By now I am sure that you have heard how the UN has condemned meat, red meat, but processed meat in particular, as a carcinogenic worse that tobacco.
“PARIS (AP) — The World Health Organization’s cancer agency says that processed meats such as ham and sausage can lead to colon and other cancers, and red meat is probably cancer-causing as well.”
“Researchers from the WHO’s International Agency for Research on Cancer in Lyon, France, released an evaluation of more than 800 studies from several continents about meat and cancer. Based on that evaluation, they classified processed meat as “carcinogenic to humans” — in the same category as cigarettes — and red meat as “probably carcinogenic to humans.”
I decided to run the number, using colon cancer to see what the added risk of eating meat actually is: “Not counting skin cancers, colorectal cancer is the third most common cancer found in men and women in this country. Overall, the lifetime risk of developing colorectal cancer is about 1 in 20. The death rate from colorectal cancer has been going down for more than 20 years. Last Medical Review: 10/15/2014″
I was unable to find a report citing the increase in risk for those who eat meat as compared to one who does not, but I did hear a Fox News’ doctor say that it was an 18% increase, so the question then becomes what is 18% of 1/20 (or .05%) and how much does that add to the general population’s risk. To get that I multiplied 1.18 times .05 getting getting .059%.
So the additional risk you incur eating your sausages, hot dogs, etc., is 0.009%. I would remind you that the UN has been pushing for a meat free diet for a very long time. Using the search phrase, “the United Nations says don’t eat meat” you get this (I use Yahoo instead of Google):
Update: 13:59, 10/27/2015:
Here is an extract post by James Delingpole:
Here’s what their Vice President of Scientific Affairs Betsy Booren had to say in a statement:
“They tortured the data to ensure a specific outcome.”
“Red and processed meat are among 940 agents reviewed by IARC and found to pose some level of theoretical ‘hazard.’ Only one substance, a chemical in yoga pants, has been declared by IARC not to cause cancer.”
I still can’t work out whether the yoga pants thing is a joke or not but I like this woman’s style.
She’s quite right though. If we paid any heed to all the things researchers tell us can give us cancer, then we’d probably have to give up eating and drinking altogether.
This study from 2013 – Is everything we eat associated with cancer? A systematic cookbook review – illustrates the problem well.