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Nutritional control of cancer ignored in WHO meat report

/ 12:35 AM November 28, 2015

Last month, the World Health Organization released a report explaining what makes red meat and processed meat increase the risk of cancer.

The WHO Q and A on the carcinogenicity of the consumption of red meat and processed meat partly explained the following:

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“Meat consists of multiple components, such as haem iron. Meat can also contain chemicals that form during meat processing or cooking. For instance, carcinogenic chemicals that form during meat processing include N-nitroso compounds and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons. Cooking of red meat or processed meat also produces heterocyclic aromatic amines as well as other chemicals including polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, which are also found in other foods and in air pollution. Some of these chemicals are known or suspected carcinogens, but despite this knowledge it is not yet fully understood how cancer risk is increased by red meat or processed meat.”

Another question addressed by the WHO is this: Could you quantify the risk of eating red meat and processed meat?

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Increase in cancer risk

“The consumption of processed meat was associated with small increases in the risk of cancer in the studies reviewed. In those studies, the risk generally increased with the amount of meat consumed. An analysis of data from 10 studies estimated that every 50-gram portion of processed meat eaten daily increases the risk of colorectal cancer by about 18 percent,” the WHO said.

“The cancer risk related to the consumption of red meat is more difficult to estimate because the evidence that red meat causes cancer is not as strong. However, if the association of red meat and colorectal cancer were proven to be causal, data from the same studies suggest that the risk of colorectal cancer could increase by 17 percent for every 100 gram portion of red meat eaten daily,” the WHO added.

T. Colin Campbell, PhD, who has been at the forefront of nutrition research for over 40 years with his legacy, the China Project, stressed that “the far more important scientific context of consuming plant-based foods to maintain health and prevent disease is hardly mentioned.”

Campbell, in his Nov. 15 online commentary at the Center for Nutrition Studies said that “the conversation has shifted away from the most important effect, namely, nutritional control of cancer.

“This stance also ignores the compelling evidence that we get all the ‘nutritional value’ we need from whole plant-based foods,” said Campbell.

All animal-based food

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Campbell also stressed that “these findings do not apply to the consumption of fish and poultry. Because my research (explained in The China Study) has indicated that it is not just red meat, but all animal-based food that is contributing to cancer risk, I believe this is also a serious omission and also has the effect of minimizing the main message.”

Red meat, for the WHO, refers to all mammalian muscle meat, including, beef, veal, pork, lamb, mutton, horse and goat.

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TAGS: cancer, health and science, meat, nutrition
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