Red Meat Overconsumption Prevention and Control Act Open Access

Drake, Cynthia Elizabeth (2013)

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Colorectal cancer is associated with red meat overconsumption and is the second leading cause of death by cancer in the United States. Red meat is also linked to obesity and cardiovascular disease. Colorectal cancer is of public health concern, raising morbidity and mortality. Public health programs must work to decrease morbidity and mortality. A public health program should be implemented to decrease the incidence of colorectal cancer by decreasing overconsumption of red meat. A public health initiative to label red meat products with this consumer information is ethically sound, primarily justified through the utilization of two public health ethics frameworks: "An Ethics Framework for Public Health" by Nancy Kass and "Principles of the Ethical Practice of Public Health" written by the Public Health Leadership Society.

The public health initiative examined here is in the form of federal policy. Ethical justifications for labeling red meat are discussed through the federal policy framework using adapted language from the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act. Taxation is also considered throughout the frameworks and models, but is not here justified. This thesis finds that labeling as a public health initiative is an appropriate mechanism to empower the consumer with more information and minimal burden and is congruent with the ethical practice of public health.

Table of Contents

Table of Contents

Chapter 1: Overconsumption, 5

Chapter 2: Red Meat's Association with Colorectal Cancer, 7

Chapter 3: Red Meat's Association with Obesity and Cardiovascular Disease, 11

Chapter 4: Red Meat in the U.S. Food Environment, 14

U.S. Patterns of Meat Consumption, 14

Red Meat in the Abiotic, Biotic, and Cultural Environment, 15

Factory Farming and Morality, 17

Chapter 5: The Act and the Principles of the Ethical Practice of Public Health, 20

Chapter 6: The Act in Ethics Frameworks, 31

The Act and the "Fair Process Approach", 41

The Act and the National Goals for Cardiovascular Health Promotion and Disease Reduction, 43

Chapter 7: Red Meat, Autonomy, and Labeling, 46

Autonomy in Purchasing and Trust in Labeling, 48

Justification Models, 49

Preceding Cases of Steering Consumer Choice, 50

Advertising and Public Health Messaging, 52

Chapter 8: Red Meat, Colorectal Cancer, Prevention, and Healthcare Costs, 54

Chapter 9: The Act and the FDA's Authority, 56

Bibliography, 57

Appendix I: Key Assumptions from the Public Health Leadership Society, 73

Appendix II: U.S. Meat Consumption Data from the Earth Policy Institute, 75

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