World Health Organization announces today that processed meats ‘carcinogenic to humans’
The World Health Organization announced today that eating processed meat causes cancer, while unprocessed red meat may also be carcinogenic.
The WHO defines processed meat as anything that is salted, cured or smoked. Processed meat generally contains pork or beef, but it can also contain poultry.
After gathering evidence from about 800 studies, The WHO’s cancer research unit has now classified processed meat as “carcinogenic to humans”.
That means that processed meat is in the same category as smoking and asbestos. Researchers based this on its certainty of a link with cancer but stressed that it doesn’t mean they are equally dangerous as cigarettes or asbestos.
In their report, they said that simply eating 50 grams of processed meat each day – or two slices of ham – can increase the risk of such cancer by 18%, linking it specifically to colon, or colorectal, cancer. The authors point out however, that the risks are relatively small to begin with. But still…