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Originally published November 11 2015

SOYLENT GREEN? Veggie dogs and hot dogs found contaminated with human DNA

by David Gutierrez, staff writer

(NaturalNews) Do you think you can trust that ingredients label on your hot dogs or other foods? A recent test by Clear Food, which uses DNA analysis to independently evaluate the actual content of foods, indicates that labels can be deceiving. The study found that nearly 15 percent of all hot dogs tested, whether vegetarian or meat, contained some sort of mislabeling or hygiene issue.

For example, ten percent of supposedly vegetarian hot dogs tested contained some form of meat, and many non-vegetarian dogs contained meat from animals other than those listed on the label. This included the presence of pork in hot dogs that were supposedly pork-free.

Furthermore, two percent of all hot dog products tested contained traces of human DAN.

Unlabeled meats are widespread

Clear Food tested 345 separate hot dog samples from 75 different brands, both meat-based and meat-free. The problems that were detected fell into two separate categories: label inaccuracy and hygiene problems.

In the category of label inaccuracy, meat was regularly found in products that were not supposed to contain that type of meat, either because the product was supposedly vegetarian or simply because the ingredients label did not list all of the meats included. Unlisted lamb was found in two samples, turkey in three, beef in four, and chicken in ten.

Unlabeled pork was also found in about ten samples, accounting for 3 percent of all samples tested. This included products labeled vegetarian or even "pork-free."

"Pork substitution was an issue in products across the price spectrum being sold at a wide variety of retailers," Clear Food said.

According to the company, pork substitution is particularly troublesome because so many people avoid pork for religious reasons. However, the report noted that all certified kosher products tested were 100 percent pork-free. Therefore, people who want to avoid pork should purchase from reputable kosher, halal or other religious brands rather than simply relying on food labels.

Human DNA points to poor hygiene practices

There was another class of unlabeled ingredient that is likely to repel many consumers: human DNA, which indicates that human tissue was introduced into the hot dog at some point in the manufacturing process. Two percent of all samples tested contained human DNA; two-thirds of these were supposedly vegetarian brands.

The presence of human DNA does not necessarily mean that the dogs contained human meat; in fact, it's much more likely that the DNA came from hair, saliva, skin cells or some other source likely to slough off the body of workers. While the DNA does not indicate that consumers are becoming unintentional cannibals, it is a red flag that proper hygiene practices are probably not being followed in the manufacturing of the adulterated products.

Other problems found with food labels included misstating nutritional information. For example, the labels of some vegetarian hot dogs overstated the food's protein content by up to 2.5 times.

Clear Food noted that there was no correlation between the price of a product and how likely it was to contain unlabeled meats or human DNA.

According to food safety specialist Melinda Wilkins of Michigan State University, who was not involved in the study, the increasing availability of genetic testing technology could create new pressure on food companies to accurately report the content of their products.

"A lot of times, food adulteration issues are not a food safety concern necessarily, but still it's disturbing to think that you might be eating something that you're not aware of," Wilkins said. "So I think companies will want to be very careful about how they label, and they may want to be doing more testing of their suppliers."

The full report, including a list of the brands that scored the highest, can be found at

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