The Center for Science in the Public Interests wants a warning label like this placed on packages of processed meats.
The Center for Science in the Public Interest wants warning labels on packages of processed meats. (photo: CSPI)

The Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) recently petitioned the US Dept. of Agriculture to require a warning label on packages of processed meat and poultry products, including bacon.

The labels are intended to warn consumers that consumption of bacon, ham, hot dogs and other processed meats is associated with an increased risk of colon and colorectal cancers.

“Consumers deserve these warning labels to help them make informed choices about the foods they eat,” said Michael F. Jacobson, CSPI executive director. “Consumers who want to reduce their cancer risk may avoid processed meats or eat them much less often; other people may simply ignore the label. But without question, USDA should give people that choice.”

CSPI is asking for labels on all meat and poultry products that are smoked, cured, salted or have preservatives added. The warning label would bear the message: “USDA Warning: Frequent consumption of processed meat products may increase your risk of developing cancer of the colon and rectum. To protect your health, limit consumption of such products.”

Jacobson acknowledged the chances are slim that the incoming Trump administration would implement warning labels on processed meats.

“But at CSPI we’re used to taking the long view,” he said. “We will continue pushing for regulatory measures that will protect the health of Democrats, Republicans, and all others.”