WASHINGTON, Aug. 22 /PRNewswire/ -- The Physicians
Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM) filed a complaint today with
the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) over its new campaign
promoting the use of thermometers in meat preparation. The campaign
features ``Thermy,'' a cartoon thermometer, who claims: ``It's safe to
bite when the temperature is right.'' On the eve of Labor Day, one of
the country's most popular barbecue days, PCRM hopes to alert the
American public that meat is unsafe at any temperature.
``While a thermometer can indicate whether food is hot
enough to kill bacteria, it can't do a thing about measuring fat,
cholesterol, carcinogens, or all the other deadly hazards in meat,''
says PCRM president Neal Barnard, M.D. ``To suggest that meat is
completely ''safe`` if cooked at a high temperature is a deadly mistake.
The USDA should not be ignoring the enormous body of research linking
meat consumption to cancer, diabetes, heart disease, hypertension, and
other serious health problems.''
PCRM's complaint argues that while heat may kill
microorganisms, it's useless against fat and cholesterol, two main
culprits implicated in the development of many chronic diseases.
Moreover, meats prepared under high cooking temperatures often contain
heterocyclic amines, potent carcinogens that form from amino acids,
creatine, and natural sugars.
``The bottom line is that meat is a risky food, whether
or not it's been cooked thoroughly,'' says Dr. Barnard. ``The USDA would
do better to promote a healthy, vegetarian diet.''
For a copy of PCRM's complaint or interviews with PCRM
doctors and dietitians, contact
Ms. Simon Chaitowitz, Communications Director
at 202-686-2210, ext. 309
or via e-mail at [email protected]
Founded in 1985, PCRM is a nonprofit organization
dedicated to promoting preventive medicine, especially better nutrition,
and higher standards in research.
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