Petition for the FDA to require breast cancer warning label on cheese

Yvonne O'Halloran

The Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM) are a non-profit organisation in the United States that has over 12,000 members. They are petitioning this month that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) put a requirement in place that all cheese manufacturers must display a warning label on cheese and dairy products that they contain hormones that may increase breast cancer mortality risk. The petition was submitted on October 3rd, just in time for breast cancer awareness month.

It is important that women understand the potential risks of consuming dairy cheese products and that they are aware there is a link between cheese consumption and breast cancer risk.

The Link between Dairy and Breast Cancer:

Dairy naturally contains estrogens from cows, but when milk is converted into cheese that becomes more concentrated. Although there are only traces, they “appear to be biologically active in humans, increasing breast cancer mortality”.

The PCRM refers to a 2017 study that was funded by the National Cancer Institute and compared the diets of women with breast cancer to those without breast cancer. They found that those who consumed the most American cheddar and cream cheeses had a whopping 53% increased risk for breast cancer. It was found the insulin-like growth factor (1GF-1) and other growth hormones may contribute to the increased cancer risk.

Consumption of high fat dairy products is associated with increased mortality risk, and studies have found that those consuming one or more servings (ice-cream, cheese, whole milk) had a 49% higher risk of dying from breast cancer, compared to those consuming less than a half serving daily.

What About Bone Health:

Research has shown that dairy has little or no benefit to our bone health. One particular study looking ar 96,000 people found that the more milk consumed its teenagers, the more bone fractures they experienced as adults. You can get all the calcium you need from leafy greens and other sources on a plant-based diet.

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