The Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM) has filed a petition with the USDA, asking them to remove cancer-causing processed meats from school menus. Not only does the petition request that the USDA stop offering processed meats for purchase, subsidies, and reimbursement for the National School Lunch Program and School Breakfast Program, it also implores them to instead encourage offering health, plant-based alternatives.
The “Drop the Dog” campaign was relaunched after a failed attempt, through its Cancer Project subsidiary, to remove carcinogenic meats from children’s lunches in 2009. The USDA responded by denying the petition due to lacking “consensus documents of the U.S. Government or of the leading world bodies with cancer expertise,” yet stated that they would reconsider if new evidence emerged.
The lastest World Health Organization report linking cancer and processed meats took the world by storm last month and may be just what the PCRM needs to convince the USDA to ban harmful, junky meats from kids’ lunches - or at least make them look shameful for denying the petition in the wake of the recent consumer awareness and concern.