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IARC Meat Vote Is Dramatic and Alarmist Overreach

Monday, October 26, 2015
 

Cancer Is Complex and a Balanced Diet is Key to Staying Healthy,

Says North American Meat Institute

Washington, DC -- The North American Meat Institute (NAMI) said a vote by an International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) Monograph panel classifying red and processed meat as cancer “hazards” defies both common sense and numerous studies showing no correlation between meat and cancer and many more studies showing the many health benefits of balanced diets that include meat. Scientific evidence shows cancer is a complex disease not caused by single foods and that a balanced diet and healthy lifestyle choices are essential to good health.

“It was clear sitting in the IARC meeting that many of the panelists were aiming for a specific result despite old, weak, inconsistent, self-reported intake data, said Betsy Booren, Ph.D., NAMI Vice President of Scientific Affairs. “They tortured the data to ensure a specific outcome.”

“Red and processed meat are among 940 agents reviewed by IARC and found to pose some level of theoretical ‘hazard.’ Only one substance, a chemical in yoga pants, has been declared by IARC not to cause cancer,” said Dr. Booren.

“IARC says you can enjoy your yoga class, but don’t breathe air (Class I carcinogen), sit near a sun-filled window (Class I), apply aloe vera (Class 2B) if you get a sunburn, drink wine or coffee (Class I and Class 2B), or eat grilled food (Class 2A).And if you are a hairdresser or do shiftwork (both Class 2A), you should seek a new career.”

IARC’s panel was given the basic task of looking at hazards that meat could pose at some level, under some circumstance, but was not asked to consider any off-setting benefits, like the nutrition that meat delivers or the implications of drastically reducing or removing meat from the diet altogether.

“Followers of the Mediterranean diet eat double the recommended amount of processed meats. People in countries where the Mediterranean diet is followed, like Spain, Italy and France, have some of the longest lifespans in the world and excellent health,” said Dr. Booren.

“IARC’s decision simply cannot be applied to people’s health because it considers just one piece of the health puzzle: theoretical hazards. Risks and benefits must be considered together before telling people what to eat, drink, drive, breathe, or where to work,” she said.

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Notes to editor

Meat nutrition facts:

http://www.meatpoultrynutrition.org/content/scientific-studies-topic

Brain development: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18709887http:/www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18709887

Brain function: http://lifewave.com/pdf/ThetaNutrition/(8)Vitamin-B-12-and-homocysteine-status-among-vegetarians.pdf

Mental decline: http://www.readcube.com/articles/10.1111%2Fjgs.12690?r3_referer=wol&tracking_action=preview_click&show_checkout=1&purchase_referrer=onlinelibrary.wiley.com&purchase_site_license=LICENSE_DENIED_NO_CUSTOMER

Iron deficiency: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3917888/

Osteoporosis: http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/100/Supplement_1/329S.short

Muscle loss: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0309174012001519

For more information about the nutrition benefits of meat and studies that show no relationship between meat and cancer, visit www.MeatPoultryNutrition.org

Benefits of balanced diet

Problems with IARC’s classifications

http://monographs.iarc.fr/ENG/Classification/ClassificationsGroupOrder.pdf

“The lists themselves say nothing about how likely it is that an agent will cause cancer. Carcinogens do not cause cancer at all times, under all circumstances. Some may only be carcinogenic if a person is exposed in a certain way (for example, swallowing it as opposed to touching it). Some may only cause cancer in people who have a certain genetic makeup. Some of these agents may lead to cancer after only a very small exposure, while others might require intense exposure over many years….Even if a substance or exposure is known or suspected to cause cancer, this does not necessarily mean that it can or should be avoided at all costs…. If you have questions…be sure to ask your doctor.”

http://www.cancer.org/cancer/cancercauses/othercarcinogens/generalinformationaboutcarcinogens/known-and-probable-human-carcinogens .

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