Bacon, Hot Dogs, Processed Meats Linked To Cancer
The World Health Organization said Monday that eating processed meat such as bacon, sausages and ham causes cancer, while unprocessed red meat may also be lead to cancer.
The report released Monday, is based on work by a 22-member panel of international experts who reviewed decades of research on possible links between processed meats, red meat, and cancer, specifically to colon, or colorectal, cancer.
The report says that eating only 50 grams of processed meat a day can increase your risk of colon cancer by 18%. 50 grams of processed meat is equivalent to three slices of bacon or two slices of ham.
The WHO defines processed meat as any type of meat that is salted, cured or smoked to enhance its flavor or preserve it. Processed meat usually contains pork or beef, but occasionally chicken can be processed.
The WHO now classifies processed meat as a group 1 carcinogen, the same category as smoking and asbestos, based on its certainty of a link with cancer. However the organization stressed, while it’s in the same group that doesn’t mean it’s as dangerous. For the record, the WHO says smoking increases your chance of lung cancer by 2,500%.
The report also links red meat to cancer. It classifies beef, lamb and pork as "probable" causes of cancer.
Still, not all members of the panel agree. A number of scientists, including some who are not affiliated with the meat industry, question whether the evidence is solid enough to draw such sweeping conclusions.