Know Your Enemy

It’s amazing what you can find out with a little time and a computer.

I was doing the NAAFA News Roundup, and there was an item about an ad that is targeted against fast food.  The ad specifically targets McDonald’s, and based on that, certain stations are refusing to run it.

 The ad features the corpse of a fat man with his non-fat “wife/sister/daughter?” crying as the corpse is wheeled away.  The corpse is clutching a half-eaten burger.  Then they show the “golden arches” with “I was lovin’ it” under it; and the voice-over says, “high cholesterol, high blood pressure, heart attacks, tonight make it vegetarian.”  (Because we know there are no fat vegetarians, right? – and by the way you can get a vegetarian meal at McDonalds.)

 Who paid for this ad, clearly made to create an emotional response against fat people?  A group called Physician’s Committee for Responsible Medicine.

 But the person appearing on TV to speak out for the ad is Susan Levin MS RD.  Who is Ms. Levin?  In a Fox News article Ms. Levin is identified as a director of PCRM. 

 Yahoo search to the rescue – http://www.pcrm.org/news/bios/levin.html

 Except she’s not on the list of directors of PCRM.  But she has “MS” and “RD” after her name, and the bio says she got her MS (Master of Science) from Bayster University.

 Bayster University is a private institution that specializes “natural medicine”; which gives “degrees” in naturopathic medicine, acupuncture, herbal sciences, etc.  (They also have a certificate program in “holistic landscape design”.)  Okay, a little odd, but their website says it is accredited. 

 Bayster is accredited through Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities, which is “recognized” by the U.S. Department of Education. 

 When I went to the NCCU website, I was referred to NW Accreditation to see how an institution becomes accredited with them; and that’s where I found that NW Accreditation offers accreditation for curriculums where no degree is granted. 

Huh.

A little further searching on the other two initials after Ms. Levin’s name (RD – Registered Dietician) showed that Bayster University is also accredited by The American Dietetic Association, which basically approves didactic dietetic programs.  Complete the program, do a 6-12 month supervised practice program at a healthcare facility, community agency, foodservice corporation or combined with the undergraduate or graduate studies (in other words, it seems this “internship” can be combined as part of your studies), and pass the exam (80-100 multiple choice questions) administered by the Commission on Dietetic Registration.

All well and good.  But I recently completed a 2 year program (4.0 gpa, thank you very much) and took an exam with 130 multiple choice questions and fill-in the blank (from transcription) questions; and I became a RMT (Registered Medical Transcriptionist).  Even if I had completed the internship (only a month), I would not have been eligible for a degree of any kind, much less a Master of Science.

I’m not saying her degree is questionable; I’m just saying.

Ms. Levin’s undergrad degree is in journalism and marketing.  Ahhhhhhh.

Now PCRM has a lot of directors who are MDs.  Why aren’t they out there speaking for the organization?  Maybe they’re don’t look as cute on camera as Ms. Levin?  Maybe they don’t have a background in journalism and marketing and all the “tricks of the trade”?

So when you see someone speaking out on the issue of nutrition, fat, etc. and they aren’t offering facts – only mouthing prejudices and stereotypes – you may find it interesting to check out the background. 

“Know your enemy and know yourself and you can fight a hundred battles without disaster.”
Sun Tzu

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8 thoughts on “Know Your Enemy

  1. Gah, what a commercial. Back to the Vegetarian Mafia tactics again; I would have taken bets it was PETA’s work.

    I know plenty of sane, thoughtful, and non-extremist vegetarians and vegans, but these folks certainly don’t qualify.

  2. PCRM is pretty much funded by PETA. Some even think that it might be a “front” for PETA. So I’m not surprised in the slightest taken the tactics they have used in the past to get their attention.

    • What I am saying is that I don’t think her educational background is commensurate with what the average person would expect for a person having a Masters of Science degree. I am saying she has no doubt completed the requirements of Bayster University to obtain a Masters of Science. That’s what I’m saying.

  3. Very nice sleuthing! I, too, assumed that PETA was involved. I have friends (fat and thin) who I respect who are active in that organization, and I also have friends (fat and thin) who I respect who are vegetarians. Neither group of friends would countenance such an awful ad. Macdonalds-haters often cite the work of Morgan Spurlock (Supersize Me). That was a clever film, but you should also see the DVD called Fathead, which is a wonderful non-industry rebuttal of Spurlock. Of the two, I trust the Fathead version of the facts.

    I believe in the rights of animals, but not in the anti-fat bigotry promulgated by PETA!

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