Processed Meat – Officially Carcinogenic By WHO
Processed meat has been classified as officially carcinogenic by The World Health Organisation after an evaluation of evidence that it could lead to certain kind of cancer. As per the available evidence, WHO had stated that about 50g of processed meat per day, 2 slices of bacon or two small sausages would be adequate to increase the risk of developing colorectal cancer by 18%.
WHO also mentioned that red meat was probably carcinogenic but stated that the evidence was not yet definite. The declarations seems to be among the strongest ever reached by main health body going well beyond recognizing links between meat and cancer as utmost individual research studies are capable of doing.
Dr Kurt Straif, who had joined in the report, had commented that for individual, the risk of developing colorectal/bowel cancer due to their consumption of processed meat tends to be small. However this risk could increase with the amount of meat consumed. A 22-member panel had produced the report who had reviewed the huge research that had already been completed on the link between meat, especially processed and red meats and cancer.
Conclusions Facing Disapproval
The panel had viewed the studies on human diet, together with animal experiments and cell-based studies with a conclusion that there seems to be a link that was important enough to change its authorized guidelines. The conclusions would be facing disapproval with the US beef industry with those said to have prepared a huge lobbying as well as publicity campaign to attack WHOs’ assumption.
The result would be unlikely to end the argument on the safety of consuming processed and red meat. Dr Carrie Ruxton, of the industry funded Meat Advisory Panel had stated that the publication seems to be nothing new and that meat consumption had fallen on an average in the UK.
She commented that WHO had said in their report that they were looking at increased risk – for people consuming 50g and in UK it was only eating 17 when compared with the other European countries which was 24g to 25g each day.She further added that media need to be cautious while reporting bacon and sausages as processed.
Greatest Risk to Health - Smoking
When in UK, curing substances to the sausages is not added and British banger is actually fresh meat and not processed meat.Cancer Research UK stated that it support the decision, however Professor Tim Key, epidemiologist of Cancer Research UK, University of Oxford commented that this decision does not mean one need to stop eating any red and processed meat.
Consuming a bacon roll once in a way would not do much harm and having a healthy diet is all about moderation. Red and processed meat tend to cause less cases of cancer in the UK than the other lifestyles issues The greatest risk to health is smoking which causes over a quarter of cancer death in the UK and around one in five cancer cases.
A list of compounds or activities have been maintained by the International Agency for Research on Cancer with suspected, likely and ultimate links to cancer with the possibility of each item falling in a selected group based on whether it causes cancer or not.
Processed meat tends to now fall in `group 1 which ranks it as high as tobacco smoking, which is the most dangerous variants of human papillomavirus – HPV and asbestos exposure with regards to causes of cancer. Red meat falls in `group 2A’ with inorganic lead