Grady Newsource Explains: Warnings against red and processed meat

By: Anna Clark

It’s a sad time for bacon lovers after the World Health Organization released a new statement saying eating processed meat definitely causes cancer. Here’s what you need to know about the statement:

  1. Processed meat causes colorectal cancer based on sufficient evidence.
  2. Red meat is classified as probably cancerous based on limited evidence.
  3. A 50 gram portion of processed meat daily increases the risk of cancer by 18 percent.

Processed meat refers to meat that has been altered through salting, curing, fermentation, or smoking.

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While red meat is included in the International Agency for Research on Cancer carcinogen classification Group 2A, processed meat is categorized in Group 1, which is the same category as smoking. According to Michael Doyle, director of Food Safety at the University of Georgia, smoking is still much worse for you than eating processed foods.

Here is a breakdown of each classification group:

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