Activists hot dog warning is a real car wreck

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USA Today reports that a group referring to themselves as doctors wants NASCAR fans to stop eating hot dogs and race to a vegan diet. The Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM), a Washington DC activist group, has put up a billboard near the Indianapolis Motor Speedway with the alarmist statement, Warning: Hot dogs can wreck your health, alongside a picture depicting hot dogs in a skull and crossbones-emblazoned cigarette pack. The display is supposedly aimed at warning consumers that daily consumption of hot dogs (and other processed meats) has been linked to a cancer risk; or, in the words of PCRM nutrition committee director Susan Levin, A hot dog a day could send you to an early grave.

Aside from granting coverage to this farcical story in the first place, what most of the news stories fail to mention is that PCRM is an arm of PETA. That is, it is not a science-based group or a medical group, it is a vehemently pro-vegan and animal rights group. Meanwhile, actual experts in the field of epidemiology, such as the American Cancer Society, say that, while hot dogs aren t exactly a health food, they certainly aren t toxic, and can be consumed in moderation. As ACSH s Dr. Elizabeth Whelan points out, given their salt and fat content, the reason to avoid frequent indulgence in hot dogs is certainly not because of cancer.