Newbie – Drive-Thru Cancer? YUM!

        I always joke when I see a cheese stick or any type of meat on the bone, I call it, cancer on a stick.  People laugh and I usually let them think I am joking, but today I read a couple of articles that prove my point. (about the meat)

       PCRM (Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine) Publishes “Good Medicine” magazine quarterly. Their Autumn 2009 had an eye opening article titled, “Cancer in a bucket”.  It targets KFC’s new grilled chicken idea. ” Taste the un-fried side of KFC. Its easier than ever to keep it balanced with KFC’s new Kentucky grilled chicken –the better-for-you option for health-conscious customers who love KFC’s finger lickin’ flavor.”  It sounds healthy enough right? WRONG! I know animal products aren’t ideal for our bodies, but I was surprised to read just how bad it really is.

A PCRM scientist visited 6 KFC locations and took two samples from each place. When tested by independent labs, EACH piece was found to contain a chemical called PhIP.  Because I don’t want to get it wrong, I am quoting straight from the article:

“PhIP is part of a chemical family known as heterocyclic amines (HCAs) and has been linked to cancer in numerous scientific studies. The National Toxicology Program administered by the National Institutes of Health has identified PhIP as carcinogenic, as has the International Agency for Research on Cancer. 

Scientists have not found a safe level of PhIP consumption—it appears to increase cancer risk even at very low levels. Grilled chicken is the largest source.

PhIP and other HCAs are formed from the creatinine, amino acids, and sugar found in muscle tissue. They are produced by long cooking times and hot temperatures. When chicken and other meats are grilled, pan fried, or barbecued, these chemicals are produced. Every KFC sample also tested positive for at least one additional HCA.

As mutagens, HCAs can bind directly to DNA and cause mutations—the first step in cancer development. Recent studies have shown that the consumption of well-done meats is associated with an increased risk of cancers of the colon, rectum, esophagus, lung, larynx, pancreas, prostate, stomach, and breast.”

Ummmm…. SCARY!  It just frustrates me that a warning isn’t stamped on each bucket! As consumers we have the right to know what we are eating. I am all for people making their own choices. I am not here to say who should eat what, but I do want the ability to make an educated desicion… right? Don’t you?

For those who live in California, there is a public health law known as Proposition 65, which states that consumers must be warned about products that contain known carcinogens. PCRM is currently suing for knowingly exposing customers to PhIP without warning them of the the risk. The seven chains include; McDonald’s, Chili’s, Outback,  Apple-bee’s, Chick-fil-a, TGI Fridays, and of course KFC. The lawsuit is based on independent laboratory tests that found PhIP in 100 grilled chicken samples from the seven restaurant chains.

Lucky for California people, but for the rest of us, we will just have to continue to do our own research. Thanks PCRM for the great article. To read  the full article click here

*PCRM also sued Burger King. They were the first of the restaurants to settle the lawsuit. As part of its agreement with PCRM, Burger King has posted warning signs in its California restaurants to alert customers that its grilled chicken products contain PhIP.

Source: WFM Blog 16

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