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Friday, December 11, 2009


Is a vegan diet effective for treating type 2 diabetes? An epistolary investigation

Posted by The Dean of Cincinnati

Photo courtesy of here.

The Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM) is a Washington DC nonprofit which, according to its website, advocates “compassionate and effective medical practice, research, and health promotion.” We first learned of PCRM because of Cincinnatian Dr. Henry Heimlich. He’s a founding board member of the organization, which will be presenting the “Henry J. Heimlich, M.D. Award for Innovative Medicine” this April in Malibu.

The following correspondence - slightly edited for clarity - was prompted by a widely-syndicated November 25, 2009 article by Mike DeDoncker of the Rockford (IL) Register Star entitled, “Diabetes Expert: Try Vegetarian Lifestyle.” DeDoncker’s story describes a PCRM diabetes treatment program “sponsored by the University of Illinois College of Medicine at Rockford and Vegetarians in Motion.”

##

November 26, 2009

Caroline Trapp, MSN
Director of Diabetes Education and Care
Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine
5100 Wisconsin Ave. NW, Suite 400
Washington, DC 20016

Dear Ms. Trapp,

I’m reporting about the following statement attributed to you in an 11/25/09 article by reporter Mike DeDoncker (“Diabetes Expert: Try Vegetarian Lifestyle”):

(Trapp’s) main message was that a low-fat, plant-based diet can be just as effective as some medicines in fighting type 2 diabetes.

1. Would you please provide me with the names of any practicing board certified endocrinologists and any practicing diabetologists with board certification in related specialties (such as internal medicine) and who have no affiliation with your organization that agree with your conclusion? I’m particularly interested in physician
specialists who have published on this subject in peer-reviewed journals.

2. Mr. DeDoncker’s article stated that you gave a series of talks last week that were sponsored by the University of Illinois College of Medicine at Rockford University. Who was your contact person at the university?

3. Would you please provide me with a copy of your CV?

Thanks for your time and I look forward to receiving your answers.

Sincerely,

Jason Haap
The Cincinnati Beacon

cc: Mike DeDoncker

Date: Fri, Nov 27, 2009 at 10:31 PM
From: Caroline Trapp.(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
Subject: re: Media Inquiry
To: Jason Haap
Cc: Carol Burmeister, Mike DeDoncker

Dear Mr. Haap,
Thank you for your interest. I have provided the information you have requested with **** below. Please contact me if additional information is needed.

(Trapp’s) main message was that a low-fat, plant-based diet can be just as effective as some medicines in fighting type 2 diabetes.

****I’ve attached one of the articles that summarize this research from which the above statement originated. I would also add that in addition to the diet can be   as effective, for some, as certain diabetes medications, it has additional proven health benefits (weight loss, lower LDL cholesterol) and no unsafe side effects.

Would you please provide me with the names of any practicing board certified endocrinologists and any practicing diabetologists with board certification in related specialties (such as internal medicine) and who have no affiliation with your organization that agree with your conclusion? I’m particularly interested in physician specialists who have published on this subject in peer-reviewed journals.

****The American Diabetes Association in their 2009 Clinical Practice Recommendations and the American Dietetic Association in their 2009 Position Paper on Vegetarian Diets support the use of low-fat, plant-based diets for type 2 diabetes.

Mr. DeDoncker’s article stated that you gave a series of talks last week that were sponsored by the University of Illinois College of Medicine at Rockford University. Who was your contact person at the university?

***The program was organized by Carol Burmeister. I have cc’d her on this letter so that she might provide you with her U of I contact.

Would you please provide me with a copy of your CV?

***Attached.

Kind regards,

Caroline Trapp, MSN, APRN, BC-ADM, CDE
Director of Diabetes Education and Care
Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine

November 28, 2009

Dear Ms. Trapp,

Thank you for your answers and I look forward to receiving the university contact information from Ms. Burmeister. I would appreciate your answers to these follow-up questions.

1. In response to the following question, you forwarded an article whose lead author is the founder/president of your organization

 

Would you please provide me with the names of any practicing board certified endocrinologists and any practicing diabetologists with board certification in related specialties (such as internal medicine) and who have no affiliation with your organization that agree with your conclusion? I’m particularly interested
in physician specialists who have published on this subject in peer-reviewed journals.

Therefore, would you please provide me with the names of any practicing board certified endocrinologists and any practicing diabetologists with board certification in related specialties (such as internal medicine) and who have no affiliation with your organization that agree with your conclusion “that a low-fat, plant-based diet can be just as effective as some medicines in fighting type 2 diabetes”?

2. Re: your answer:

 

The American Diabetes Association in their 2009 Clinical Practice Recommendations and the American Dietetic Association in their 2009 Position Paper on Vegetarian Diets support the use of low-fat, plant-based diets for type 2 diabetes.

Do either of these organizations agree with your statement “that a low-fat, plant-based diet can be just as effective as some medicines in fighting type 2 diabetes”?

Thanks for your continued attention and I look forward to receiving your answers.

Sincerely,

Jason Haap

cc: Mike DeDoncker, Carol Burmeister

 

Tue, Dec 1, 2009 at 8:33 PM
From: Caroline Trapp
To: Jason Haap

Dear Mr. Haap,

I’m not at liberty to disclose names to a blogger who has a beef with PCRM. I have provided you with an article that explains the research I discussed, which was authored by respected researchers at several institutions, and was published in Diabetes Care, the journal of the American Diabetes Association. Further, I have provided you with the fact that both the American Diabetes Association and the American Dietetic Association have 2009 position papers that support the use of plant-based nutrition for type 2 diabetes. We cannot prescribe our way out of what has become an epidemic of type 2 diabetes, and while not profitable or exciting news, the truth is that a low-fat, plant-based diet benefits many who give it a try.

Regards,

Caroline Trapp, MSN, APRN, BC-ADM, CDE

 

####

Deecember 1, 2009

Dayle Kern, Communications Manager
American Diabetes Association

Dear Mr. Kern,

Re: an article I’m reporting, I’d appreciate your answer to a quick question. Does your organization agree or disagree with the following statement?

 

A low-fat, plant-based diet can be just as effective as some medicines in fighting type 2 diabetes.

Thanks for your help and I look forward to receiving your answer.

Sincerely,

Jason Haap
The Cincinnati Beacon

 

  Wed, Dec 2, 2009 at 11:14 AM
Colleen Fogarty .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
To: Jason Haap

  We do not agree with that statement.

Diet is very important in managing diabetes effectively, but diet and medication are two separate issues.

Colleen Fogarty
Communications
American Diabetes Association
703-549-1500, ext. 2146
 

 

####

Tue, Dec 1, 2009 at 9:26 PM
From: Jason Haap
To: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Jennifer Starkey, Media Representative
American Dietetic Association

Dear Ms. Starkey,

Re: an article I’m reporting, I’d appreciate your answer to a quick question. Does your organization agree or disagree with the following statement?

 

A low-fat, plant-based diet can be just as effective as some medicines in fighting type 2 diabetes.

Thanks for your help and I look forward to receiving your answer.

Sincerely,

Jason Haap
The Cincinnati Beacon

 

Thu, Dec 3, 2009 at 11:18 AM
From: Jennifer Starkey
To: Jason Haap

As far as that statement goes, we would have to say we disagree. Our position paper on Vegetarianism states that “Vegetarian diets are often associated with a number of health advantages, including lower blood cholesterol levels, lower risk of heart disease, lower blood pressure levels, and lower risk of hypertension and type 2 diabetes.” Also, a low-fat, plant-based diet can lower a person’s BMI which in turn might allow them to go off medication in some cases, but that is not quite the same thing as saying that it is just as effective in fighting type 2 diabetes.

Jennifer Starkey
Media Relations Manager
http://www.eatright.org/media
 

 

 

 

####

Sent December 3 and re-sent December 7

Dear Ms. Trapp,

I’m following up on your December 1 e-mail. I’d appreciate your answers to some quick follow-up questions.

You referenced the American Diabetes Association and the American Dietetic Association as authoritative sources, so I contacted both organizations and asked this question based on the claim attributed to you in Mr. DeDoncker’s article:

 

Does your organization agree or disagree that a low-fat, plant-based diet can be just as effective as some medicines in fighting type 2 diabetes?

Both organizations responded that they disagreed with your claim. (I’ve attached contact information for the employees who provided me with the information).

1. In future presentations on the subject and/or in materials published by your organization, do you intend to include the information that these organizations disagree with your claim?

2. What are the names of the medicines you were referring to?

Please feel free to provide any other related comments.

Thanks for your time and I look forward to receiving your answers.

Jason Haap
The Cincinnati Beacon

NO REPLY!


Sent December 7 and re-sent December 9

Mike DeDoncker
Rockford Register Star

Dear Mr. DeDoncker,

I’m reporting about the information in your 11/25/09 article, “Diabetes expert: Try vegetarian lifestyle.” I’d appreciate your answers to some quick questions.

1. Do you know who brought the story to the attention of your publication? Did it originate from the University of Illinois, Vegetarians in Motion, the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, or from another source? Was there a related press release? If so, would you please forward me a copy?

2. During your reporting, did you interview anyone other than Caroline Trapp? If so, would you tell me their names and job titles?

Thanks and looking forward to your reply.

Sincerely,

Jason Haap
The Cincinnati Beacon

NO REPLY!

CV of Caroline B. Trapp MSN, Director of Diabetes Education & Care, PCRM (10/27/09)

 


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  1. ducks like a quack says:

    Trapp:

    Please contact me if additional information is needed. (11/27)

    I’m not at liberty to disclose names to a blogger who has a beef with PCRM. (12/1)

    PCRM will only provide data if they consider you friendly to their cause? So much for rigorous scientific debate.

    Dean, I suggest you ask the University of Illinois medical school why they’re on board with this program.

  2. anon says:

    From “Medical Nihilism” by PalMD, The White Coat Underground: http://bit.ly/4CVSZc

    So I was watching my local PBS station yesterday (perhaps for the last time) and I came upon Dr. Neal Barnard shilling some book or other on curing diabetes. That pissed me off enough to go to his website and check him out, but before I got into the other details I see that he founded something called the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM). I vaguely recall hearing about this group during medical school. There were some students who joined as advocates of “ethical animal research”, apparently unaware that ethics are already a big part of animal work. Since then, I haven’t thought about the group.

    Until now….

  3. Dazed and Confused says:

    Why would someone with this much education, and certification- RISK IT ALL?

    I am totally confused.

  4. Undazed says:

    Why would someone with this much education, and certification- RISK IT ALL? I am totally confused.

    What’s the confusion? A local nurse practitioner toiling in Nowheresville Michigan gets named “Director of Diabetes Education and Care” by a well-funded national organization with a pro-vegan agenda. Now she gets quoted as a “diabetes expert” by a doofus reporter. What’s at risk except her integrity and why assume she has any? Because she has a string of letters after her name? Credentialed shills are a dime a dozen.

  5. Dazed says:

    This woman is risking an Ivy League Master’s makes her a loon! This is one of the most difficult programs to be accepted in- and you don’t walk thru Michigan’s programs either. So- she is a wack job wasting her education. That is if they are real! We have learned that there are some nurses from up north that fake the resume!

  6. Citizens Against Joe Deters says:

    FYI

    CAJD is Type one…wear insulin pump

    and found this interesting.

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