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World Health Organization on Processed Meat/Cancer Link After ‘Bacon-gate’

processed meat causes cancer
Posted: October 28, 2015 at 2:09 pm   /   by   /   comments (0)

Bacons and hotdogs have been on headlines for several days after being proclaimed as cancer causing foods. The World Health Organization (WHO) has released a statement categorizing processed meat as human carcinogen. This classification is the same with other cancer causing substances as tobacco and asbestos.

WHO emphasized the report from IACR (International Agency of Cancer Research) last week. It said, “does not ask people to stop eating processed meats”; rather, it indicated “that reducing consumption of these products can reduce the risk of colorectal cancer.”

Furthermore, WHO goes online for a question-and-answer document. It also made a tweet concerning the facts presented about cancer causing processed meats. However, 4 days before the tweets had been made, on Twitter, hashtag #JeSuisBacon had been trending and made great buzz on many headlines after IACR published the report.

To clarify, WHO pointed in a Q&A document such substances are not all equally dangerous even though processed meats are categorized as human carcinogens. WHO stated in an addition, “The IARC classifications describe the strength of the scientific evidence about an agent being a cause of cancer, rather than assessing the level of risk.”

This just means that hot dogs and cigarettes have different risks, which lead confusion on the issue to what is known today as “Bacon-gate.”

processed meat causes cancer

New World Health Organization report declares processed meat as carcinogens. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

An independent academic research organization Global Burden of Disease Project released a statement saying that throughout the world about 34,000 death tolls per year are caused from cancer, these are attributable from processed meat, and red meat caused 50,000 cancer deaths in an annual record worldwide.

The WHO said that on the other hand, cigarette smoking kills about 1 million persons per year globally and alcohol consumption 600,000 and about 200,000 died due to air pollution in a year.

Also, WHO reiterated the estimates which was presented by IACR saying that “that every 50-g portion of processed meat eaten daily increases the risk for colorectal cancer by about 18%, and that 100 g of red meat could increase the risk for colorectal cancer by 18%.”

In a scienceblog, Cancer Research UK (CRUK) used UK population data in the research to give some absolute numbers. The research thereby showed that in UK colorectal cancer affects about 61 out of 1000 people. Accordingly, the lesser intake of processed meat, mean lower risk of acquiring cancer diseases. In a case of 1000 people, 56 cases of cancer are found out from the lower processed meat intake group. On the other hand, 66 cases of cancer cases out of 1000 people for high process meat intake.