Eating a slice a pizza is not the same as smoking a cigarette

May 10, 2012

It is inexcusable for your reporter to refer to the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine as "a physicians group" ("Doctors group says no junk food for the Obamas," May 7). The article not only fails to identify PCRM for what it is — an activist group devoted to promoting a vegan lifestyle — but goes on to parrot their agenda by suggesting thatMrs. Obama's choice to eat a cheeseburger is unhealthy.

Worse, it repeats PCRM's crude analogy of eating a slice of pizza to smoking a cigarette. This only trivializes the lethal risks of smoking. And you pile on by noting a long-ago "lunch run" to a hamburger restaurant — as though in doing so the First Lady had something to be ashamed of.

The article irresponsibly promotes PCRM's agenda without describing its mission, which is a disservice to your readers. It would have taken less than a minute to discover who they really are.

PCRM is entitled to encourage anyone to avoid meat and dairy; that is what they do. But there is no excuse for your failure to fully investigate a group you are reporting on.

Gilbert Ross, New York

The writer is medical director of the American Council on Science and Health.

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