In one of the more startling developments in food science, 12,000 doctors in the United States are petitioning for warning labels on cheese. “Dairy cheese contains reproductive hormones that may increase breast cancer mortality risk,” they warned.
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What, is cheddar the new cigarette? No. Casein and estrogen are not nicotine and nobody’s about to blotch Brie with a label saying “Eating this kills.”
It is not suggested that eating cheese causes breast cancer. It isn’t even categorically proven that eating cheese really is associated with higher breast cancer rates, or that eating cheese causes higher mortality rates among women who already developed breast cancer. There are a lot of studies but the methodology is hardly uniform or even necessarily reliable, and there are innumerable parameters, including some that may be overriding. Like smoking, or living in nuclear waste. Those are parameters that tend to outweigh other parameters.
But the associations found so far are compelling enough for the doctors to choose to speak up.
A woman’s risk of developing breast cancer is 12.8 percent, or one in eight, in the United States. For men, it’s 0.13 percent, or just over one in a hundred.