Activist group portrays cheese as grim reaper in Wisconsin billboard

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Halloween and its ghosts and ghouls may be just around the corner, but the grim reaper is slated to put in an appearance Monday morning on a Green Bay, Wis.-area billboard. The twist is that this grim reaper wears a cheesehead hat and warns that cheese “Can sack your health”. 

The billboard will put in an appearance just in time for the next Green Bay Packer home game and is sponsored by the activist group Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine. The group also reportedly sent a letter to Green Bay Mayor Jim Schmidt requesting to "put a warning label on all high-fat cheesy foods served at Lambeau Field."

Schmidt told local television station WBAY that, "I think this is kind of silly. I think it's attacking something more for PR. There's so many other things people can be working on."

He also told the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, "We are going to protect and defend the cheese industry. We love our cheeseheads and we love our cheese."

The Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board takes issue with the message, notes the Green Bay Press-Gazette, contending the group behind it has ties with animal rights organizations. The milk board is nonprofit and is funded by dairy farmers to promote the state’s cheeses.

“Other national organizations, from the National Council Against Health Fraud, The American Council on Science and Heath and the American Medical Association have accused PCRM practices as irresponsible and potentially dangerous to the health and welfare of Americans,” Patrick Geoghegan, senior vice president of corporate communications, said Friday.

“Everything we talk about in terms of nutrition and dairy is scientifically based. We don’t play games with that, we take that very seriously and not all organizations do.”

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Stockbridge, WI  |  September, 26, 2011 at 06:25 AM

Why is this group going after a natural food product? I have lost 28 pounds and my diet included cheese, Greek yogurt, and raw, whole milk. Why is this group saying cholesterol is bad for you when our BRAINS consist mostly of cholesterol? Why isn't this group going after the real cause of our obesity epidemic, High Fructose Corn Syrup. Or why are they not questioning the use of genetically engineered seeds? Just questions that everyone needs to ask themselves before buying into this propaganda.

pa  |  September, 26, 2011 at 01:08 PM

saavy, This group is going after dairy because it is animal based. PCRM has a vegan agenda and supports animal rights campaigns. Dairy is a healthy, delicious part of a wholesome diet when consumed at recommended levels. Perhaps their vegan diet has made their brains a little deficient...that may explain their extreme positions. As for HFCS, it does not contribute to the obesity epidemic any more than other high soluble carbohydrate (sugar and starch) ingredients when consumed in equal amounts. The problem with the American diets role with obesity is that people are eating too many calories (from sugar, starch, fat and protein) for the amount they are working their body. Their may be other nutrient imbalances contributing to metabolic disorders, but they pale in contrast to the calorie consumption / exercise imbalance in our lives. Read more credible literature regarding GM technology and foods. Take what you read from consumer media, advocacy groups,etc with a grain of salt - especially if no data is provided to back up claims. Fear campaigns to scare consumers into a certain ideology are abound, but the science is lacking (for nearly 40 years now). What research has shown to be concerns (like protein allergens) is easily addressed and actually can be used to tremendous benefits in addressing food allergies. Look for science, not science fiction.

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