US’ ‘barbeque state’ dismisses WHO’s processed meat warning

processed-meatUS’ Texas state, known for its world famous barbecues, dismissed a study by the World Health Organization (WHO) which said processed meat can cause cancer, the media reported on Tuesday.

Texas Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller called the study, published on Monday by WHO’s International Agency for Research on Cancer, “another example of politicised science that is not grounded in reality”, EFE news reported.

The famous Texan barbecue consists of lamb and pork chops, beef brisket or sausages, all of which is deemed by the study to cause cancer.

“Lean red meat has long been, and will continue to be, an important part of a healthy, well-balanced diet,” said Miller, encouraging citizens not to change their dietary habits or worry about the WHO study results.

The study had warned that processed meat products, including salami and smoked bacon, are carcinogenic and pose a risk as high as that from asbestos, or smoke from tobacco or a diesel engine.

It says fresh meats, including steaks or roasts are a probable cancer-causing factor and the risks associated with them can be compared to that of glyphosate, a widely-used herbicide.

But Texas Farm Bureau spokesman Gene Hall was confident the study won’t dissuade people from consuming meat.

“I’m not buying it, and I don’t think the public will either,” Hall said, adding that “to put red meat in the same sentence as tobacco and asbestos is absurd.”

“It’s very fashionable to attack beef these days,” he added.

According to the State Department of Agriculture, Texas accounts for the country’s largest beef export, which was worth $800 million in 2012.

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