And yes, that includes bacon.

 

The IARC was carrying out a formal review of meat for the first time and examined a few 800 studies during a meeting of 22 health experts in France earlier this month.

YUKI NOGUCHI, BYLINE: Good morning, Steve.

Meat industry groups protest the classification.

The World Cancer Research Fund has warned for several years that there is “strong evidence” that consuming a lot of red meat can cause bowel cancer.

It gets worse. Bacon is on the list as well. How did the industry respond to all this? The North American Meat Institute called it a “dramatic and alarmist overreach” in an e-mail to reporters. And I think that’s because for all the moderate-sounding language, the World Health Organization did declare processed meats a carcinogen.

Just because meat is in the same category as smoking, it doesn’t mean the risk is the same. You know, they knew this was coming. But it said the risk rises with the amount consumed.

“Cancer is a complex disease that even the best and brightest minds don’t fully understand”, Shalene McNeill, from the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, said in a statement. Individually, most of those studies found that consumption of the food was correlated with cancer. So these are studies that can not be used to determine cause and effect.

The results aren’t that shocking in the USA, where many parents fret over chemicals in cured meats and the American Cancer Society has long cautioned against eating too much steak and deli. “We need red meat for iron, zinc and various vitamins”.

INSKEEP: OK, help me out here.

“For an individual, the risk of developing colorectal cancer due to their consumption of processed meat remains small, but this risk increases with the amount of meat consumed”, says Dr. Kurt Straif, who was involved with WHO’s analysis of over 400 studies worldwide on people who do consume various amounts of pork, beef, lamb, veal and other meats that have been preserved through salting, curing, fermentation, smoking or other processes. But maybe the speculation would be they do something else that would lead to the cancer – a few other behavior?

But the numbers are not high as compared to other more prominent factors. But there are studies that do control for these things. “You could try having fish for your dinner rather than sausages, or choosing to have a bean salad for lunch over a BLT”, Key said via the report by The Guardian.

The most influential evidence came from large prospective cohort studies conducted over the past 20 years. And it suggests there are a few carcinogenic qualities.

“The headlines surrounding this report are alarming, but the findings do not support that eating any and all meat will definitively cause cancer”, said Dana White, a clinical assistant professor of athletic training and sports medicine at Quinnipiac University in Hamden, Conn. “As a registered dietitian, I like to look at the big picture of the overall diet”.

AFP  File  Greg Wood Australians are among the biggest consumers of meat in the world and also have the 8th highest incidence of colorectal cancer globally according to the World Cancer Research Fund

UN health agency’s cancer warning angers meat producers

Cancer cause: World Health Organization lets red meat off the hook for now