Lawsuit Seeks Removal of Processed Meats From L.A. Schools

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The Los Angeles school district should not be allowed to serve hot dogs and other processed meats to students because those products increase the risk of cancer, according to a lawsuit filed this week by the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine.

The Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit group is seeking a similar ban for the Poway school district in San Diego County, the Associated Press reported.

The suit, which names both school districts and the California Department of Education, states there is a "recognized association between eating processed meats ... and developing cancer, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease."

The Los Angeles district is the second-largest in the United States and has more than 660,000 students in kindergarten through 12th grade. The district has not received the complaint, but will review it if and when it does, spokeswoman Gayle Pollard-Terry said in an email to the AP.

The lawsuit is a publicity stunt, according to the North American Meat Institute, an industry group.

"We stand by the nutrition benefits that meat -- both fresh and processed -- provide for growing children" spokeswoman Janet Riley told the AP.

Last month, the Physicians Committee sent a petition asking Amtrak to remove processed meats from its menus.

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