UNITED STATES: American Meat Institute Foundation President James Hodges responds to yesterday’s MeatNews article on recent research regarding a possible connection between nitrates in hot dogs and cancer.
The August 16 issue of MeatNews contained an article titled “Hot Dogs Linked to Cancer” that highlights research by Dr. Sidney Mirvish of the James Hodges, president of the American Meat Institute Foundation, Washington, D.C., issued the following comments about this MeatNews article:
“This study in no way reflects real-world hot dog manufacturing or nitrite use in hot dogs or cured meats broadly. In creating his “hot dog patties” for the study, Dr. Mirvish has used an extremely high level of nitrite--far higher than those used in today’s cured meats. In his study, he also does not add ascorbate or erythorbate, which are forms of vitamin C, which are commonly added to today’s cured meats. Vitamin C actually prevents nitrosamine formation.
“Therefore, this study cannot be used to call into question hot dog safety. This study also is a preliminary report and the author himself concedes that it requires further investigation.
“Few people realize that 93 percent of human nitrite exposure comes from vegetables and human saliva. When nitrate in vegetables comes into contact with bacteria in saliva, it is converted to nitrite. Vegetables are the very foods that we are told prevent cancer.
“When taken in the context of all the research that has been done about nitrite safety and cured meats, in particular, it is clear that hot dogs and all cured meats are safe and can be enjoyed as part of a healthy, balanced diet.”
Web posted: August 18, 2006
"Few people realize that 93 percent of human nitrite exposure comes from vegetables and human saliva."