Monday was World Cancer Day, and for all those who have lost loved ones to this modern scourge, my deepest sympathies. Having been through that nightmare several times myself, it is indeed a difficult and debilitating experience.
Which makes cancer prevention so critical. Medical science still doesn’t have a cure—although certain cancers are now associated with highly optimistic long-term survival rates—so if there are ways to forestall the incidence of cancer, that needs to be a public health priority.
It’s too bad that anti-industry mouthpieces like Dr. Neal Barnard get to share the stage with legitimate scientists on this occasion, because their advice is far afield from what actual authorities suggest.
Barnard, for those who might be unfamiliar, is a medical doctor who’s the face of the Physician’s Committee for Responsible Medicine—which has hardly any physicians among its membership and has little, if anything, to do with the practice of medicine. PCRM is basically a shill for the extreme vegan agenda, in which all animal foods are toxic, all animal husbandry abusive and all use of animal products abhorrent.
For all of the group’s holier-than-thou rhetoric about the purity of their cause, Barnard himself is no stranger to the cable TV’s informercial circuit, showing up in his ubiquitous white lab coat to plug some weight-loss “miracle” that—surprise!—is based on eliminating meat from your diet, usually appearing with a second-tier “celebrity” trying to resurrect her career, if not her bank account.
Here’s how Barnard begins his World Cancer Day rant (titled, “How meat can be murder”—sound familiar?), which appeared on the website of Britain’s The Independent newspaper:
“When you consider the efforts to fight cancer, the image that most readily springs to mind might be the graphic warning labels added to cigarette packets sold in the UK, which have helped curb smoking and its associated health risks.
“Similar warnings should be placed on meat and dairy products [as] meat and dairy products have the same hazards as cigarette smoking, including increased risks of strokes, heart disease and cancer.”
Barnard acknowledges that the World Health Organization lists dietary factors as causative agents in only about 20% to 30% of all cancers. Given that, what should be Priority No. 1 for consumers concerned about preventing this often deadly disease?