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Hot dogs

Hot Dogs Need Anti-Cancer Warning: Group Sues Hot Dog Makers to Force Honest Labeling

Monday, December 21, 2009 by: David Gutierrez, staff writer
Tags: hot dogs, cancer, health news

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(NaturalNews) In a lawsuit filed against hot dog manufacturers, the nonprofit Cancer Project is seeking to force all hot dogs sold in the state of New Jersey to carry a label reading, "Warning: Consuming hot dogs and other processed meats increases the risk of cancer."

"Just as tobacco causes lung cancer, processed meats are linked to colon cancer," said Cancer Project President Neal Barnard, of George Washington University Medical School. "Companies that sell hot dogs are well aware of the danger, and their customers deserve the same information."

The Cancer Project is a project of the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, which promotes a vegan diet and condemns animal research.

The lawsuit cites numerous studies that have implicated processed meat consumption in a higher cancer risk, including a recent report by the American Institute for Cancer Research. According to this report, eating just one 50 gram serving of processed meat per day (the equivalent of one hot dog) increases a person's risk of colorectal cancer by an average of 21 percent.

The Cancer Project largely blames hot dogs' cancer-causing effects on nitrites, a class of preservatives that break down into carcinogenic compounds when digested. Other researchers have argued that the high fat content of processed meat is much more likely to cause cancer, but the Cancer Project argues that this debate is not relevant to its lawsuit.

"This situation is similar to the link between the smoking of tobacco products and lung cancer: While all the molecular events linking the smoking of tobacco to the development of lung cancer are not known, the link cannot be disputed," the legal complaint says.

According to nutritionist Keith-Thomas Ayoob of Albert Einstein College of Medicine, focusing too much on hot dogs might be missing the point.

"The stuff people typically have with a hot dog may be a more immediate concern: too many calories from all the fat-laden potato and macaroni salads, sugary drinks and sweet desserts," he said.

Sources for this story include: www.google.com; www.latimes.com.

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