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American Meat Institute Says World Cancer Research Fund Recommendations Are Extreme and Unfounded; Moderation and Common Sense Are Urged

Monday, May 23, 2011

Washington, DC, May 23, 2011 -- The American Meat Institute (AMI) today said that World Cancer Research Fund’s (WCRF) recommendations to limit red and processed meat intake should be met with skepticism as they are not supported by the full evidence and they conflict with the U.S. Dietary Guidelines, which say that red and processed meat can be a healthy part of balanced diet. 

WCRF’s original 2007 report was based upon very weak findings and many contradictions, and was questioned by many groups, including the International Agency for Research on Cancer.  Now, WCRF has added 10 similarly weak studies into the mix. 

“While WCRF is claiming these studies strengthen their recommendations, in reality, they simply increase the report’s shortcomings,” said AMI Foundation President James H. Hodges.  “Adding more weak studies to a weak report does not make a ‘strong, comprehensive and authoritative report’ as they claim.”   He noted that a close look at the 10 additional studies that were added to the 14 analyzed as part of WCRF’s 2007 report show no strong evidence of any increased risk of bowel/colorectal cancer.  

 “Given the weak, scientific underpinnings of this report and the fact that Americans are consuming the proper amount of red and processed meats according to government data, Americans should follow common sense, which says a balanced diet with exercise is best,” said AMI   “The headlines on today’s press release are little more than warmed over recommendations from a report that was widely critiqued in 2007.”  

According to the latest government data, Americans consume red and processed meat at levels recommended by the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2010, the basis for our national nutritional policy published by the U.S. Departments of Health and Human Services and Agriculture.  In fact, the protein group is the only group that is consumed in the proper amount, the guidelines show.

“While recommendations to eat a balanced diet aren’t exciting headline grabbers, they adhere to both science and common sense,” Hodges said.  “The wisest course of action anyone can take is to maintain a healthy body weight, exercise and consume a balanced diet that includes a variety of foods consistent with our national nutritional policy outlined in the Dietary Guidelines for Americans.”




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