Food Advocacy Group Petitions for Cancer Warnings on Processed Meats

You won’t find the FDA very interested but scholarly scientific studies have linked synthetic additives in commercial (non-organic) chicken to recurrent urinary tract infections and synthetic additives in commercially processed meats to an increased incidence of cancer (including bladder and prostate cancer) and early death. Source

Additionally, the World Health Organization unit known as the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), opted to put processed meat on its cancer list in October 2015.

Now the food advocacy nonprofit Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) has filed a petition requesting the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service to begin requiring colorectal cancer warning labels on certain meat and poultry products.

The petition claims “scientific research has led to the conclusion that processed meat and poultry increases the risk of colorectal cancer.”   Source


Additives in Processed Meats

What is in processed meat in the U.S.?  Additives include nitrites / nitrates, BHA, BHT, benzoates, calcium propionate, gallates, synthetic phosphates, GMOs (via animal feed) and the subsequent increase in pesticide residue, autolyzed yeast and calcium caseinate (these last two can trigger reactions in the body similar to that of monosodium glutamate, or MSG), animal drugs and antibiotics, and a host of other preservatives and additives are all standard fare in the processed meat aisle of U.S. grocery stores.

Processed meats.   Over in the processed meat section (such as hot dogs and sausage), enhanced meat (like self-basting turkeys), frozen meat, and packaged lunch meat, as well as the aisles featuring processed fish (such as canned, processed, marinated, fermented, smoked, breaded, and frozen versions), there are a number of chemicals of concern these food items may contain including:


hydrochloric acid,

sodium carboxymethylcellulose,

potassium phosphate,

calcium ascorbate,

sodium acetate,

sorbic acid,

sodium erythorbate,

disodium guanylate,

sodium gluconate,

citric acid,

partially hydrogenated vegetable oil,

sodium phosphate,

sodium propionate,

soy protein,

sodium caseinate,

calcium propionate,

potassium sulfate,

TVP (textured vegetable protein, textured soy protein),

disodium inosinate,

hydrochloric acid,

sodium sorbate,

calcium lactate,

dipotassium phosphate (DKP),

guar gum,

sodium sulfate,

monoammonium glutamate,

calcium phosphate,


sodium hexametaphosphate,

yeast extract,






All of these additives sans any warnings on the labels for consumers, of course.  Which is all pretty astounding given the number of scientific findings linking processed meats containing these additives with various types of cancers, kidney and heart disease, high blood pressure and heart failure.