More Scares for Parents from Animal Rights Group

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Using the untimely death of former White House press secretary Tony Snow from colon cancer as an example, the animal rights activists misleadingly called the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM) imply that such a fate awaits children who are fed hot dogs as part of school lunches.

In an egregious attempt to frighten parents, PCRM today warned that allowing children to eat processed meats such as hot dogs or baloney would set them up for cancer later in life.

Although cloaked as concern for children's health, this warning is simply part of PCRM's animal rights agenda to promote their view that we should all become vegans (we've written before about PCRM). The group misses no chance to impugn the safety or healthfulness of any food derived from animals, including meat and dairy (their infamous "Got Cancer?" campaign of a few years ago tried to scare men about the alleged, unfounded risk of prostate cancer from milk).

While no responsible nutrition professional would advocate feeding children processed meats in large amounts every day, moderate amounts won't harm them -- and who can go to a ballgame and resist the hot dogs that make the day complete? Lighten up, PCRM. The reports you cited are certainly not the final word on cancer causation, and it is not necessary to go vegan in order to be healthy.

Ruth Kava, Ph.D., R.D., is Director of Nutrition at the American Council on Science and Health (,