front of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services building. Using more than 1,000 tomatoes, PCRM physicians and staff spelled out “It’s the meat, stupid!”—a reference to the political adage, “It’s the economy, stupid!” The event called attention to the fact that salmonella, E. coli, and other foodborne pathogens are intestinal organisms that originate in livestock production. And, of course, a tomato has no intestine.
PCRM’s Continuing Education for Health Care Professionals
This year, PCRM expanded its continuing medical education program. After successful programs in Atlanta, San Antonio, Washington, D.C., Ann Arbor, Mich., and Bethesda, Md., PCRM offered sessions for health care professionals in Albuquerque, N.M., and Fargo, N.D. At these free dinner programs, PCRM president Neal Barnard, M.D., and PCRM director of diabetes education and care Caroline Trapp, M.S.N., C.D.E., spoke about recent research showing that a low-fat vegan diet can help prevent and manage type 2 diabetes. The featured speakers also explained to the physicians, dietitians, nurses, and other health care professionals how to implement this new dietary approach with patients. The next stop on this tour will be Fort Lauderdale, Fla., in February 2009.
PCRM also introduced NutritionCME.org this year to allow health care professionals to earn continuing medical education credits from home.
NutritionCME.org, co-sponsored by PCRM and The George Washington University Medical Center, offers free online courses on cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, obesity, and other medical topics.