Processed meats like bacon, burgers and hot dogs are have now been relegated to the same status as cigarettes, as new research indicates that they are causing cancer.
The announcement was made by the World Health Organisation (WHO) today, whose studies show that red meat is also “probably carcinogenic to humans”.
The IARC Working Group took into account more than 800 studies that investigated associations of cancer with the consumption of red meat or processed meat across many countries.
Dr Kurt Straif, Head of the IARC Monographs Programme, said,
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.
Bowel cancer is the second most common cancer in Europe and the third most common worldwide.
The World Health Organisation hopes that these findings will encourage the public to limit their intake of carcinogenic foods.
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