Watchdog Group NLPC Says Radical, Anti-Meat Groups Behind Florida Businessman's Calls for McDonald's Boycott

May 04, 2006, 01:00 ET from National Legal and Policy Center

    WASHINGTON, May 4 /PRNewswire/ -- The National Legal and Policy Center
 today charged that recent allegations made by Jody Gorran, that McDonald's
 employs sex offenders at its restaurants, appear to be the result of a long
 history of collaboration between Gorran and radical anti-meat groups like
 PETA and the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine.
     "PETA has a well deserved reputation for using questionable tactics in
 how it conducts itself. Their orchestration of these attacks on an American
 restaurant is further proof of that when it comes to pursuing their
 radical, anti-meat agenda," said Ken Boehm of NLPC.
     Among the findings released today by NLPC (see below for full details
 and documentation):
       * Gorran sued the Atkins diet company only two years ago for allegedly
         ruining his health.
       * Gorran's suit was aided by the Physicians Committee for Responsible
         Medicine (PCRM).
       * In fact, PCRM's lead attorney represented Jody Gorran in his lawsuit
         against Atkins.
       * PCRM is a well known PETA front group and has received hundreds of
         thousands of dollars in donations from PETA.
       * PCRM founder Neil Barnard is affiliated with an extreme animal rights
         group named a "Domestic Terror Threat" by the Department of Justice.
     "It is no surprise that someone with such close ties to groups
 advocating a radical anti-meat agenda would be attacking McDonald's. The
 public has a right to know this man's background in assessing the
 credibility of his claims," Boehm concluded.
     NLPC promotes ethics in public life and sponsors the Corporate
 Integrity Project.
     Based in Falls Church, Virginia, the NLPC promotes ethics, openness and
 accountability in government through research, education and legal action.
 NLPC distributes the Code of Ethics for Government.
                         JODY GORRAN: A FRONT FOR PETA
 
      Jody Gorran, who recently called for a boycott of McDonald's, is no
   stranger to liberal activism. In 2004, he brought about a lawsuit against
   the Atkins Diet, aided by an affiliate of People for the Ethical Treatment
      of Animals (PETA). Gorran's beef with McDonald's is clearly part of
                          a radical anti-meat agenda.
     Florida Businessman Jody Gorran Is Calling For A Boycott Of McDonald's,
 Accusing The Company Of Hiring Sex Offenders. (WTVF-Nashville Website,
 http://channel5web1.atiba.com, Accessed 5/4/06)
     In 2004, The Very Same Jody Gorran Sued The Atkins Diet For Allegedly
 Ruining His Health. "A businessman sued the promoters of the Atkins Diet
 and the estate of founder Dr. Robert Atkins, alleging that the low-carb,
 high-fat meal plan clogged his arteries and threatened his health. The suit
 by Jody Gorran, filed Wednesday in Palm Beach County Circuit Court, seeks
 $15,000. Gorran, 53, said Thursday he started the diet in May 2001 because
 his weight had risen from 140 to 148 pounds. In two months, he said, his
 cholesterol rose from a normal 146 to an unhealthy 230, and by October
 2003, he needed heart angioplasty to clear his arteries." (Jill Barton,
 "Man Sues Atkins Over Heart Problems He Blames On Diet," The Associated
 Press, 5/27/04)
     Gorran's Suit Was Aided By The "Physicians Committee For Responsible
 Medicine." "Atkins Nutritionals was sued by a businessman who alleged that
 the Atkins diet clogged his arteries and nearly killed him. Jody Gorran,
 who sued with the aid of the Washington-based Physicians Committee for
 Responsible Medicine advocacy group, said he started the low-carb, high-fat
 diet in 2001." ("GAO: Oil Deals Raised Prices," The Washington Post,
 5/28/04)
     "Gorran Sought The Help Of PCRM, Which Is Providing Legal Counsel."
 (PCRM, "Fla. Businessman Sues Atkins After Developing Heart Disease While
 On Diet," Press Release, 5/28/04)
     PCRM's Lead Attorney Dan Kinburn Represented Jody Gorran In His Lawsuit
 Against Atkins. (PCRM Website,
 http://www.pcrm.org/newsletter/jan05/atkins.html, Accessed 4/4/06)
     CNN's Anderson Cooper: "You're Being Assisted By A Group That Supports
 Vegan Diets ... " "CNN's ANDERSON COOPER: "Jody, you're suing for $28,000,
 no punitive damages. You're being assisted by a group that supports vegan
 diets that's gone after the Atkins Corporation before. Isn't this just
 really a quest for publicity?" JODY GORRAN: Well, it's a quest for
 knowledge. ... " (CNN's "Anderson Cooper 360 Degrees," 5/27/04)
     Physicians Committee For Responsible Medicine Has Strong Ties To PETA:
 
       * PETA Has Directed Funds to PCRM; Both Groups Share Other Ties. "PCRM
         also has ties to People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals. An
         agency called the Foundation to Support Animal Protection has
         distributed money from PETA to PCRM in the past and, until very
         recently, did both groups' books. [PCRM Founder Dr. Neal] Barnard and
         PETA head Ingrid Newkirk are both on the foundation's board." (Mary
         Carmichael, "Atkins Under Attack," Newsweek, 2/23/04)
 
       * PETA Has Donated At Least $592,000 To PCRM. "People for the Ethical
         Treatment of Animals has used a tax-exempt affiliate called the
         Foundation to Support Animal Protection to funnel at least $592,000 to
         PCRM. This foundation, whose letterhead now shows that it is doing
         business as 'The PETA Foundation,' has the same mailing address as
         PETA, and PETA owns its website address. Neal Barnard and PETA co-
         founder Ingrid Newkirk are two of the Foundation's three officers.
         Barnard is its President. And PETA itself directly gave PCRM over
         $265,000 between 1988 and 1999." (Activist Cash Website,
         http://www.activistcash.com/organization_overview.cfm/oid/23, Accessed
         5/3/06)
 
         To View PDFs Of The Donations, See:
         http://www.animalscam.com/references/peta_pcrm1.cfm
 
     PCRM Has A Radical Agenda Based On Politics, Not Science:
 
       * "Less Than 5 Percent Of PCRM's Members Are Physicians." (Mary
         Carmichael, "Atkins Under Attack," Newsweek, 2/23/04)
 
       * PCRM Founder Dr. Neal Barnard Is Affiliated With A Group Named A
         "Domestic Terrorist Threat" By The DOJ. "[PCRM Founder Dr. Neal]
         Barnard has co-signed letters, on PCRM letterhead, with the leader of
         Stop Huntingdon Animal Cruelty, an animal-rights group the Department
         of Justice calls a 'domestic terrorist threat.'" (Mary Carmichael,
         "Atkins Under Attack," Newsweek, 2/23/04)
 
       * PCRM Leaked Dr. Atkins' Private Medical Records After His Death,
         Falsely Claiming He Died From His Own Diet Plan. NBC's EDIE MAGNUS:
         "It turns out that Gorran's case has been championed -- and is being
         paid for -- by the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, an
         activist group that promotes a vegan diet with no meat, fish or dairy.
         An avowed Atkins enemy, they are the same people who leaked Dr.
         Atkins' medical records after his death and suggested he'd died from
         his own diet, a claim his doctors disputed." (MSNBC Website,
         http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/5137232, Accessed 5/3/06)
 
       * Fox News: PCRM Ran Ads Soliciting Atkins Dieters To Sue Their Doctors.
         DOUG KENNEDY, FOX NEWS CORRESPONDENT: "Mindy is a lawyer for the
         Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine. The group recently
         released Dr. Atkins' confidential autopsy report. They're now running
         ads, soliciting so-called Atkins sufferers to sue their doctors.
         Critics say they're using junk science to promote a PETA agenda." (Fox
         News Channel's "The Big Story With John Gibson," 2/19/04)
 
       * PCRM Founder Barnard Accuses Parents Of "Child Abuse" If They Feed
         Their Children Meat. "Dr. Neal Barnard may come from a family of
         cattle ranchers, but he's got a beef against meat. For 19 years, the
         founder of the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine has
         preached the virtues of veganism, accusing parents of 'child abuse' if
         they feed their kids so much as a slice of bacon and calling the
         Atkins-diet logo, a red A, 'the scarlet letter.'" (Mary Carmichael,
         "Atkins Under Attack," Newsweek, 2/23/04)
 
 

SOURCE National Legal and Policy Center
    WASHINGTON, May 4 /PRNewswire/ -- The National Legal and Policy Center
 today charged that recent allegations made by Jody Gorran, that McDonald's
 employs sex offenders at its restaurants, appear to be the result of a long
 history of collaboration between Gorran and radical anti-meat groups like
 PETA and the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine.
     "PETA has a well deserved reputation for using questionable tactics in
 how it conducts itself. Their orchestration of these attacks on an American
 restaurant is further proof of that when it comes to pursuing their
 radical, anti-meat agenda," said Ken Boehm of NLPC.
     Among the findings released today by NLPC (see below for full details
 and documentation):
       * Gorran sued the Atkins diet company only two years ago for allegedly
         ruining his health.
       * Gorran's suit was aided by the Physicians Committee for Responsible
         Medicine (PCRM).
       * In fact, PCRM's lead attorney represented Jody Gorran in his lawsuit
         against Atkins.
       * PCRM is a well known PETA front group and has received hundreds of
         thousands of dollars in donations from PETA.
       * PCRM founder Neil Barnard is affiliated with an extreme animal rights
         group named a "Domestic Terror Threat" by the Department of Justice.
     "It is no surprise that someone with such close ties to groups
 advocating a radical anti-meat agenda would be attacking McDonald's. The
 public has a right to know this man's background in assessing the
 credibility of his claims," Boehm concluded.
     NLPC promotes ethics in public life and sponsors the Corporate
 Integrity Project.
     Based in Falls Church, Virginia, the NLPC promotes ethics, openness and
 accountability in government through research, education and legal action.
 NLPC distributes the Code of Ethics for Government.
                         JODY GORRAN: A FRONT FOR PETA
 
      Jody Gorran, who recently called for a boycott of McDonald's, is no
   stranger to liberal activism. In 2004, he brought about a lawsuit against
   the Atkins Diet, aided by an affiliate of People for the Ethical Treatment
      of Animals (PETA). Gorran's beef with McDonald's is clearly part of
                          a radical anti-meat agenda.
     Florida Businessman Jody Gorran Is Calling For A Boycott Of McDonald's,
 Accusing The Company Of Hiring Sex Offenders. (WTVF-Nashville Website,
 http://channel5web1.atiba.com, Accessed 5/4/06)
     In 2004, The Very Same Jody Gorran Sued The Atkins Diet For Allegedly
 Ruining His Health. "A businessman sued the promoters of the Atkins Diet
 and the estate of founder Dr. Robert Atkins, alleging that the low-carb,
 high-fat meal plan clogged his arteries and threatened his health. The suit
 by Jody Gorran, filed Wednesday in Palm Beach County Circuit Court, seeks
 $15,000. Gorran, 53, said Thursday he started the diet in May 2001 because
 his weight had risen from 140 to 148 pounds. In two months, he said, his
 cholesterol rose from a normal 146 to an unhealthy 230, and by October
 2003, he needed heart angioplasty to clear his arteries." (Jill Barton,
 "Man Sues Atkins Over Heart Problems He Blames On Diet," The Associated
 Press, 5/27/04)
     Gorran's Suit Was Aided By The "Physicians Committee For Responsible
 Medicine." "Atkins Nutritionals was sued by a businessman who alleged that
 the Atkins diet clogged his arteries and nearly killed him. Jody Gorran,
 who sued with the aid of the Washington-based Physicians Committee for
 Responsible Medicine advocacy group, said he started the low-carb, high-fat
 diet in 2001." ("GAO: Oil Deals Raised Prices," The Washington Post,
 5/28/04)
     "Gorran Sought The Help Of PCRM, Which Is Providing Legal Counsel."
 (PCRM, "Fla. Businessman Sues Atkins After Developing Heart Disease While
 On Diet," Press Release, 5/28/04)
     PCRM's Lead Attorney Dan Kinburn Represented Jody Gorran In His Lawsuit
 Against Atkins. (PCRM Website,
 http://www.pcrm.org/newsletter/jan05/atkins.html, Accessed 4/4/06)
     CNN's Anderson Cooper: "You're Being Assisted By A Group That Supports
 Vegan Diets ... " "CNN's ANDERSON COOPER: "Jody, you're suing for $28,000,
 no punitive damages. You're being assisted by a group that supports vegan
 diets that's gone after the Atkins Corporation before. Isn't this just
 really a quest for publicity?" JODY GORRAN: Well, it's a quest for
 knowledge. ... " (CNN's "Anderson Cooper 360 Degrees," 5/27/04)
     Physicians Committee For Responsible Medicine Has Strong Ties To PETA:
 
       * PETA Has Directed Funds to PCRM; Both Groups Share Other Ties. "PCRM
         also has ties to People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals. An
         agency called the Foundation to Support Animal Protection has
         distributed money from PETA to PCRM in the past and, until very
         recently, did both groups' books. [PCRM Founder Dr. Neal] Barnard and
         PETA head Ingrid Newkirk are both on the foundation's board." (Mary
         Carmichael, "Atkins Under Attack," Newsweek, 2/23/04)
 
       * PETA Has Donated At Least $592,000 To PCRM. "People for the Ethical
         Treatment of Animals has used a tax-exempt affiliate called the
         Foundation to Support Animal Protection to funnel at least $592,000 to
         PCRM. This foundation, whose letterhead now shows that it is doing
         business as 'The PETA Foundation,' has the same mailing address as
         PETA, and PETA owns its website address. Neal Barnard and PETA co-
         founder Ingrid Newkirk are two of the Foundation's three officers.
         Barnard is its President. And PETA itself directly gave PCRM over
         $265,000 between 1988 and 1999." (Activist Cash Website,
         http://www.activistcash.com/organization_overview.cfm/oid/23, Accessed
         5/3/06)
 
         To View PDFs Of The Donations, See:
         http://www.animalscam.com/references/peta_pcrm1.cfm
 
     PCRM Has A Radical Agenda Based On Politics, Not Science:
 
       * "Less Than 5 Percent Of PCRM's Members Are Physicians." (Mary
         Carmichael, "Atkins Under Attack," Newsweek, 2/23/04)
 
       * PCRM Founder Dr. Neal Barnard Is Affiliated With A Group Named A
         "Domestic Terrorist Threat" By The DOJ. "[PCRM Founder Dr. Neal]
         Barnard has co-signed letters, on PCRM letterhead, with the leader of
         Stop Huntingdon Animal Cruelty, an animal-rights group the Department
         of Justice calls a 'domestic terrorist threat.'" (Mary Carmichael,
         "Atkins Under Attack," Newsweek, 2/23/04)
 
       * PCRM Leaked Dr. Atkins' Private Medical Records After His Death,
         Falsely Claiming He Died From His Own Diet Plan. NBC's EDIE MAGNUS:
         "It turns out that Gorran's case has been championed -- and is being
         paid for -- by the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, an
         activist group that promotes a vegan diet with no meat, fish or dairy.
         An avowed Atkins enemy, they are the same people who leaked Dr.
         Atkins' medical records after his death and suggested he'd died from
         his own diet, a claim his doctors disputed." (MSNBC Website,
         http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/5137232, Accessed 5/3/06)
 
       * Fox News: PCRM Ran Ads Soliciting Atkins Dieters To Sue Their Doctors.
         DOUG KENNEDY, FOX NEWS CORRESPONDENT: "Mindy is a lawyer for the
         Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine. The group recently
         released Dr. Atkins' confidential autopsy report. They're now running
         ads, soliciting so-called Atkins sufferers to sue their doctors.
         Critics say they're using junk science to promote a PETA agenda." (Fox
         News Channel's "The Big Story With John Gibson," 2/19/04)
 
       * PCRM Founder Barnard Accuses Parents Of "Child Abuse" If They Feed
         Their Children Meat. "Dr. Neal Barnard may come from a family of
         cattle ranchers, but he's got a beef against meat. For 19 years, the
         founder of the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine has
         preached the virtues of veganism, accusing parents of 'child abuse' if
         they feed their kids so much as a slice of bacon and calling the
         Atkins-diet logo, a red A, 'the scarlet letter.'" (Mary Carmichael,
         "Atkins Under Attack," Newsweek, 2/23/04)
 
 SOURCE National Legal and Policy Center