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Consumption Of Processed Meat, Red Meat Associated With Higher Cancer Risk, WHO’s Cancer Agency Says

News outlets highlight findings from a new report from the WHO’s International Agency for Research on Cancer examining the carcinogenicity of red meat and processed meat.

BBC News: Processed meats do cause cancer — WHO
“…Its report said 50g of processed meat a day — less than two slices of bacon — increased the chance of developing colorectal cancer by 18 percent. Meanwhile, it said red meats were ‘probably carcinogenic’ but there was limited evidence. The WHO did stress that meat also had health benefits…” (Gallagher/Briggs, 10/26).

The Guardian: Processed meats rank alongside smoking as cancer causes — WHO
“Bacon, ham, and sausages rank alongside cigarettes as a major cause of cancer, the World Health Organization has said, placing cured and processed meats in the same category as asbestos, alcohol, arsenic, and tobacco. The report from the WHO’s cancer arm, the International Agency for Research on Cancer, said there is enough evidence to rank processed meats as group 1 carcinogens, because of a causal link with bowel cancer…” (Boseley, 10/26).

Reuters: Processed meat can cause cancer, red meat probably can: WHO
“…Red meat, under which the IARC includes beef, lamb, and pork, was classified as a ‘probable’ carcinogen in its group 2A list that also contains glyphosate, the active ingredient in many weedkillers. The lower classification for red meat reflected ‘limited evidence’ that it causes cancer…” (Trompiz, 10/26).

Washington Post: Hot dogs, bacon, and other processed meats cause cancer, World Health Organization declares
“…The report by the influential group stakes out one of the most aggressive stances against meat yet taken by a major health organization, and it is expected to face stiff criticism in the United States. The WHO conclusions are based on the work of a 22-member panel of international experts that reviewed decades of research on the link between red meat, processed meats, and cancer…” (Whoriskey, 10/26).

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Filling the need for trusted information on national health issues, the Kaiser Family Foundation is a nonprofit organization based in Menlo Park, California.