Yesterday, the report, called Food, Nutrition, Physical Activity,
and the Prevention of Cancer. A Global Perspective
was launched. The report was presented after six
years of research on 7,000 scientific publications globally.
As a result of the research, a panel of 21 experts
drew up a list of measures explaining how to reduce the chances of being struck
One of the panel's recommendations was to cut down the consumption of 'red
meat' (in this research defined as beef, pork, mutton or goat meat) to a maximum
of 300 g weekly.
In addition, the panel recommends avoiding processed meats such as bacon,
ham, sausage and lunchmeat.
National Pork Board
Ceci Snyder, a registered dietician
and assistant vice president of consumer marketing for the Pork Checkoff said
that "consumers should continue to feel good about consuming processed meat as
part of a healthy, well-balanced diet."
Her comments could be read in a press release sent out by the US National
Pork Board in a reaction to the WCRF report. Snyder continued to say that "the
reports' findings on meat and cancer are misleading as the published data do not
support the conclusions reached on the subject."
"While a body of scientific literature exists exploring the potential
relationship between meat and cancer, the results are not supportive of a
consistent or causal link. In fact, this report primarily looks at
epidemiological studies, which alone cannot show cause and effect, and it fails
to highlight the significant inconsistencies of data around the subject of meat
She continued, "stating a conclusive link is
misleading and detracts from the significantly greater risks associated with
lifestyle factors such as obesity and lack of physical activity."
"Cancer prevention is not as simple as cutting out one food or eating more of
another. The truth is that processed pork fits into established nutrition
guidelines, including the US Dietary Guidelines, which recommend at least 30
minutes of physical activity and an average of 5.5 ounces from the Meat and
Beans Group daily."
The NPB also quoted Dr Maureen Storey, of the
University of Maryland's Center for Food Nutrition, and Agriculture Policy. She
said, "We have to keep this study in perspective. This report relies heavily on
epidemiological studies, which cannot establish a cause and effect relationship.
Epidemiological study findings are simply clues for further research."
"This report shows stronger links between obesity and lack of physical
activity. This is something consumers have to understand and act upon. It is
important for everyone to remember to eat a variety of foods in moderation and
to get more physical activity."
According to the Dutch Product Boards for
Livestock, Meat and Eggs (PVE), the relationship between colorectal cancer and
red meat consumption is not irrevocably proven.
Spokesman Alfred van Lente said that the meat and livestock sector's image
could be harmed if the media portray the subject in an unbalanced way.
"There has been different studies in the last twenty years including one from
the Dutch cancer fund and the research institute TNO. In all those years, no
connection has been found between colorectal cancer and red meat."
The WCRF claimed it is the largest and
most elaborate research on cancer prevention ever. The report analysed much
research worldwide into the relationship of nutrition, lifestyle, weight,
exercise and cancer.
More advice included avoiding drinks with a lot of sugar and fat-rich food.
Reducing alcohol consumption is also suggested.
The National Pork Board published a Frequently Asked
Questions list on the subject, which can be found here
â€¢ World Cancer Research
â€¢ University of Maryland
â€¢ National Pork Board
â€¢ Dutch Product Board for
Livestock, Meat and Eggs
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