I was notified today that I was the founder of the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM). I was flattered! PCRM has a budget that is many orders of magnitude greater than AFMA’s. Seems there is a publication by Information Network Associates (INA) titled Extremist Watch. In the August 19, 2010, volume 4, issue 33 they have the following sentence:
Although the PCRM is attempting to portray itself as a legitimate organization dedicated to reducing the need for animal research by replacing it with alternative methods, its founder, Dr. Ray Greek, is an outspoken animal rights advocate and activist. The conference speakers are primarily all doctors (either Ph.D., DVM or MD) or hold a professional license (i.e., law license) in an effort to give the conference legitimacy as a bona ﬁde meeting. However, the real intent of the PCRM and this conference is to bring an end to animal research completely.
The missive above is about a conference PCRM and others held in August. Neither AFMA nor I were part of that conference. PCRM was founded in 1985, the year I completed medical school. (I must have been a very industrious fellow.) You can learn all about the organization at www.pcrm.org.
For the record, PCRM’s founder is Neal Barnard MD. I have worked with PCRM on a few projects but AFMA is a separate group from PCRM and Neal Barnard and I are two separate people.
To the best of my knowledge, I am not an “outspoken animal rights advocate” as I have not lectured or written about animal rights in around ten years. It is true that my personal philosophical position is that sentient beings should have fundamental rights (not a position held by AFMA), but that does not make me an activist (which I have also been called repeatedly) and it certainly does not make me outspoken about animal rights. (I am outspoken about the scientific issues surrounding the use of animals in science and research, but that is a separate issue from animal rights.)
I have never heard of INA or their publication but if they cannot distinguish between PCRM and AFMA and between Neal Barnard and me, I am glad my safety is not riding on their intelligence gathering and assessments.