Press Release

Milk-Intolerant “Physicians Committee” Full Of Hot Air On Sour-Milk Lawsuit

Washington, DC – With a lawsuit demanding “warning labels” on all dairy products sold in the District of Columbia, the misnamed Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM) ignored good science and common sense, and failed to disclose its connection to other animal-rights activists when opposing dairy consumption by all Americans—not just the severely lactose intolerant.

“PCRM’s reckless campaign against milk and dairy foods is just a desperate animal-rights ploy, which is typical of a movement that believes a cow should have the same rights as a human being,” said David Martosko, director of research with the nonprofit Center for Consumer Freedom. “This is a group that runs TV ads claiming milk causes cancer. In 2003 PCRM president Neal Barnard told the FDA that cheese is ‘morphine on a cracker’ and ‘dairy crack.’”

In 2004 Newsweek exposed PCRM as an animal-rights front group with ties to both People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) and an FBI-designated “domestic terrorist threat” group called Stop Huntingdon Animal Cruelty (SHAC).

Contradicting PCRM’s claim that lactose intolerance merits warning labels on milk cartons, research published in 1997 in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition concluded that lactose-intolerant persons “tolerate two cups of milk per day without appreciable symptoms” The same research team, based at the Minneapolis VA Hospital, reported the following year that “symptoms resulting from lactose maldigestion are not a major impediment to the ingestion of a dairy-rich diet.”

And the National Institutes of Health’s Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse writes: “Recent research shows that yogurt with active cultures may be a good source of calcium for many people with lactose intolerance, even though it is fairly high in lactose. Evidence shows that the bacterial cultures used to make yogurt produce some of the lactase enzyme required for proper digestion.”

In 2002 Harvard University’s Dr. Daniel Cramer accused PCRM of misrepresenting his work in order to fabricate a link between milk consumption and cancer. “I think that particular group has their own sort of agenda,” Dr. Cramer told reporters, “of not wanting milk production around, and cows to be utilized. They want everybody to be vegetarians.”

In 2003 Creighton University medical professor Robert Heaney testified before Congress that “the arguments raised against the healthfulness of milk are scientifically groundless … I think it is useful to recognize the origin of the anti-milk campaign—and it is literally a campaign. If one checks carefully, one finds that behind most of the stories is an organization called the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) and its sister organization, the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM). These are animal rights organizations that oppose the use of any animal product—leather, fur, meat, or milk.”

“The American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology estimates that two million U.S. children have food allergies,” added Martosko. “If PCRM’s vegetarian zealots were consistent, they’d also want warning labels on soy foods, peanut butter, wheat bread, and strawberries. But that would be ridiculous—and so is a demand for warnings on milk cartons.”

To read “Seven things you didn’t know about PCRM,” visit

Founded in 1996, the Center for Consumer Freedom is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization devoted to promoting personal responsibility and protecting consumer choices. For more information, visit


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