Warning labels should be required on packages of bacon, ham, hot dogs, and other processed meat and poultry products to let consumers know that eating these foods is associated with an increased risk of cancer of the colon and rectum or colorectal cancer.
The Center for Science in the Public Interest, a consumer advocacy organization, filed a petition Thursday citing the findings of the International Agency for Research on Cancer, which concluded in 2015 that processed meat is “carcinogenic to humans.”
Eating 50 grams per day of processed meat raises one’s risk of colorectal cancer by about 18 percent. A typical serving of ham, sausage, bologna, or hot dog weighs about 55 grams, about 2 ounces.
Colorectal cancer is the second-leading cause of cancer deaths in the United States and will cause about 49,150 deaths in 2016, according to the American Cancer Society. The ACS urges consumers to “minimize consumption of processed meats such as bacon, sausage, luncheon meats, and hot dogs.” IARC, ACS, and the World Cancer Research Fund all cite research that found an increased risk of colorectal cancer from eating processed meat daily.