WHO says pro­cessed meat causes can­cer

Daily Trust - - GOLDEN HARVEST - By Vin­cent A. Yusuf

The In­ter­na­tional Agency for Re­search on Can­cer (IARC), the can­cer agency of the World Health Or­ga­ni­za­tion, based in Lyon, France has re­leased a re­port that links pro­cessed meat to can­cer.

Twenty-Two ex­perts from 10 coun­tries con­vened by the IARC Mono­graphs Pro­gramme clas­si­fied the con­sump­tion of red meat as prob­a­bly car­cino­genic to hu­mans.

It’s based on “suf­fi­cient ev­i­dence in hu­mans that the con­sump­tion of pro­cessed meat causes col­orec­tal can­cer”. Just 50 grams a day — the equiv­a­lent of around one sausage or two slices of ham — can in­crease the risk of col­orec­tal can­cer by 18%

Dr Kurt Straif, Head of the IARC Mono­graphs Pro­gramme in the agency’s web­site says “For an in­di­vid­ual, the risk of de­vel­op­ing col­orec­tal can­cer be­cause of their con­sump­tion of pro­cessed meat re­mains small, but this risk in­creases with the amount of meat con­sumed.”

“In view of the large num­ber of peo­ple, who con­sume pro­cessed meat, the global im­pact on can­cer in­ci­dence is of pub­lic health im­por­tance,” Dr. Kurt pointed out.

The IARC Work­ing Group con­sid­ered more than 800 stud­ies that in­ves­ti­gated as­so­ci­a­tions of more than a dozen types of can­cer with the con­sump­tion of red meat or pro­cessed meat in many coun­tries and pop­u­la­tions with di­verse di­ets.

Ac­cord­ing to IARC, the most in­flu­en­tial ev­i­dence came from large prospec­tive co­hort stud­ies con­ducted over the past 20 years.

IARC de­scribes pro­cessed meat as meat that has been trans­formed through salt­ing, cur­ing, fer­men­ta­tion, smok­ing or other pro­cesses to en­hance flavour or im­prove preser­va­tion. Most pro­cessed meats con­tain pork or beef, but pro­cessed meats may also con­tain other red meats, poul­try, of­fal, or meat by-prod­ucts such as blood.

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