Health Alert 200
There’s a local lawsuit grabbing the headlines here in South Florida. A man is suing Atkins Nutritionals claiming the Atkins diet gave him heart disease.
Jody Gorran claims he was healthy before starting the diet in May of 2001. He reports that within two months of his cholesterol spiked to 236. By the end of October 2003 one coronary artery was 99% blocked, requiring angioplasty.
Today you’ll discover the truth about who is really behind this lawsuit and why.
* Worse Than Frivolous *
Gorran and his legal counsel contend that he ignored his rising cholesterol levels – even though he knew they were indicators of heart disease – because he believed Dr. Atkins’ diet book and website would keep him safe. He thought Atkins was saying that it was OK for everyone to eat a high-fat diet as long as carbohydrates were restricted.
Here’s the claim that gets me — he says he believed the diet endorsed eating “large amounts of pastrami and cheesecake” if he wanted.
Did Gorran and his lawyers really believe these outrageous claims would fly? Or is there more to this lawsuit than meets the eye?
* Who’s Bankrolling This Lawsuit? *
You ever hear the saying “Follow the money trail”? When you peel back the layers of this case you find that, like layers on an onion, each one leads to something just a little bit smellier.
You’ll find that Gorran’s case is paid for by the Physician’s Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM). Sounds good, doesn’t it? This group, on the surface, looks like a professional medical organization. It’s really an extremist animal rights and vegan group comprised of 5% vegetarian physicians and 95% animal rights advocates.
Peel another layer and you find that PCRM president, Dr. Neal Barnard, also chairs the sometimes extremist (to the point of property destruction at medical schools) animal-rights group PETA. The two groups are so closely tied that they operate as a single fundraising unit.
Here’s another layer for you – the registration page on the PCRM website invites anyone with a complaint about the Atkins diet to sign up and receive their free legal support. In other words, look for more PCRM-waged Atkins lawsuits in the future.
By the time you get to the heart of this onion, Gorran’s complaint looks less like a legal case and more like a sneaky stunt to scare people into eating the vegan diet they promote.
* Your Health Is Your Responsibility *
While this lawsuit sends up red flags, there is an important lesson for us all to learn here. We each must be willing to take responsibility for our own health.
While 54-year-old Jody Gorran pleads blind trust as the basis of his case, PCRM is currently further manipulating him for their own purpose. The truth is, if he’s looking for someone to blame, he need look no further than the mirror.
Dr. Atkins Diet Lawsuit document filed in Palm Beach County Court
Newsweek, February 23, 2004
Animal People News, December 31, ‘01