Group Wants Cancer Warning on Hot Dog Packages

The Cancer Project filed a lawsuit in Essex County, N.J., on Wednesday, asking the court on behalf of three state residents to compel hot dog makers to put a cancer warning label on packages, the Los Angeles Times reported.

Americans paid $3.4 billion for 730 million packages of hot dogs and sausages in supermarkets last year, according to the National Hot Dog & Sausage Council.

The group, a branch of the Washington, D.C.-based activist group Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, wants the label to read: “Warning: Consuming hot dogs and other processed meats increases the risk of cancer.”

The Cancer Project is seeking class-action status for the suit. Defendants include Nathan’s Famous, Kraft Foods (which owns Oscar Mayer), Sara Lee, Marathon Enterprises and ConAgra Foods (which owns Hebrew National), according to the Times.

Nutritionists said in response that the science is more complicated than the Cancer Project implies, and also that such a warning label would not be effective in regard to public health.

“If we were to evaluate each food for its naturally occurring toxins and eliminate that food, then our food plate would be empty,” said Roger Clemens, a nutrition expert at the University of Southern California Pharmacy School.

What about Spinach?

Rancher and agriculture advocate Trent Loos responded to the announcement by The Cancer Project by asking the question,

If spinach is healthy, shouldn’t hot dogs be healthy too?

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