Put Warning Labels on Cancer-Causing Processed Meats

Target: Michael Taylor, Deputy Commissioner for Foods at the FDA

Goal: Require warning labels to be placed on processed meats found to cause cancer.

The World Health Organization (WHO) just announced that processed meats such as hot dogs, bacon, and sausages can cause cancer. In fact, these meats were placed in the same category as cigarettes and asbestos. The report is based off of research that was performed by a group of 22 scientists from ten different countries. We must place warning labels on these meats at grocery stores so that consumers are aware of these dangerous foods.

The International Agency for Research on Cancer, who sponsored the study, stated that while some meat has certain health benefits, there are inherent risks involved when consuming even small amounts of processed meats. Additionally, risks increase as more meat is consumed. Within the study, the main type of cancer found as a result of meat consumption was colorectal cancer- cancer of the colon or rectum. The scientists discovered that eating just 1.5 ounces of processed meat each day increases colorectal cancer risk by about 18 percent.

The meats found to be the most cancer-causing are bacon, hot dogs, and sausages. However, the WHO included in its announcement that red meats such as beef, pork, veal, and lamb are also likely to be carcinogenic.

Consumers have the right to be informed of any life-threatening risks that may come with the food they purchase. Sign this petition to urge the FDA to require hot dog, sausage, and bacon packages to have warning labels.


Dear Deputy Commissioner Taylor,

I am writing in regards to cancer-causing processed meats. The report, announced by the World Health Organization, placed hot dogs, bacon, and sausage in the same category as cigarettes and asbestos. The research, conducted by 22 scientists from around the globe, showed that consuming just a small amount of these meats can increase colorectal cancer risk by 18 percent. This is both a significant and a frightening amount.

While other red meats were studied and found to likely be carcinogenic, I am most concerned with processed meats, which were deemed definitely carcinogenic. This is disturbing to me since hot dogs, bacon, and sausages are staples in the diets of many Americans.

By placing warning labels on processed meats sold in grocery stores, consumers will be informed of the cancer risk. Hopefully, as a result, less dangerous meat will be consumed and rates of colorectal cancer will decrease. I am urging you to take steps to require these potentially life-saving labels to be placed on processed meats.


[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Steven Depolo

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