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WHO Report Says Eating Some Meats Linked With Cancer; Risk Low For Most People But New U.S. Dietary Guidelines Should Provide Limits

New York Times: Meat as a Cause of Cancer
Editorial Board

“The latest cancer report from the World Health Organization provides persuasive evidence that eating meat can cause cancer, but the risk is very small for most people. … While the absolute risk of eating processed meats like sausage or corned beef is low, people who eat a lot every day can drive up their risks. The link between cancer and red meat is less persuasive. It was based on limited evidence from epidemiological studies in which other factors could not be ruled out. The agency’s conclusions are consistent with the findings and recommendations issued in recent years by the American Cancer Society and the World Cancer Research Fund. An expert committee advising the federal government on what to include in the forthcoming Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommended that people should follow diets ‘lower in red and processed meat.’ The final version of the guidelines should provide a more precise idea of how much processed meat and red meat is appropriate” (10/28).

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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.