The commercial shows children eating hot dogs in a school cafeteria and one little boy's complaining, "I was dumbfounded when the doctor told me I have late-stage colon cancer."
The boy doesn't have cancer. Neither do two other kids in the ad who claim to be afflicted.
The commercial's pro-vegetarian sponsors reportedly said it's a dramatization that highlights research linking processed meats, including hot dogs, with higher odds of getting colon cancer. Studies have shown the increased risk is slight, even if a person eats a hot dog a day.
Dr. Neal Barnard, president of the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, called the ad "a way to raise appropriate concern about a deadly concern." Barnard also heads The Cancer Project, an offshoot of his anti-meat advocacy group.
"My concern about this campaign is it's giving the indication that the occasional hot dog in the school lunch is going to increase cancer risk," said Colleen Doyle, the American Cancer Society's nutrition director. "An occasional hot dog isn't going to increase that risk."
Source: Associated Press