WHO says processed meat causes cancer
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.