Hot dogs should carry a warning label, lawsuit says
Charlie Neibergall / Associated Press
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. Read More
When the public just won’t believe you that hot dogs are poisonous and give you cancer then sue them into accepting your agenda. At least that is the methodology being used by the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine. Does it sound responsible to compare hot dogs to cigarettes? And that’s the problem with their radical agenda aimed at deciding what you can and can’t eat. It obviously doesn’t resonate well with reasonable people who don’t wish to have their dietary choices being decided for the.