In conjunction with Breast Cancer Awareness Month, medical group Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM) submitted a citizen petition with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to change labeling on cheese to include a cancer warning. In its petition, PCRM—which is comprised of a group of 12,000 doctors—requested that the FDA Commissioner require dairy cheese to bear a label that states: “Dairy cheese contains reproductive hormones that may increase breast cancer mortality risk.” PCRM pointed to several studies that linked dairy cheese consumption to breast cancer, including a 2017 National Institute of Cancer study of 1,941 women found that those who consumed the most high-fat dairy increased their risk of developing breast cancer by 53 percent. “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,” PCRM president Neal Barnard, MD said. “We want women to be aware that dairy cheese could put them at risk of dying from breast cancer.”
Earlier this month, PCRM launched the “Let’s Beat Breast Cancer” campaign, a celebrity-backed initiative which counts couples Jon and Tracey Stewart, Alec and Hilaria Baldwin, and James and Suzy Amis Cameron as supporters. The campaign aims to inspire women to follow four steps to prevent their risk of developing breast cancer: committing to a plant-based diet, limiting alcohol consumption, exercising, and maintaining a healthy body weight.