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A cancer group has sued some of the biggest hot dog producers in the country, seeking to force them to put warning labels on their dogs. The group contends that just like cigarette companies must warn about the health effects of their product, hot dog companies should be forced to warn about the cancer increasing effects of processed meat.
According to the AP, the Cancer Project's suit is aimed at Kraft Foods (who makes Oscan Meyer dogs), Sara Lee, Nathan's Famous and the makers of Hebrew National and Sabrett brands.
It is a consumer class action suit, brought by the Cancer Project on behalf of individuals who bought hot dogs without being made aware of the health risks associated. The warning label sought would read: "Warning: Consuming hot dogs and other processed meats increases the risk of cancer."
According to the Cancer Project, Americans wolfed down 1.5 million pounds of hot dogs in 2006. This year, in ballparks alone, there are 21 million dogs expected to be sold (according to a survey by the National Hot Dog and Sausage Council).
On its website, the group cites a report from the American Institute for Cancer Research stating that regular consumption of processed meat leads to increased risk of collorectal and other forms of cancer.
Some grim statistics they cite:
As Neal Barnard, M.D., president of the Cancer Project put it: "[j]ust as tobacco causes lung cancer, processed meats are linked to colon cancer. ... Companies that sell hot dogs are well aware of the danger, and their customers deserve the same information."