week, the Los Angeles Times reported that an activist group called The
Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine
(PCRM) through their “Cancer Project”
filed a lawsuit in New Jersey asking a court to compel hot dog makers to
put a cancer warning label on packages.
surface the PCRM appears to be a group of concerned physicians advocating
public health. Here are some facts
about this organization that raise questions about their agenda:
The PCRM advocates for a vegan diet http://www.vrg.org/nutshell/vegan.htm
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA)has donated more
than $1.3 million to PCRM
PCRM also argues that consuming dairy products is unhealthful
American Council on Science and Health is critical of PCRM's nutritional
policies, saying that the group emphasize and exaggerate the reliability
of certain research, to further an animal rights agenda http://www.acsh.org/
PCRM has been criticized because "Less than 5% of their members are
physicians", which can lead to misinformation about food. They have
also been characterized as an animal rights group undercovered as
argument against hot dogs and processed meats goes back to the 1970’s.
Hams, hot dogs and many other processed meats are cured using low levels
of sodium nitrite. The levels of nitrite in processed meats when they are
consumed are even lower because the nitrite is reduced when it combines
with proteins in the meat to form the traditional cured meat color.
necessary to form the color and to develop the flavor of cured meats.
Nitrites also have important antimicrobial properties, including control
of Clostridium botulinum (Nitrite
inhibition of Clostridium botulinum: electron spin resonance detection of
iron-nitric oxide complexes Reddy et al.
Science 19 August 1983: 769-770 DOI: 10.1126/science.6308761). The public
health risk/benefit analysis that occurred during the 1970s and continues
to the present supports the use of nitrite in cured meats.
If consumers had a better
understanding of the quality of ingredients used in today’s hot dogs and
the excellent sanitation employed in RTE plants, they would be impressed.
Hot dogs and other processed meats products are also available in low-fat
or even no-fat varieties. As the
father of a very health conscious teenage girl, I see firsthand every day
how low-fat and no-fat hot dogs, sliced turkey breast and other processed
meats contribute to a healthy diet.
There seems to be a renewed effort to force the extreme
nutritional views of activists on the general population, including
school children. We don’t need self appointed “food police” asking courts
to require warning labels on foods or telling consumers what they should
or shouldn’t eat, especially when they are promoting an animal rights