“The Cancer Project” in Remission

130415_CCF_HotdogAndFries_picThe Cancer Project, a wing of the phony-baloney Physicians Council for Responsible Medicine (PCRM), has seemingly been disbanded. Its outlandish claims that meat is as bad for your health as cigarettes never had much meat on their bones; it seems the group couldn’t flesh out financial stability, either. According to The Internet Archive, The Cancer Project reversed its metastasis as a semi-autonomous nonprofit organization in 2010, ending the fiscal year with $0.00 in assets.

The Cancer Project’s retreat is simply a continuation of years of waning popularity. Its revenue has rapidly declined by more than 50% over just the past three years. According to its most recent 990 tax forms, its revenue was only $1.1 million in 2009 – down from $2 million in 2008 and $2.3 million in 2007.

The Cancer Project’s struggles parallel those of two other PCRM offshoots: the PCRM Legislative Fund and the Washington Center for Clinical Research, both of which PCRM disbanded in 2011, according to the 2013 Animal People Watchdog Report. The failure of PCRM’s special projects seems to indicate trouble for PCRM itself and its radical vegan agenda.

You might remember that PCRM has received hundreds of thousands of dollars from PETA, and it’s president is frequently featured in PETA publications. However, PCRM’s revenue dropped 26 percent on its most recent (FY 2012) tax return. Though PCRM does not disclose its funding, its sugar mamma Nanci Alexander, the ex-wife of the Houston Rockets’ billionaire owner, Leslie Alexander, has reduced her funding by nearly 60% over just the past 3 years. According to her organization’s tax returns, Nanci’s Animal Rights Foundation gave only $1.5 million to the PCRM Foundation in 2012 – down from $2.5 million in 2011 and $3.5 million in 2010.

After The Daily Show grilled PCRM president Neal Barnard, the public got a look at how ridiculous his organization’s claims are. And when an organization’s primary donor reduces funding by more than half, it is often symptomatic of wider – potentially existential – problems for the organization itself. For a PETA-linked group calling itself a “Physicians Committee” when only a small percentage of its membership actually graduated from medical school, we’ll toast a bacon Bloody Mary to that.

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