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Jul 23, 2009

"Warning: Consuming hot dogs and other processed meats increases the risk of cancer."

That's the label that a vegan advocacy group wants added to hot dog packages.
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The nonprofit Cancer Project filed a lawsuit Wednesday asking that the companies be compelled to place cancer-risk warning labels on hot dog packages sold in New Jersey.
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"Just as tobacco causes lung cancer, processed meats are linked to colon cancer," said Neal Barnard, president of the Cancer Project and an adjunct professor at the George Washington University medical school in Washington, D.C. "Companies that sell hot dogs are well aware of the danger, and their customers deserve the same information."
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What the "Man In The Street" thinks of this: 
"Crazy." said Josh Urdang, 27, as he stood in line to buy two franks at a hot dog stand. "It wouldn't change how many hot dogs I eat."
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His friend Joe Di Lauro, 31, called such a move "overpolicing. . . . At what point do you stop breaking things down? Unless we're going to put a warning label on every single food and say what's bad in it."
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Another consumer said, "Vegans complaining about hot dogs is like the Amish complaining about gas prices." 
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Nutrition experts say that the science is far more complicated and that slapping warning labels on the staple of baseball games and picnics would not have much effect on public health.
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The industry is dead set against such warning labels. "These proposals are unfounded. Hot dogs have been enjoyed by consumers for more than 100 years," said a Kraft spokeswoman.
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The Cancer Project is a branch of the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, a group that lobbies against animal research and pitches the adoption of meat-free diets.
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In the lawsuit, the Cancer Project cites the role of nitrites, preservatives used in cured and processed meats such as hot dogs, in the development of cancer-forming agents. During digestion, nitrites break down into nitrosamines and other N-nitroso compounds that are considered carcinogens.
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It is true that medical studies have linked red and processed meats to cancer risk, but it's not clear whether it is because of the nitrites or other factors such as high fat content.
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An American Institute for Cancer Research report cited in the lawsuit notes that one 50-gram serving of processed meat -- about the amount in one hot dog -- consumed daily increases the risk of colorectal cancer 21% on average.
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Colorectal cancer kills about 50,000 Americans annually.
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C2NN article posted by Terry
Original article:
http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-hot-dog23-2009jul23,0,1642891.story


 

 
 
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Jenny Dooley
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