|NEWS RELEASE||September 25, 2003|
Cattle Barons' Ball Targeted By Anti-Cancer Billboard
PCRM ad introduces AmericanCancerSocietyPromotesDisease.org
ATLANTA—The American Cancer Society (ACS)'s controversial Cattle Barons' Ball is the target of a provocative new billboard created by the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM). The billboard goes up on or around October 1 on Interstate 85, north of Lenox Road. The ad tells commuters, "Cancer: It's what's for dinner at the Cattle Barons' Ball."
The ACS fundraiser, one of more than 50 "Cattle Barons' Ball" events held across the nation every year, is scheduled for October 11 at Atlanta's Freight Depot. The event would be a first for Atlanta, the headquarters for the ACS. The owners of the Buckhead Beef Company helped organize the ball, and the evening's menu includes beef tenderloin, racks of lamb, and other meat dishes.
By promoting beef, the ACS fundraising events contradict the society's own statements about the clear connection between meat consumption and cancer, according to PCRM president Neal D. Barnard, M.D.
"The American Cancer Society knows that regular meat consumption is linked to a three-fold increase in colon cancer risk," Dr. Barnard says. "We hope this new billboard will prompt the society to reconsider its unfortunate decision to promote a food linked to cancer."
New studies have underscored the cancer risk posed by meat consumption. Earlier this year, the Journal of the National Cancer Institute reported that the rate of breast cancer among premenopausal women who ate the most animal fat was a third higher than that of women who ate the least animal fat. A separate study, published in Lancet this year, also linked diets high in saturated fat to breast cancer. In brochures and on its Web site, the American Cancer Society itself advises consumers to limit their consumption of red meat.
Dr. Barnard has sent a letter to ACS president Mary Simmonds, M.D., calling on her to immediately cancel or re-theme the events. Many Atlanta-area physicians have echoed that plea. PCRM has also launched a nationwide write-in campaign asking Americans to demand that the American Cancer Society stop promoting cancer-causing foods.
Founded in 1985, the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine is a nonprofit health organization that promotes preventive medicine, conducts clinical research, and encourages higher standards for ethics and effectiveness in research.