A World Health Organization (WHO) group declared on Monday that processed meat, such as hot dogs and bacon, causes cancer and red meat may as well.
The determination was made by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), which is the arm of the WHO that gives recommendations based on cancer risk. The group, which included 22 scientists from 10 countries, evaluated the carcinogenicity of red and processed meat based on available research.
Read More: The Science Behind How Bacon Causes Cancer
The group classified processed meat as carcinogenic to humans “based on sufficient evidence in humans that the consumption of processed meat causes colorectal cancer,” the agency said in a statement.
They classified red meat as “probably” carcinogenic to humans due to limited evidence it causes cancer, and strong evidence that it supports a “carcinogenic effect.” The findings were published in the journal The Lancet Oncology.
Here’s what you should know about the news.
What’s the link between eating meat and cancer?
The IARC looked at more than 800 studies on the link between red and processed meat and cancer risk and determined that every 50 gram portion of processed meat eaten daily increases the risk of colorectal cancer by 18%.
The agency is not the first to reach the determination that processed meat, and possibly red meat, increases the risk of colorectal cancer—which is the second-leading cause of cancer deaths in the United States. The American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR) and the World Cancer Research Fund have also concluded that eating even small amounts of processed meats on a regular basis can increase colorectal cancer risk.
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