WHO report: ‘Processed meats have same cancer risk as cigarettes’

fresh meat
fresh meat

Bacon, ham and sausages have the same cancer risk as cigarettes, according to a report by the World Health Organisation (WHO), set to be published on Monday, a media report said.

WHO is expected to list processed meat as a carcinogenic substance, while fresh red meat is also expected to join the aencyclopaedia of carcinogens’ and is likely to be regarded as bad for health, the Daily Mail reported on Friday citing “a well-placed source”.

The classifications, by the WHO’s International Agency for Research on Cancer, are believed to regard processed meat as “carcinogenic to humans”, the highest of five possible rankings, shared with alcohol, asbestos, arsenic and cigarettes, the daily added.

Studies have shown that people who eat a lot of red meat tend to eat fewer plant-based foods that protect against cancer.

The WHO report follows a meeting of scientists from 10 countries who reviewed all available evidence.

Processed meat is made by smoking, curing, salting, or adding chemicals. Examples include ham, bacon, pastrami and salami, as well as hot dogs and some sausages. Burgers are also expected to be included in the WHO list of carcinogens.

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