WHO: Processed meat cancer report message ‘misinterpreted’.

The World Health Organisation’s (WHO) statement last month on processed meats and it’s propensity to accelerate the chances of colorectal cancer left many people Worldwide anxious and many farmers & meat processing plants that contribute to a three billion euro meat industry in Ireland, understandably vexed with this ultra negative viewpoint.

Gregory Hartl, a spokesman for WHO, has now claimed that the original message from the report was ‘misinterpreted’. WHO released the statement in response to last month’s cancer review which has tobacco, processed meats and arsenic in the same classification group. Hartl explained that this was a ‘shortcoming’.

According to estimates cited by the IARC (International Agency of Research on Cancer), there are 34,000 cancer deaths per annum Worldwide that can be directly attributed to diets high in processed meat. There are approximately one million cancer deaths per annum attributable to tobacco smoking.

As  a rebuttal, I believe WHO should get their proverbial facts right before this unnecessary scaremongering. With any ‘balanced diet’ that incorporates processed meats in moderation, there is no discernible reason for trepidation. The ripple effect has been felt by the meat industry following the original ‘exposé’  with many businesses losing as much as 20% business coming up to the Christmas festivities and I think it is only right that unassailable facts are solely reported with no ambiguity and not mere speculation.