I received this email from Dr. Neal Barnard, president of the Physicians
Committee for Responsible Medicine — a non-profit organization that works
tirelessly to educate people about plant-based nutrition. This is an
issue that is near and dear to me as my mother died of colon cancer.
I'd like to help prevent anyone from having to go through this
disease. Our doctors tell us to get a colonoscopy at age 40 or 50, and other less invasive screenings to check for blood in the stool, but we
aren't hearing a whole lot about prevention or about the causes.
Processed meats are linked to colon cancer. So why are we still feeding
luncheon meats to our children? Why are they still being served in our
school lunch programs?
So, as the old saying goes, "an ounce of prevention is worth more than a pound of cure." Dr. Barnard wrote:
"On October 9 we took a monumental step forward to protect our kids. The Cancer Project, PCRM's affiliate organization, filed a formal
petition with the U.S. Department of Agriculture demanding a halt to
the distribution of hot dogs and other processed meats to our nation’s
children through the National School Lunch Program. These products have
been shown to increase the risk of cancer in adulthood.
The petition sites a report by the American Institute for Cancer
Research and the World Cancer Research Fund which reviewed 58 research
studies and concluded that 'processed meat is a convincing cause of
The petition also includes declarations of support
from several prominent nutrition and cancer experts, including Walter
Willett, M.D., Dr. P.H., chair of the department of nutrition at the
Harvard School of Public Health. Just as tobacco causes lung cancer, processed meats are linked to
colon cancer. Serving these products to children is no longer
defensible. The federal government should be encouraging schools to
serve healthful foods.
Join the fight! Keep our kids healthy by signing our petition to Department of Agriculture Secretary Schafer.
And when you are done, please forward this to a friend! Together, our work to eradicate diet-related cancer will continue to move forward."