Hot dogs kill. Or at least that's what Cancer Project president Neil Barnard wants you to know before you dig into a juicy dog at your family barbecue this summer. He's filed a lawsuit against several big processed meat producers, including Oscar Mayer and Hebrew National, demanding their products come with warning labels stating that hot dogs increase the risk of cancer
, in the same way cigarettes carry warning labels about lung cancer, emphysema and so on. Perfectly reasonable or a little extreme?
Consider this: An American Institute for Cancer Research report claims that a 50g serving of processed meat a day (about what you'd get from a hot dog) can increase your risk of colorectal cancer by 21 percent.
This is thought to be because of nitrites -- preservatives used in processed and cured meats that, when broken down in the digestion process, might be carcinogenic. But that hasn't been confirmed yet. Colorectal cancer kills approximately 50,000 people every year in the U.S.
But here's the question we're all dying to ask: Who eats hot dogs every day? For the majority of us, hot dogs are, at best, an occasional indulgence, and most nutrition experts would agree that any singe food in moderation does not pose a substantial risk. Plus, placing warning labels on every item in the supermarket that's ever been linked to cancer leads to the potential for this food hysteria to get out of control.
Your thoughts? Should bad foods come with warning labels, or should we be trusted to make our own choices?