US meat industry debunks cancer link

By Aidan Fortune contact

- Last updated on GMT

Links have been made between processed meats and cancer
Links have been made between processed meats and cancer
The North American Meat Institute (NAMI) has played down a report by the World Cancer Research Fund (WCRF) Continuous Update Project (CUP) that links processed meat and cancer.

In the report the WCRF said consuming processed meat increases the risk of colorectal cancer and suggested that “swapping a portion of processed meat for a piece of fish”​ could work towards reducing their colorectal cancer risk.
“Colon cancer is a serious health issue and we commend researchers who seek better ways to treat and prevent this terrible disease,”​ said NAMI president and ceo Barry Carpenter. “However, it is critical that public health recommendations be supported by the science. A careful analysis of the new World Cancer Research Fund (WCRF) Continuous Update Project (CUP) colorectal cancer report shows that, when it comes to meat, the headlines are not supported by the findings detailed in the WCRF report. WCRF documents study after study showing either no significant relationship between meat and colon cancer or, in some cases, a protective effect.”
Carpenter identified four areas of the WCRF report that he feels the public should consider:
* “The 2016 CUP findings are less strong than those from 2010 SLR [systematic literature review.]” (p. 36)
* “Of 13 studies reporting on colorectal cancer incidence, 12 reported non-significant positive associations and one reported a non-significant inverse association when comparing the highest versus the lowest levels of intake.” (p. 34)
* “Eight studies were included in the dose-response meta-analysis (n = 6,662 cases), which showed no significant association (RR 1.12 (95% CI 1.00-1.25)) per 100 grams per day.” (p. 34)
* Regarding processed meat, the report examined 13 studies: “Nine reported non-significant positive associations, three of which were significant and three reported non-significant inverse association.”
NAMI added that the WCRF report focuses on cancer risks and ignores the many benefits of red and processed meat consumption as part of a healthy balanced diet. “Meat is a nutrient dense, nutrition powerhouse and is one of the richest source of complete protein, Vitamin B12, iron, zinc and many other nutrients,”​ Carpenter added.

Related topics: Industry & Markets, United States

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