John Pippin
Key Player

Medical Education Consultant, Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine; former Director of Cardiovascular Medicine, The Cooper Clinic (Dallas)“Here at last,” the book-jacket quote reads, “is the book that shows why certain foods can be so addictive and exactly what to do about it.” This is how Dr. John Pippin praised Breaking the Food Seduction, a 2004 book from PCRM president Neal Barnard. The book’s message? Meat and dairy foods are, literally, narcotic drugs. A year after the book was released, the world-renowned Cooper Clinic finally had enough of its chief cardiovascular specialist moonlighting for animal-rights activists, and terminated his employment.

It may have been Pippin’s opinion columns that put him over the edge with his (now former) employer. In a September 2004 op-ed appearing in at least three daily papers, Pippin admitted that “heart disease mortality rates appear to be falling,” but went on to insist that “meat-heavy diets” would soon be responsible for reversing that trend. The op-ed identified Pippin’s connection to PCRM; he was separated from his Cooper Clinic job within a month.

Pippin also leads PCRM’s effort to convince medical schools to “use teaching methods that do not include live animal laboratories” — an agenda that he now pursues full-time at PCRM. Now free to proclaim his animal-rights sympathies loudly, Pippin has appeared in 2005 on animal activist radio programs. In February 2005 he appeared as a PCRM representative at a Food and Drug Administration hearing, lecturing regulators about the “perils” of testing Vioxx and other COX-2 inhibitors on animals. Despite PCRM’s promise of “bombshell testimony” and an aggressive media blitz, Pippin’s moment in the sun turned out to be just that — a strictly controlled 120-second slot in the “public comment” period, ignored by the assembled media.