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Plant-based diet

Schoolteacher Fired for Recommending Students Eat Plant-Based Diet

Wednesday, October 29, 2008 by: David Gutierrez, staff writer
Tags: plant-based diet, health news, Natural News

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(NaturalNews) A middle schoolteacher in Fox River Grove, Ill., was fired in April after encouraging his students to eat a vegan diet.

Dave Warwak, an art teacher at Fox River Grove Middle School, got in trouble while guiding his students through an administrator-approved program that sought to teach students to be kind to animals by having them take care of marshmallow "Peeps" as pets. According to administrators, Warwak attempted to educate students about animal rights by placing the Peeps in cages, pots or pans, or between slices of bread. Accusing Warwak of abandoning his curriculum and "turning his classroom into a forum on veganism," Principal Tim Mahaffey fired him.

"The problem was when it turned into a PETA [People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals] advertisement and it was against the school lunch program," Mahaffy told the Illinois Board of Education during a hearing into Warwak's dismissal.

Like all public elementary, middle and high schools, Fox River Grove only eligible for National School Lunch Program reimbursements if it promotes consumption of dairy products, including by putting up life-sized celebrity milk endorsement posters. These posters are sent unsolicited to schools by the National Dairy Council.

During Warwak's hearing, former Cornell University professor of nutritional biochemistry T. Colin Campbell testified that schools are harming their students by pushing dairy.

"The consumption of dairy, especially at the younger ages, is a problem," Campbell said, and has been linked to substantially higher risks of osteoporosis and a wide variety of cancers.

Along with his son Thomas M. Campbell II, Campbell is the author of "The China Study," a book on the connection between disease and diet that the New York Times called the "Grand Prix of epidemiology."

Campbell noted that the dairy health claims on school posters were written by USDA dietary committee replete with conflicts of interest.

"Six of the 11 members of the committee, including the chair, had an association with the dairy industry," Campbell said. "And the chair himself had taken more money without telling the public about it than he was allowed under the law."

Sources for this story include: www.commondreams.org.

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