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Thread: Hot dogs should carry a warning label, lawsuit says

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    Elite Member celeb_2006's Avatar
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    Default Hot dogs should carry a warning label, lawsuit says

    Hot dogs should carry a warning label, lawsuit says - Los Angeles Times

    The suit, by a group that promotes a meat-free diet, seeks to require cancer-risk labels on processed meats. Nutrition experts say foods that go along with the hot dog may be more dangerous.
    By Jerry Hirsch

    July 23, 2009

    "Warning: Consuming hot dogs and other processed meats increases the risk of cancer."

    That's the label that a vegan advocacy group wants a New Jersey court to order Oscar Mayer, Hebrew National and other food companies to slap on hot dog 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.

    "It wouldn't change how many hot dogs I eat. Not at all," said Urdang, an information technology consultant from Hollywood.

    His friend Joe Di Lauro, 31, called such a move "overpolicing. . . . At what point do you stop breaking things down? Unless we're going to put a warning label on every single food and say what's bad in it."

    Other consumers were skeptical of the Cancer Project's agenda.

    "Vegans complaining about hot dogs is like the Amish complaining about gas prices," said Susan Thatcher of Irvine.

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

    Nutrition experts say that the science is far more complicated and that slapping warning labels on the staple of baseball games and picnics would not have much effect on public health.

    "If one were to call for a 'black label' on frankfurters, where should the warning label end? 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 USC's pharmacy school.

    The industry is dead set against such warning labels.

    "These proposals are unfounded. Hot dogs have been enjoyed by consumers for more than 100 years," said Sydney Lindner, a Kraft spokeswoman.

    The Cancer Project is a branch of the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, a group that lobbies against animal research and pitches the adoption of meat-free diets.

    In the lawsuit, the Cancer Project cites the role of nitrites, preservatives used in cured and processed meats such as hot dogs, in the development of cancer-forming agents.

    During digestion, nitrites break down into nitrosamines and other N-nitroso compounds that are considered carcinogens.

    Although some medical studies link red and processed meats to cancer risk, it's not clear whether it is because of the nitrites or other factors such as high fat content.

    Said Keith-Thomas Ayoob, a nutritionist at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York: "There is speculation that nitrosamines can increase cancer risk when consumed in large amounts and frequently. Occasionally should cause no worry. The stuff people typically have with a hot dog may be a more immediate concern: too many calories from all the fat-laden potato and macaroni salads, sugary drinks and sweet desserts."

    An American Institute for Cancer Research report cited in the lawsuit notes that one 50-gram serving of processed meat -- about the amount in one hot dog -- consumed daily increases the risk of colorectal cancer 21% on average. Colorectal cancer kills about 50,000 Americans annually.

    But a 2004 analysis by Harvard University researchers of pooled data from 14 studies in North America and Europe did not find a similar link between various red and processed meats and cancer. But they did find that higher consumption of poultry and fish may be associated with a lower risk of colorectal cancer.

    The lawsuit acknowledges debate over how the consumption of some types of meats leads to greater cancer risk, but it argues that that doesn't negate a need for warnings on hot dogs.

    "This situation is similar to the link between the smoking of tobacco products and lung cancer: While all the molecular events linking the smoking of tobacco to the development of lung cancer are not known, the link cannot be disputed," the lawsuit states.

    There may be arguments for broader health warnings about red meat consumption, but the bigger risk is of heart disease rather than cancer, said Michael Jacobson, executive director of the Center for Science in the Public Interest.

    "Though I favor warning notices in certain circumstances, the overuse of warnings can lead to 'warning fatigue,' " Jacobson said. "Eating hot dogs occasionally is not by itself worrisome."

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    Elite Member sputnik's Avatar
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    i hate militant vegans.
    they're vegan. can't they just be happy eating their vegetables and tofu? why do they want to push their beliefs onto the rest of the world?

    "Vegans complaining about hot dogs is like the Amish complaining about gas prices," said Susan Thatcher of Irvine.
    I'm open to everything. When you start to criticise the times you live in, your time is over. - Karl Lagerfeld

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    Friend of Gossip Rocks! buttmunch's Avatar
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    "Vegans complaining about hot dogs is like the Amish complaining about gas prices," said Susan Thatcher of Irvine.

    I'm so stealing that line.
    'Those who sacrifice liberty for security deserve neither.' Ben Franklin

    "When fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying the cross."
    --Sinclair Lewis

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    Quote Originally Posted by sputnik View Post
    i hate militant vegans.
    they're vegan. can't they just be happy eating their vegetables and tofu? why do they want to push their beliefs onto the rest of the world?
    Because it would make the world a better place? Cleaner air, water, less cruelty, fewer fat people, less CHD, fewer cancers, less diabetes. The number one contributor to global warming is the livestock sector--more than transportation.

    I'm against overconsumption in all forms and overpopulation as well.

    Instead of hating vegans, you would do well to wish there were a lot more of them. That also goes for people riding bicycles instead of driving, people opting out of reproduction, etc.

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    Elite Member McJag's Avatar
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    Oh. Dear.
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    Elite Member Kittylady's Avatar
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    The only impact that this article has had one me is to make me crave hotdogs.

    And make room on the "haters" bench, Sput. After working with a militant vegetarian who made every lunch break a misery I'm willing to join you there. I like meat. I enjoy meat. I'm going to keep on eating meat. In fact, seeing as though there's no hotdogs in at home I might go and make a bacon sandwich instead.

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    Silver Member mrsJB's Avatar
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    ^i agree. shut the fuck up and gimme my steak.
    fyi. the cheese hot dogs are the BOMB. got some at home and can't wait for work to end so i can eat 'em. i usually eat 3 or 4 at a sitting too, thankuverymuch.
    I'm not loafing, I just work so fast I'm always finished.

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    Elite Member sputnik's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by marina View Post
    Because it would make the world a better place? Cleaner air, water, less cruelty, fewer fat people, less CHD, fewer cancers, less diabetes. The number one contributor to global warming is the livestock sector--more than transportation.

    I'm against overconsumption in all forms and overpopulation as well.

    Instead of hating vegans, you would do well to wish there were a lot more of them. That also goes for people riding bicycles instead of driving, people opting out of reproduction, etc.
    i don't go around preaching to my vegetarian and vegan friends about how they should eat meat. they don't preach to me and tell me to stop eating meat. people need to keep their beliefs to themselves and respect others' choices. i said i hated militant vegans. it's the same with religion. i don't care what god you pray to as long as you're not hounding me about my spiritual choices.
    I'm open to everything. When you start to criticise the times you live in, your time is over. - Karl Lagerfeld

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    Elite Member McJag's Avatar
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    Hear,hear!
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    Elite Member DeadDwarf's Avatar
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    Jesus, I worked with tons of hardcore vegans. And I would laugh when they preached to meat eaters because they were all binge drinkers, chain smokers and drank coffee like there was no tomorrow.

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    Elite Member ManxMouse's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DeadDwarf View Post
    Jesus, I worked with tons of hardcore vegans. And I would laugh when they preached to meat eaters because they were all binge drinkers, chain smokers and drank coffee like there was no tomorrow.
    ?But those activities don't generally involve animal products???

    I don't know, it goes both ways....where I'm from, meat eaters are WAY WAY more rude, defensive, obnoxious and arrogant towards veggie-eaters than vice versa...and they don't have the advantage of not fucking up the earth.
    Santa is an elitist mother fucker -- giving expensive shit to rich kids and nothing to poor kids.

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    Elite Member Penny Lane's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sputnik View Post
    i don't go around preaching to my vegetarian and vegan friends about how they should eat meat. they don't preach to me and tell me to stop eating meat. people need to keep their beliefs to themselves and respect others' choices. i said i hated militant vegans. it's the same with religion. i don't care what god you pray to as long as you're not hounding me about my spiritual choices.
    I'm a vegetarian by choice (even thought I eat some fish/crustaceans occasionally) and I don't let what I eat limit how I interact with people I know (or people I don't know, for that matter). If I spent every meal basically blaming their eating habits for the obesity and cancer I'd just be reinforcing the stereotype of the pushy, preachy non-meat eater. People could co-exist if they weren't going all Jehovah style, trying to convert meat eaters. Even I find it annoying.

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    Elite Member DeadDwarf's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ManxMouse View Post
    ?But those activities don't generally involve animal products???

    I don't know, it goes both ways....where I'm from, meat eaters are WAY WAY more rude, defensive, obnoxious and arrogant towards veggie-eaters than vice versa...and they don't have the advantage of not fucking up the earth.
    It was hilarious because they were vegan because of HEALTH reasons, it wasn't because of animals. So here they are preaching of their healthy diet, while drinking, smoking and drinking coffee all day. I didn't do any of that ever, but I was told I was going to get cancer because I ate BBQ's meat.

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    Elite Member *DIVA!'s Avatar
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    I so want a hot dog wrapped in bologna... Going to Attmanns for lunch.

    ETA: I wasn't being snarky... thread gave me a craving
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    Elite Member qwerty's Avatar
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    The country would be a much better place if everyone just minded their own business and carried on. As a mostly vegetarian, why do I care if someone chooses to eat a carcinogenic, heavily processed meat product? Nobody is forcing it down his throat. He can read nutritional labels just like the rest of us.

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