Hot dogs are gross; there’s just no getting around it. They are made from left over parts and full of nitrates. Unfortunately, they are part of American food culture, what little there is, and a summer time mainstay from ball parks to BBQs across the country. New Jersey residents have filed a class action lawsuit accusing five companies of consumer fraud and demanding hot dog labels come with a warning: “Warning: Consuming hot dogs and other processed meats increases the risk of cancer.”
Neal Barnard, MD, president of the Cancer Project, explains the dangers of eating hot dogs:
Just as tobacco causes lung cancer, processed meats are linked to colon cancer. Companies that sell hot dogs are well aware of the danger, and their customers deserve the same information.
The five companies being sued are Nathan’s Famous, Kraft Foods/Oscar Mayer, Sara Lee, Con Agra Foods, and Marathon Enterprises. Environment News Service reports on the scientific basis of the lawsuit:
A 2007 report from the American Institute for Cancer Research, based on 58 scientific studies, shows that one 50-gram (1.7 ounce) serving of processed meat – about the amount in one hot dog – consumed daily increases the risk of colorectal cancer, on average, by 21 percent…The other scientific study cited in the lawsuit was published in March 2009 by the National Cancer Institute. Based on questionnaires filled out over 10 years by more than half a million people, NCI researchers found that people who eat more red meat and processed meats appear to have a “modestly increased risk of death” from all causes and also from cancer and heart disease.
I guess colorectal cancer is as American as hot dogs and baseball. What’s next? Apple pie?