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Doctors Urge FDA To Place Breast Cancer Warnings On Cheese Products


The Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine or PCRM petitioned the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to introduce breast cancer warnings on all dairy cheese products.

The Washington, DC-based research non-profit organization with more than 12,000 doctor members, wants the warning on the label to be "Dairy cheese contains reproductive hormones that may increase breast cancer mortality risk."

PCRM requested the agency to prominently place the notice on product packaging and labeling to make sure that people understand the potential significant risks, and resulting long-term costs, of consuming dairy cheese products.

The petition was submitted on October 3, as Breast Cancer Awareness Month began.

In a statement, the organization noted that dairy products contain traces of estrogens from cows, and as milk is converted to cheese, the estrogens are more concentrated. Even though only traces, the estrogens appear to be biologically active in humans, increasing breast cancer mortality.

The petition cited many studies linking consumption of cheese and other high-fat dairy products to increased risk of breast cancer.

PCRM quoted The Life After Cancer Epidemiology study that daily consumption of one or more servings of high-fat dairy products by women previously diagnosed with breast cancer had a 49 percent higher breast cancer mortality. This compared to those consuming less than one-half serving daily.

As per a 2017 study funded by the National Cancer Institute, those who consumed the most American, cheddar, and cream cheeses had a 53 percent increased risk for breast cancer.

PCRM president Neal Barnard said, "Instead of cheese manufacturers like Kraft slapping a pink ribbon on products like Philadelphia Cream Cheese and Macaroni & Cheese, as they have done during previous Breast Cancer Awareness Months, they should be adding warning labels. We want women to be aware that dairy cheese could put them at risk of dying from breast cancer."

The Centers for Disease Control or CDC has reported breast cancer among the most common causes of death in women. In 2016, 245,299 new cases of female breast cancer were reported, of which 41,487 women died in the United States.

In July, findings from the French NutriNet-Santé cohort study had suggested a possible link between sugary drinks and cancer. According to the researchers, a 100 mL per day increase in the consumption of sugary drinks was associated with a 22 percent increased risk of breast cancer.

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