Eating meat officially raises cancer risk | Science News


Science News is a nonprofit.

Support us by subscribing now.


Eating meat officially raises cancer risk

For the first time, international health agency labels processed meats a carcinogen

5:12pm, October 26, 2015
hot dogs

CANCER RISK  Processed meats, including hot dogs, beef jerky, sausages and ham, have been designated as cancer causing by the World Health Organization after an October review of more than 800 studies by 22 scientists. 

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.

This does not mean that eating processed meat is

This article is only available to Science News subscribers. Already a subscriber? Log in now.
Or subscribe today for full access.

Get Science News headlines by e-mail.

More from Science News

From the Nature Index Paid Content