“Dairy cheese contains reproductive hormones that may increase breast cancer mortality risk.” That’s the warning label the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine — a nonprofit with more than 12,000 doctor members — is petitioning the Food and Drug Administration to require cheese manufacturers to prominently display on all dairy cheese products.
To mark Breast Cancer Awareness Month, the Physicians Committee has submitted a petition to the US Food and Drug Administration asking it take action.
The Physicians Committee says dairy products contain traces of estrogens from cows, and as milk is converted to cheese, the estrogens are more concentrated. While they are only traces, they appear to be biologically active in humans, increasing breast cancer mortality.
“Instead of cheese manufacturers like Kraft slapping a pink ribbon on products like Philadelphia Cream Cheese and Macaroni & Cheese, as they have done during previous Breast Cancer Awareness Months, they should be adding warning labels,” says Physicians Committee president Neal Barnard, MD, author of ‘The Cheese Trap and Your Body in Balance’. “We want women to be aware that dairy cheese could put them at risk of dying from breast cancer.”
The petition cites several studies linking consumption of cheese and other high-fat dairy products to increased risk of breast cancer.
“High-fat dairy products, such as cheese, are associated with an increased risk for breast cancer, according to a 2017 study funded by the National Cancer Institute. Researchers examined the dietary intakes of 1,941 women diagnosed with breast cancer and compared them with the diets of women without breast cancer. The results showed that those who consumed the most American, cheddar, and cream cheeses had a 53 percent increased risk for breast cancer,” says the petition.
New data from the Women’s Health Initiative show that a lower-fat, higher-carbohydrate diet emphasizing fruits, vegetables, and grains resulted in long-term health benefits, it says.
According to Canadian Cancer Society estimates, 26,900 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in 2019. This represents 25% of all new cancer cases in women in 2019. 5,000 women will die from breast cancer which represents 13% of all cancer deaths in women in 2019.
On average, 74 Canadian women will be diagnosed with breast cancer every day in 2019 while on average, 14 Canadian women will die from breast cancer every day.
230 men will be diagnosed with breast cancer in 2019 and 55 will die from breast cancer.