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   Careful Read Of Colorectal Cancer Report Shows Evidence Of Alleged Meat-Colon Cancer Link Is Limited, Growing Weaker
by North American Meat Institute
Posted: Wednesday, September 27, 2017 at 3:33PM EDT

Washington, DC - "Colon cancer is a serious health issue and we commend researchers who seek better ways to treat and prevent this terrible disease," said North American Meat Institute President and CEO Barry Carpenter. "However, it is critical that public health recommendations be supported by the science. A careful analysis of the new World Cancer Research Fund (WCRF) Continuous Update Project (CUP) colorectal cancer report shows that, when it comes to meat, the headlines are not supported by the findings detailed in the WCRF report. WCRF documents study after study showing either no significant relationship between meat and colon cancer or, in some cases, a protective effect."

Carpenter said that the recommended limits on meat consumption contained in the report also lack context because consumers may not realize that the cautionary 500 gram per week figure WCRF cites closely mirrors what the majority of Americans and Canadians commonly consume, and WCRF's recommendation remains the same as it has been for many years. "According to this report, consumers can continue to enjoy the wide array of nutritious meat products offered in the marketplace as part of a balanced diet," Carpenter said.

Carpenter urged the public to consider these direct quotes about meat contained within the report:

  • "The 2016 CUP findings are less strong than those from 2010 SLR [systematic literature review.]" (p. 36)
  • "Of 13 studies reporting on colorectal cancer incidence, 12 reported non-significant positive associations and one reported a non-significant inverse association when comparing the highest versus the lowest levels of intake." (p. 34)
  • "Eight studies were included in the dose-response meta-analysis (n = 6,662 cases), which showed no significant association (RR 1.12 (95% CI 1.00-1.25)) per 100 grams per day." (p. 34)
  • Regarding processed meat, the report examined 13 studies: "Nine reported non-significant positive associations, three of which were significant and three reported non-significant inverse association." (p. 37)

Translation: Most studies showed no significant association between red and/or processed meat and colon cancer or that red and/or processed meat protected against colon cancer, though the authors find the protective effects to be "non-significant."

Report Ignores Health Benefits of Meat

The WCRF report focuses on cancer risks and ignores the many benefits of red and processed meat consumption as part of a healthy balanced diet. "Meat is a nutrient dense, nutrition powerhouse and is one of the richest source of complete protein, Vitamin B12, iron, zinc and many other nutrients," Carpenter concluded. To read scientific studies detailing meat's nutrition benefits, visit the online library .

For more information about the safety and benefits of meat in a balanced diet, visit .

Source: North American Meat Institute

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