Federal court drops 'frivolous' hot dog lawsuit

by Bryan Salvage
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WASHINGTON — The American Meat Institute (A.M.I.) said late last week that a frivolous, nuisance lawsuit filed through the vegan, animal rights group, the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (P.C.R.M.) and its “Cancer Project” has been dismissed.

Last July, three New Jersey residents filed a class-action lawsuit in New Jersey against several hot dog manufacturers claiming they were exposed to carcinogens by eating hot dogs — even though none of the plaintiffs had actually developed cancer, A.M.I. explains. The lawsuit sought money damages and an order that hot dogs bear a warning label.

The hot dog makers filed a motion to dismiss the case and on March 18, 2010, Judge Jose Linares in the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey granted that motion.

"We are pleased that the court moved quickly and dismissed this lawsuit, recognizing it for the nuisance that it is," said J. Patrick Boyle, A.M.I. president. "Meat products are regulated and inspected by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and bear the federal government's seal of inspection, showing they are wholesome and nutritious. The lawsuit argued for warning labels on our products, but warning labels would be more appropriately placed on P.C.R.M.'s Web sites and press releases to alert consumers to that organization’s true anti-meat agenda."

The U.S. Dietary Guidelines affirm that processed meat and poultry products — including hot dogs — can be a healthy part of a balanced diet, Mr. Boyle said.

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