Processed meats are now in the same carcinogen category as cigarettes.
Yesterday, a new report from the World Health Organization was released identifying bacon, sausage, hot dogs, and other processed meats as carcinogens. In addition, the WHO also classified lamb, beef, veal, and pork as “probably carcinogenic.” A group of 22 scientists from 10 countries analyzed 800 studies related to cancer and meat consumption and found that every 1.8 ounces of processed meat consumed daily increases the chance of colon cancer by 18 percent. These findings were compiled as a resource for governments in creating nutritional guidelines. The National Meat Institute offered a defense, saying that meat is nutritionally viable. Shalene McNeil of the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association stated, “To improve all aspects of your health, eat a balanced diet, which includes lean meats like beef, maintain a healthy weight, be physically active, and please don’t smoke.” The new classification puts red meat into Group 1 of known carcinogens—the same category as tobacco, arsenic, and asbestos.