Monday, September 26, 2011

The cheesiest ad you will see today

AdFreak shared this new provocation by Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine:

It's going to be placed along the highway in De Pere, Wisconsin, where Green Bay Packers cheeseheads will see it on the way to Lambeau Field on Oct. 2 for a game against the Denver Broncos.

That's right, they want Wisconsinites to give up cheese.

From PCRM's release:

"Foods served at Lambeau Field’s eateries are typically loaded with cheese and other high-fat dairy products. Offerings include Hall of Fame Curds, which are deep-fried Wisconsin cheese curds; Cheesehead Beer Cheese Soup, made with cheddar cheese, beer, and then topped with more cheese; and nachos piled with cheddar cheese and sour cream. Americans today eat three times as much cheese as they did in 1970—almost 33 pounds per person in a single year.

'Our greatest concern is for children who are fed cheese products by their well-meaning parents,' says PCRM nutrition education director Susan Levin, M.S., R.D. “Cheese is loaded with fat, cholesterol, sodium—and calories. It ought to come with a warning label so consumers understand the health risk."

Oh, really?

In case you aren't familiar with these guys, they are actually an animal welfare organization in disguise. I have long considered them another front for PETA, although the relationship is arm's length, with PETA only providing them some funding.

There is no doubt that too much cheese is bad for your health. And Wisconsinites are overweight. But that's not really why PCRM wants people to stop eating cheese.

From Quackwatch:

"The Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM) is a nonprofit association that claims to promote "optimal diet for prevention of disease," says there is evidence that humans don't have a specific requirement for protein, and teaches that "too much dietary protein from animal sources is detrimental to health."  PCRM's reference to "animal sources" is key to understanding its true purpose. Its leader, Neal Barnard, MD, has been identified as medical adviser to the radical animal rights organization People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), and PCRM may be substantially funded by it."
Which is certainly their prerogative. But why not be more honest about their motives? Because a billboard that says "the dairy industry is cruel to cows" does not appeal to people's self interest. Instead, PCRM goes after the consumption of animal-based foods with dire warnings about health consequences.

Personally, I am much more concerned about cruelty to humans than cruelty to animals. What would you think if I went on a rant about inhumane child labour in the cultivation of chocolate, coffee or bananas, but then I suddenly told you that I wanted you to stop buying those things because I'm worried for your health? You'd question my motives. (And probably ask me why I didn't consider Fairtrade tropical goods.)

Anything is bad for you in excess. Factory farming is disgusting and cruel. And PCRM is not a very "responsible" advertiser, IMHO.


  1. Since I've disabled third-party cookies, I can't +1 this (that's probably a good thing, privacy-wise). Still, I think you absolutely nailed it: if you have a point to make, be honest about what that point is, and let us judge your argument on its merits.