Meat Is Linked to Higher Cancer Risk, World Health Organization Report Finds


The odds are quite high that you’ve heard about this report which came out yesterday, so I’m not going to discuss the contents of the report here. There are several places where you can read about, such as the New York Times and the Wall Street JournalIf you would like to go the original source of the report, here is the link to the Lancet web site (to read the full report requires you to register, but it is free.)

What I would like to highlight is the reaction of the meat industry.

The report comes from the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), the cancer agency of the World Health Organization (WHO), and involved the work of 22 scientists from ten countries. According to the Wall Street Journal, the IARC is considered an authority in evaluating evidence on cancer causation. While some may claim that the IARC and/or WHO may have a biased agenda that led to such a report, such a claim seems almost fantastical.

However, it seems clear to me that the groups protesting the findings have a clear bias. Just look at the names of some of the groups that have spoken out against the IARC report::

  • North American Meat Institute
  • National Cattlemen’s Beef Association
  • National Pork Board
  • Iowa Bacon Board
  • Northwest Food Processors Association
  • Oregon Cattlemen’s Association
  • British Meat Advisory Panel

And what are these groups saying about the report?

They tortured the data to ensure a specific outcome.”

Cancer is a complex disease not caused by single foods.”

When people cut back on a food they don’t necessarily replace it with broccoli.” (are you serious, that’s part of your argument in support of eating red meat?!)

We’re calling this a majority opinion as opposed to a consensus or unanimous opinion.” (again, that’s the best you can do?).

Do you think these groups have a vested interest in trying to discredit the findings of this report?

Of course they do, which to me immediately discredits their opinions.

In my mind, case closed.

Go vegan.

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