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WHO to Reveal Red Meat Cancer Risk

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The World Health Organization (WHO) is to reveal whether some meats should be classed as carcinogens.

The International Agency for Research on Cancer, which is part of the WHO, has been reviewing evidence on whether red and processed meats increase the risk of bowel and other cancers.

According to experts, eating a lot of red and processed meat probably increases the risk of bowel cancer.


However, red meat can be part of a healthy diet.

Red meat includes beef, lamb, and pork. It looks darker in color than white meat, like poultry, because of higher levels of hemoglobin and myoglobin, the iron and oxygen-binding proteins you find in blood and muscle.

Processed meat is not fresh meat, in other words something has been done to it to extend its shelf life or change its taste such as smoking, curing or adding salt or preservatives.Red meat cancer risk

Processed meat includes bacon, sausages, salami and ham. Simply putting fresh meat through a mincer does not make it processed

Meat is a good source of protein, B vitamins and minerals such as iron and zinc.

Expert scientists’ advice is to consume healthier meat or meat products, such as lean cuts and lean mince, and cut down on processed meat.

Since 1971, more than 900 agents, including lifestyle factors and chemicals, have been evaluated by expert scientists for the International Agency for Research on Cancer.

More than 400 have been identified as carcinogenic, probably carcinogenic, or possibly carcinogenic to humans.

Bacon, ham and sausages are set to be classed alongside cigarettes, arsenic and asbestos as cancer-causing by global health experts.