Safety Zone
By: James Marsden

The truth about the 'food police' suing hot dog makers

Source of Article:

(The views and opinions expressed in this blog are strictly those of the author.)

Last 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. 


On the 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:


1.       The PCRM advocates for a vegan diet

2.       People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA)has donated more than $1.3 million to PCRM

3.       PCRM also argues that consuming dairy products is unhealthful

4.       The 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

5.       The 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 physicians

The 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.


Nitrites are 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 agenda.

7/24/2009 11:04 AM 


Main Page

setstats            Copyright (C) All rights reserved under

            If you have any comments, please  send your email to