The World Health Organization's International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), said Monday it has completed an evaluation of the carcinogenicity of the consumption of red and processed meat.
A group of 22 experts from 10 countries convened by the IARC Monographs Program determined the consumption of red meat is probably carcinogenic to humans.
"This determination was based on limited evidence that the consumption of red meat causes cancer in humans and strong mechanistic evidence supporting a carcinogenic effect," the IARC said.
Associations were observed most often for colorectal cancer, but also for pancreatic cancer and prostate cancer.
“For an individual, the risk of developing colorectal cancer because of their consumption of processed meat remains small, but this risk increases with the amount of meat consumed,” IARC Monographs Program Head Kurt Straif said.
The most definitive evidence came from a variety studies conducted over the past 20 years.
”These findings further support current public health recommendations to limit intake of meat,” IARC Director
Christopher Wild said. “At the same time, red meat has nutritional value."
WHO panel determines eating red, processed meat is probably carcinogenic
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