Cancer risk of eating meat wildly overstated

May 20, 2012

It is irresponsible to claim, as the letter writer from Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM) does, that eating meat is equivalent to smoking cigarettes ("Unhealthful foods kill more Americans every year than tobacco," May 13). In moderation, eating meat is perfectly fine.

Studies of the supposed link between meat and cancer regularly find statistically weak or no associations. That's nowhere approaching the level of risk from cigarettes on lung cancer, which range upward of 20-fold.

So what's behind PCRM's insistence on this misguided view? It's the organization's animal-rights agenda. Its president was, after all, head of the PETA (yes, that PETA) Foundation, and he has said that giving a child dairy amounts to "child abuse." Absurd food scaremongering, much like PETA's absurd stunts, are PCRM's stock-in-trade.

J. Justin Wilson, Washington

The writer is senior research analyst for the Center for Consumer Freedom.

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