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Doctors, Nutritionists and Scientists...

On PCRM's Ad Campaign That Uses Child Actors Claiming They Have Colon Cancer to Frighten Consumers

"It's outrageous. The video is exploiting children in the worst possible way. It's appalling to see a child used to advance a political agenda. There is no established relationship between the normal consumption of processed foods and the risk of colon cancer."
-Dr. Ronald E. Kleinman, Unit Chief, Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition at Massachusetts General Hospital

"The thing I hate about this ad is that it really scares the heck out of people and scares the heck out of parents. Neither of the children in this ad do in fact have colon cancer and parents need to know that if their child eats an occasional hot dog, it's not going to give them colon cancer. It's never been proven."
Dr. David Hnida, Medical Editor, CBS Denver

"The science behind the calls to eliminate processed meats from schools is far from conclusive."
United States School Nutrition Association

On the World Cancer Research Fund Report's Conclusions and Recommendations

"Overall, the mechanisms explaining the data [linking meat intake and colorectal cancer] are far from plausible biological mechanisms."
From the Systematic Literature review that accompanies the 2007 WCRF report

"Part of the problem here is that you're only looking at five studies. There's a 2,300 page review on a CD-Rom that accompanies the WCRF report. Ninety percent of the studies are not included in the meta analysis to determine that processed meat is harmful. There's a problem when you're dumping nine out of ten studies."
David Klurfeld, Ph.D, national program leader in human nutrition at the U.S. Department of Agriculture Agricultural Research Service

"The substantial review of the evidence in the WCRF report demonstrates that there is no discernible association between many forms of cancer and specific dietary practices. There are still some very interesting hypotheses to pursue, such as the value of an approach on the basis of the food patterns rather than individual foods and nutrients, but the cupboard is remarkably bare... In view of the fragile grounds on which the conclusions of WCRF report on diet and cancer are based on, the information to the media should have been more cautious."
P. Boyle et al. of the International Agency for Research on Cancer, Annals of Oncology (v. 19, Oct 2008)

On the Meat and Cancer Hypothesis

"The risk we get from things like lack of physical activity, excess body weight, lack of adequate vegetables and fruits, these are much more important to work on..."
Karen Collins, nutrition adviser with the American Institute for Cancer Research
Associated Press, August 26, 2008

"I've been working on the safety of processed meats for over 35 years and I would confidently say that I would urge anyone if they do enjoy the meats, they should not worry about consuming them."
James Coughlin, Ph.D. at the International Association for Food Protection annual conference, August 6, 2008

"For me, the take home message related to meat and cancer is you can still enjoy essentially any type of meat in moderate amounts and not worry at all about a theoretical risk of cancer."
David Klurfeld, Ph.D, national program leader in human nutrition at the U.S. Department of Agriculture Agricultural Research Service

On The Misuse of Epidemiological Studies to Establish Cause and Effect

"Epidemiology is particularly prone to the generation of false-positive results... It further exacerbates the problem in the search for and reporting of weak associations."
Journal of the National Cancer Institute 2008

"...epidemiological studies cannot confirm any association between the presence of nitrites (or nitrates) in food and the formation of NOCs and the causation of human cancer. In fact, studies that suggest a link between nitrites in food and cancer have largely been disputed due to these studies' inability to exclude confounding factors, such as recall bias."
The American Medical Association's literature review of the research into nitrites and cancer

"...journals today are full of studies suggesting that a little risk is not nothing at all. The findings are often touted in press releases by the journals that publish them or by the researchers' institutions, and newspapers and media often report the claims uncritically. And so the anxiety pendulum swings at an ever more dizzying rate."
Science, New Series, Vol. 269, No. 5221. (July 14, 1995)

"With epidemiology stretched to its limits or beyond, studies will inevitably generate false positive and false negative results 'with disturbing frequency'."
Dimitrios Trichopoulos, head of the epidemiology department at the Harvard School of Public Health. Science, New Series, Vol. 269, No. 5221. (July 14, 1995)

"However cautiously the investigator may report his conclusions and stress the need for further evaluation, much of the press will pay little heed to such cautions... By the time the information reaches the public mind, via print or screen, the tentative suggestion is likely to be interpreted as fact."
Brian MacMahon, professor emeritus of epidemiology at Harvard. April 1994 Journal of the National Cancer Institute editorial

On Sodium Nitrite Safety

"The idea it's [sodium nitrite] bad for you has not played out."
Dr. Mark Gladwin, whose groundbreaking research at the National Institutes of Health National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute has identified nitrite's value as a medical treatment for a variety of conditions from heart attack injury to sickle cell anemia. USA Today, Sept. 5, 2005

"The public perception is that nitrite and nitrate are carcinogens but they are not. Many studies implicating nitrite and nitrate in cancer are based on very weak epidemiological data. If nitrite and nitrate were harmful to us, then we would not be advised to eat green leafy vegetables or swallow our own saliva, which is enriched in nitrate and nitrite. Our research is showing that nitrite actually has many health benefits."
Dr. Nathan Bryan, University of Texas Houston Institute of Molecular Medicine

"Nitrite has been suspected to be a carcinogen for several decades, but numerous epidemiologic studies have failed to support consistently a link between nitrate or nitrite and cancer. Recent chronic feeding studies in two rodent species failed to link nitrite, even at extremely high oral dose levels, to cancer. Recent suspicions that nitrite might be a developmental toxicant were also found to lack foundation. Since 93 percent of ingested nitrite comes from normal metabolic sources, if nitrite caused cancers or was a reproductive toxicant, it would imply that humans have a major design flaw."
-Dr. Douglas Archer, former Assistant U.S. Surgeon General and Professor and Past Chair of the University of Florida's Food Science and Human Nutrition Department. Journal of Food Protection, Vol. 65, No. 5, 2002

What kids are saying

"If some people don't like hot dogs, that doesn't mean they (schools) should give them up for everybody." 
-Lauren Rummel, an 8-year-old at Taylor Mill Elementary in Covington, KY 

Added her friend, Gwyneth Pracht: "It would be pretty bad, because they taste so good."

-Cincinnati Enquirer, Oct. 27, 2008

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