Press Release

Consumer Watchdogs: Animal Rights Radicals Posing As “Cancer Project” Should Stop Attacking Hot Dogs

Washington, D.C. – Today the nonprofit Center for Consumer Freedom is calling on an animal rights group, “The Cancer Project,” to withdraw a frivolous petition it submitted to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, demanding that the National School Lunch Program stop including hot dogs among its offerings to American children. Despite its mainstream-sounding name, the Cancer Project is actually a branch of the equally misnamed Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM), a group whose place at the center of the animal rights movement has been exposed in Newsweek and The New York Times.

Cancer Project president Dr. Neal Barnard only recently completed a term as president of the PETA Foundation. In his capacity as president of PCRM, Barnard has even co-signed letters with the president of Stop Huntingdon Animal Cruelty (SHAC), a violent group whose U.S. leaders (including Barnard’s co-signer) currently sit in prison following terrorism convictions in federal court. Not only is PCRM singularly dedicated to animal rights, but the group actively campaigns against dozens of legitimate cancer charities, solely on the basis that they may support research that uses laboratory animals.

“The Cancer Project, like the rest of the animal rights movement, doesn’t like hot dogs because they’re made of meat,” said David Martosko, Director of Research at the Center for Consumer Freedom, a food-issues watchdog group. “This phony-baloney Cancer Project group won’t be happy until every kid in America is forced to eat an all-vegan diet. It has nothing to do with protecting children’s health. It’s just a slightly more scientific-sounding PETA stunt.”

The single biggest study ever to examine meat and colon cancer diagnoses, a 2004 Harvard University project, found no link at all between the two. This confirms the view of the American Dietetic Association that “no single food or type of food is necessarily detrimental to health.”

Martosko continued: “The membership in this so-called Physicians Committee is 96 percent free of actual doctors. And its Cancer Project spinoff is just a vehicle to create fear over food that’s not PETA-approved. Together, they’re phonier than a tofu dog.”

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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