Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Today's NY Times - PCRM letter

As a follow-up to yesterday's post, some letters in response to the Nina Planck article have now been published.

Here is the first that appears on The New York Times website, from Amy Joy Lanou, a senior nutrition scientist with the Physician's Committee for Responsible Medicine:


Published: May 23, 2007

To the Editor:

Re “Death by Veganism,” by Nina Planck (Op-Ed, May 21):

I am a nutritionist who testified as an expert witness for the prosecution in the criminal trial of the parents of Crown Shakur. As the lead prosecutor in this case told the jury, this poor infant was not killed by a vegan diet. He was starved to death by parents who did not give him breast milk, soy-based infant formula or enough food of any kind.

Well-planned vegan diets are healthful for pregnant mothers and their infants, as well as for older children, according to a large body of scientific research. Contrary to Ms. Planck’s assertions, there are healthy plant-based sources of docosahexaenoic acid, or DHA; calcium can be absorbed about as readily from soy milk as from cow’s milk; and soy does not inhibit growth.

Studies have found that vegan children are within the normal ranges for weight and height, and I personally know vegan mothers and vegan children who are healthier than many of their omnivorous peers.

Amy Joy Lanou

Washington, May 21, 2007

The writer is senior nutrition scientist, Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine.

Most excellent to read Amy's educated, professional response. There are some other responses (as you might imagine, a couple of weak letters supporting the article). You can read them here.


Tamara said...

Thanks for this Dreena. I hope it's okay - I've exerpted parts of this letter (and what you wrote in your last post) on my own blog and linked back here to you.

Dreena said...

Thanks Tara - don't mind at all, glad you've posted about it.

hyphen_helena said...

Someone's brilliant anti-vegan argument says "It’s appalling that anyone would think that a diet based on a dubious morality would build a human infant. Children need protein." Oh my gosh! I had completely forgotten about protein! And we vegans are at a serious disadvantage because one cannot receive protein from plant sources at all. Thank you so much for eloquently reminding everyone that we need protein. I just don't hear that enough nowadays.

Julie said...

I am so glad nutritionists are writing in. I looked on her (Nina's) website and she said among her "many sources" for her article, she spoke to ONE doctor. So terrible. Is that what "research" is these days?

Anonymous said...

I don't understand the letter about "dubious morality"... Is not eating animals immoral? Or is it that vegans are evil?

Amie Dianne said...

Thank you so much for publishing your letter to the NY Times, and exposing the absurdity of Nina Planck's teachings. I first learned of Nina through Sam's Becks and Posh blog, where she was criticized for claiming "to have invented the farmer's market." As I read up on Nina, I became only more disturbed at the disinformation she preached, as well as the excessive attention she's received from reputable US media outlets. After hearing this "anti-vegetarian" podcast interview with her, I was convinced it was only a matter of time before she was exposed as a quack. She apparently went vegan herself as a teenager, and suffered from ill-health as a result of nutrient deficiencies. As someone who has recovered from ill health through a vegan diet, and as a Nutrition and Dietetics major, I find the level of public exposure this woman has received to be appalling. She has failed to take personal responsibility for her own shortcomings; she damaged her own health through poor nutrition and ignorance, then made veganism her scapegoat. It's hard to believe she's made a career of badmouthing vegetarianism--she has strong opinions, and many people don't know better than to trust her. The examples set by healthy vegans speak louder than her words. Thank you for continuing to show the world what a vibrantly healthy vegan family looks like!!

P. S. As a college student, I haven't found much time to blog, but I do have a post with photos of your Fantastic French Toast (my favorite breakfast). I can't thank you enough for that wonderful recipe--I gave up eggs and never looked back after making it. Vive is worth buying for that recipe & the chocolate chip cookies alone!!! :D

Aurelie said...

May I post or link to your blog about this on my blog?

Dreena said...

Amie, thanks for those links and extra insight, I wasn't aware of all of that. She sure has gotten a lot of press for herself with this article (which was the intention I'm sure). And glad you're lovin' the french toast!!! :)

Liliy, you sure can!

(p.s. to tamara - sorry on my first reply "tara"... sometimes I type faster than I think!)

Anonymous said...

Vegans are scumbucket child abusers!!!!!