Should Hotdogs Come with Warning Labels?

Processed meats like hotdogs have long been associated with increased risk of cancer, such as leukemia. So that’s why the nonprofit Cancer Project, an offshoot of the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM), wants hotdog producers to put warning labels on packages.

The nonprofit Cancer Project filed a lawsuit Wednesday on behalf of three New Jersey plaintiffs asking the Essex County Superior Court to compel the companies to place cancer-risk warning labels on hot dog packages sold in New Jersey.

"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."

The defendants in the lawsuit, which seeks class-action status, include Nathan's Famous Inc., Oscar Mayer owner Kraft Foods Inc., Sara Lee Corp., Marathon Enterprises Inc. and ConAgra Foods Inc., which owns Hebrew National.

Efforts to put warning labels on hot dog packages are "crazy," said Josh Urdang, 27, as he stood in line to buy two franks at Pink's hot dog stand in Hollywood on Tuesday.

In the past, the PCRM and the Cancer Project aired a public service announcement trying to educated kids and parents about the dangerous of weenies.

Via The Los Angeles Times.

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Europe Blasts Smoke Flavoring, Cites Health Risks

A new report by The European Food Safety Authority warns about the dangers of artificial smoke flavorings, claiming products like Unismoke and Zesti Smoke may cause adverse health effects, namely changes in the liver and kidneys and inability to gain weight. However, experts note testing has only been conducted on rats that were given a high intake of smoke flavoring, adding that long-term studies are needed; via FoodNavigator.

Regular smoking isn’t much better. Along with butter, cheese and salt, Dr. Fuhrman considers smoked foods as some of the worst stuff you can eat. And data shows processed and smoked meats, like ham and sausage, increase risk of stomach cancer, but last year that didn’t stop people from eating 7 billion hotdogs between Memorial Day and Labor Day!

In related news, someone figured out how to make smoked bacon even more horrible. Fully cooked bacon rolled in wax paper and stuffed into a can. Seriously, I’m going to vomit.

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Hotdogs Linked to Leukemia Risk

Last year, it was discovered processed meats and cheese speed up the growth of lung cancer tumors. And now, new research in BMC Cancer found children who consume cured meats, like hotdogs and bacon, were 74% more likely to develop leukemia. It’s believed nitrites, which build up in cured and smoked meats, amplify cancer-risk. Conversely, researchers suggest the potent antioxidants in vegetables and soy foods may help protect against cancer; Reuters reports.

Not surprising, Dr. Fuhrman considers processed meat, like luncheon meat, as one of the worst meat options available and discourages eating them, especially expectant mothers. Women who eat hotdogs while pregnant put their child at risk for brain tumors later in life.

And other research has shown diets high in saturated fat, i.e. meat, increase the progression of prostate cancer, while eating lots of fruits and vegetables stomps breast cancer risk!

Image credit: Bettnet