Cancer Research UK response to IARC classification of red and processed meat

Cancer Research UK

Cancer Research UK responds to the International Agency for Research on Cancer’s Monograph for red and processed meat.*

"This decision doesn't mean you need to stop eating any red and processed meat. But if you eat lots of it you may want to think about cutting down." - Professory Tim Key, Cancer Research UK

Professor Tim Key, Cancer Research UK's epidemiologist at the University of Oxford, said: "Cancer Research UK supports IARC's decision that there's strong enough evidence to classify processed meat as a cause of cancer, and red meat as a probable cause of cancer.

“We've known for some time about the probable link between red and processed meat and bowel cancer, which is backed by substantial evidence.

"This decision doesn't mean you need to stop eating any red and processed meat. But if you eat lots of it you may want to think about cutting down. You could try having fish for your dinner rather than sausages, or choosing to have a bean salad for lunch over a BLT.

"Eating a bacon bap every once in a while isn't going to do much harm - having a healthy diet is all about moderation. Overall red and processed meat cause fewer cases of cancer in the UK than some other lifestyle factors. And by far the biggest risk to your health is smoking – causing over a quarter of cancer deaths in the UK and nearly one in five cancer cases.”

ENDS

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