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Dairy cheese should carry a cancer warning, according to the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine.

The pro-plant-based advocacy group, whose president is Dr. Neal Barnard and which has more than 12,000  members, is petitioning the Food and Drug Administration to make dairy cheesemakers put a warning on their products.

The warning it has proposed says: “Dairy cheese contains reproductive hormones that may increase breast cancer mortality risk.”


The petition, which PCRM will submit on October 3, as Breast Cancer Awareness Month begins, cites what PCRM describes as ‘several studies linking consumption of cheese and other high-fat dairy products to increased risk of breast cancer’.

These include a ‘2017 study funded by the National Cancer Institute that compared the diets of women diagnosed with breast cancer to those without breast cancer and found that those who consumed the most American, cheddar, and cream cheeses had a 53 percent increased risk for breast cancer’.

“To ensure that Americans understand the potential significant risks, and resulting long-term costs, of consuming dairy cheese products, the FDA should ensure that the notice above is prominently placed on product packaging and labeling for all dairy cheese products,” says the petition.

‘Dairy cheese risk’

“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,” Physicians Committee president, Neal Barnard, MD, said.

“We want women to be aware that dairy cheese could put them at risk of dying from breast cancer.”

Plant Based News has contacted the American Cheese Society for comment.

Maria Chiorando

Maria is a news and features writer for Plant Based News. As a former magazine editor, newspaper reporter, and features writer, her work has been published by The Guardian, The Huffington Post, and various regional newspapers, as well as Vegan Life magazine and Vegan Trade Journal. She has interviewed a huge range of people, from Prime Ministers to authors, activists, pop stars and actors, and enjoys the varied range of topics writing for PBN allows her to tackle. She was previously the editor of Plant Based News for over 3 years.