Bacon, Hot Dog, Ham, Sausages Makers Rubbish Cancer Report

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Oct 27 2015
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After damning reports released by World Health Organisation (WHO) labelling bacon, burgers, ham, sausages and other processed meats as the culprits for causing cancers, all hell breaks loose. After all, since the accusation came from WHO, the perception is it must be true.

Processed Meat Causing Cancer - Bacon, Sausages, Ham

Essentially, these delicious meats are placed in the same category as asbestos, alcohol, arsenic and tobacco. WHO claimed there was enough evidence to rank processed meats as group 1 carcinogens because of a causal link with bowel cancer. It also places red meat in group 2A, as “probably carcinogenic to humans”.


WHO’s  International Agency for Research (IARC) on cancer said eating red meat is also linked to pancreatic and prostate cancer. The IARC’s experts concluded that each 50-gram (1.8-ounce) portion of processed meat eaten daily increased the risk of colorectal cancer by 18%. Naturally, it invited furious response from the industry including meat lovers.

Processed Meat Causing Cancer - Hot Dog

But such revelation is not new. For as long as one can remember, the World Cancer Research Fund has long been advising people that processed meat is a cancer hazard. It advises eating products such as ham, bacon and salami as little as possible and having no more than 500g a week of red meat, including beef, pork and lamb.


Amusingly, it doesn’t ban such delicacies at all. Instead of advising people to stop eating any red and processed meat, it actually suggested cutting down on the intake. So, doesn’t this mean the problem is all about eating “moderately” instead? If eating smaller portion of processed meat and read meat will not cause cancer, then these foods are not the culprit.

Processed Meat Causing Cancer - Hommel Food Hot Dog Sausages

Still, the damage has been done to some food manufacturers. Shares of Hormel Foods fell 1% yesterday, as did shares of Kraft Heinz, which makes Oscar Mayer hot dogs. Hormel Foods, which sells Spam, sliced bacon and canned chilli, furiously said the report “did not look at the benefits of meat consumption”, such as “important nutrients” and “high quality proteins”.


Shares of Tyson Foods, the maker of Ball Park hot dogs, Jimmy Dean sausage and Hillshire Farm ham, fell nearly 5%. But it could due primarily to a research report from a JPMorgan Chase analyst that said Tyson is losing market share to competitors. The North American Meat Institute, which represents meat producers, said WHO’s report defies both common sense and numerous studies showing “no correlation” between meat and cancer.

Processed Meat Causing Cancer - Bacon

Fortunately to the processed meat producers, meat eaters at a New York food court mostly shrugged off yesterday’s report. Visitors at a food court in New York’s Penn Station, which houses a Nathan’s Famous hot dog restaurant, mostly said the WHO report won’t change what they eat. Hmm, what happen to the research that says people get cancer because of bad luck?


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