12,000 Doctors Urge Texas to Drop Meat Advertising Due to Health Concerns

An organization made up of 12,000 doctors has filed a complaint against the Texas Beef Council, after the council urged medical professionals to recommend beef to patients with heart disease. The Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM), argued that these promotions are unlawful and negligent to public health, Express News reported.

The Texas Beef Council has been promoting meat consumption in doctors’ offices across Texas, as well as online. Dietitian Susan Levin said the promotions were a “a new low”. Dr Neal Barnard, who founded PCRM, revealed on Twitter that the organization has filed a complaint against the Texas Beef Council regarding the matter. The complaint was taken to the Texas attorney general’s office.

According to Express News, PCRM allege that the “state-designated, industry-funded council violates the Texas Deceptive Trade Practices-Consumer Protection Act by promoting beef industry-funded research at the expense of patient health.”

Member of PCRM and cardiologist Dr. John Pippin told Express News that the beef council is using “fake science” to make their claims. Pippin stated, “what the Texas Beef Council is saying to the citizens of Texas is support your beef industry, eat beef. You’ll die younger, you’ll have heart attacks, you’ll have a stroke. You’ll have heart failure, but we’ll get rich.”

Physician and president of the Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association, Richard Thorpe, felt “dismayed” at the accusations, and labelled beef products as “healthy foods.”

However, a growing bank of research indicates otherwise. A January study linked red meat consumption with several forms of cancer, stating that consuming processed and red meats could raise one’s risk of developing colon cancer by 37% and rectal cancer by 70%.

Express News stated that heart disease is the leading cause of death in Texas, killing almost 45,000 Texans each year. Notably, heart disease is also the leading cause of death in America as a whole for both men and women. It’s a leading cause of death around the globe as well.

Experts have suggested that younger generations are approaching a heart disease “epidemic”, with meat consumption identified as a leading factor. Comparatively, research has found that replacing servings of animal protein with plant protein could reduce cholesterol, and ultimately, the risk of heart disease. Other data revealed that vegan diets could cut heart disease risk by up to 42%.

Express News highlighted that Texas is the largest beef-producing state in America, with cattle acting as the state’s top commodity. Meat consumption continues to rise, the publication noted, due to “the belief that protein is good and carbohydrates are bad for health and weight control.”

Pippin said: “I don’t care how lean you want to make it, I don’t care if you trim all the fat and you breed the marbling out of it or what you do, it’s the saturated fat, the cholesterol, the heme iron — which affects oxidation in the blood — it’s all these things in dead cows that will kill you, and I’ve seen it in 20-plus years with my practice”.

However, increasingly the public is shifting their attention toward health. Concerns about health was the reason that 39% of people signed up for this year’s Veganuary. Notably, the rise in veganism has been named a disruption to meat, dairy, and food markets as a whole.