Monday, October 26, 2015 4:24 pm
The World Health Organisation (WHO) today released its much awaited study on the dangers in eating processed meat and red meat.
According to the report released today by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), an agency of WHO, processed meat is now classified as “carcinogenic to humans”. Red meat was classified ‘probably carcinogenic’.
The decision is based on the findings of 22 experts from 10 countries working with the research agency .
Having reviewed the “accumulated scientific literature”, they concluded there was “sufficient evidence in humans that the consumption of processed meat causes colorectal cancer”, as the press release puts it.
According to the press statement, the danger in consumption depends on how much processed meat one eats.
The experts calculated that “each 50 gram portion of processed meat eaten daily increases the risk of colorectal cancer by 18%”.
This “Group 1” rating places processed meat with alcohol, asbestos, arsenic and cigarettes.
IARC has also classified red meat as “probably carcinogenic to humans” (Group 2A). This is based on “limited evidence that the consumption of red meat causes cancer in humans and strong mechanistic evidence supporting a carcinogenic effect”.
IARC director Dr Christopher Wild concluded: “These findings further support current public health recommendations to limit intake of meat. At the same time, red meat has nutritional value.”
Read the press statement here; IARC Press Statement