Magazine article The American Prospect

Metro Food Fight

Magazine article The American Prospect

Metro Food Fight

Article excerpt

SINCE LATE JUNE, WASHINGTON's Metro buses and trains have been inundated by the "Got Lactose Intolerance" ad from MilkMakesMeSick.org. The advertisement features four individuals seemingly caught in the throes of severe gastrointestinal distress, each scrambling to enter the same restroom, and the ad's text, like a ready-made lawyer joke, informs the lactose intolerant of D.C. that they may have grounds to join a class-action lawsuit against the milk industry.

The advertisements claim that 75 percent of people worldwide are lactose intolerant, and that minorities are even more likely to suffer the effects of lactose intolerance. The statistics regarding minorities explains the geography of the ad buy, which is concentrated on Metrorail's Green Line and the buses from Anacostia to northeast D.C.--the transit routes serving the heaviest nonwhite areas in the District.

A visit to the Web site reveals Milk Makes Me Sick to be a side project of a larger group, the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine. The PCRM was founded in 1985 and devotes the majority of its time to anti-animal-consumption efforts. It also heavily advocates vegetarianism or veganism by, among other things, publishing a starter's guide to vegetable diets and promoting its version of the four food groups: fruits, vegetables, legumes, and whole grains.

To the PCRM, all evidence to the contrary notwithstanding, nutritional health can be achieved only in the absence of meat and dairy products--or "dairy crack," as Neal Barnard, the organization's director, has called them. …

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