For the first time, international health agency labels processed meats a carcinogen
It’s official: Processed meat — such as hot dogs, bacon, corned beef and salami — causes cancer.
Years of evidence and numerous studies have linked processed meat to colorectal, or bowel, cancer. Now, after reviewing more than 800 epidemiological studies, the World Health Organization has designated such meats as carcinogenic. WHO made the announcement online October 26 in The Lancet Oncology.
WHO’s International Agency for Research on Cancer classifies processed meat — meat altered through salting, curing, fermenting or smoking — as a Group 1 carcinogen. This group of cancer-causing agents also includes smoking and asbestos. The ranking means there’s convincing evidence linking the modified meats to colorectal cancer, evidence as strong as that linking smoking to cancer.