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Ads in Newark Penn Station Seek Hot Dog Lawsuit Plaintiffs

This fall, commuters passing through Newark Penn Station will be exposed to a case of intrigue with consequences as deadly as Murder on the Orient Express. Twenty-four large PCRM wall posters will alert them that consuming hot dogs increases their risk of cancer—and that the big corporations selling those hot dogs and other processed meats don’t want the public to know about the danger.

You Want Cancer With That? Hot Dog AdBut PCRM hasn’t merely exposed the cover-up. As the signs say, “Think someone should sue to protect customers? We do.” And we will. Placed throughout Newark Penn Station—the biggest train station in New Jersey, with an average weekly ridership of 264,650—the signs invite New Jersey residents who have purchased and consumed processed meat to join the PCRM hot dog lawsuit.

The primary remedy the lawsuit will seek is warning messages—posted prominently on all retail packages and advertising in New Jersey—advising consumers that hot dogs and other processed meats contain known and probable carcinogens. PCRM wants to stop these corporations from unlawfully concealing the fact that processed meat products increase the risk of colorectal cancer and the growing evidence that processed meats also heighten the danger of cancers of the esophagus, lung, stomach, and prostate.

No later than 1994, many of the companies that are potential defendants in the lawsuit knew or should have known that their products contained known or probably human carcinogens.

The lawsuit is based, in part, on a comprehensive report released late last year by the American Institute for Cancer Research and the World Cancer Research Fund. After reviewing all existing data on nutrition and cancer risk, researchers concluded that eating processed meat increases one’s risk of colorectal cancer, on average, by 21 percent for every 50 grams consumed daily. (A 50-gram serving is approximately the size of a typical hot dog.) The landmark report states unequivocally that no amount of processed meat is considered safe to eat.

Had consumers been informed of the presence of known and probable carcinogens in their processed meat products, many, if not most, consumers would have chosen to avoid the increased risk of cancer by choosing more healthful foods.

To join the hot dog lawsuit, contact PCRM at 202-527-7314 or


PCRM Online, October 2008

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