It’s Official: Bacon and Sausage Cause Cancer (and are as Dangerous as Cigarettes)

News broke today that the World Health Organization is going to make the bold statement that bacon and sausage cause cancer.

In corroboration with what many doctors have been saying for years, the World Health Organization is planning to declare that bacon and sausage cause cancer. The news puts bacon, sausage, and other processed meats in the same category as equally dangerous products like arsenic, asbestos, and cigarettes.

As reported on Yahoo news earlier today, in addition to bacon and sausage, which is prepared by smoking, curing, salting and adding preservatives like nitrates (which are also linked to cancer), The World Cancer Research Fund will also cite red meat as “probably carcinogenic to humans.”

bacon and sausage cause cancer

At the basis of this announcement is research showing strong evidence that eating these processed meats and red meat increases the risk of bowel cancer, which is the second most common cancer in Europe and third most common worldwide, according to Cancer Research UK. Bowel cancer accounts for ten percent of all deaths from cancer, says Yahoo.

The preliminary news about the statement has come about after a meeting and review of all available evidence from scientists of ten nations. The official announcement is expected to be Monday. One of the more interesting quotes is from Betsy Booren, of the North American Meat Institute. She’s quoted as saying, “If they determine that red and processed meat causes cancer – and I think they will – that moniker will stick. It could take decades and billions of dollars to change that.”

How do you feel about the American Meat Institute saying yes, I think they will find meat to be related to cancer– when all along they’ve been saying that red meat is a part of our healthy diet? Perhaps instead of ‘spending billions of dollars’ to change our idea about the cancer-meat connection, why don’t we eat less meat to avoid cancer all together?

As we’ve written before, there is actually a lot of evidence that animal foods (meat, dairy, and egg products) are negatively implicated in human health. But an announcement from WHO could add weight to this research in a way that Neal Barnard at Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn or T. Colin Campbell– plant-based diet advocates, whom have written extensively about the connection between animal foods and cancer– cannot.

Not only is meat bad for our health in the long term, it could also be potentially deadly. WHO has already written extensively about Campylobacter and salmonella and about dangerous dioxins found in animal foods, so an announcement about a direct link to cancer might just give people a chance to really think about their meat in a new way.

bacon and sausage image from Shutterstock


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7 thoughts on “It’s Official: Bacon and Sausage Cause Cancer (and are as Dangerous as Cigarettes)”

  1. If red meat were that dangerous, then there would be no trouble finding evidence that vegans live substantially longer. But such evidence is rather slim, mainly because the percent of colon and rectum cancer deaths is highest among people aged 75-84. Thus while it might cause cancer, it doesn’t occur quickly, thus the impact on how long we live is minor.

  2. This is a bunch of horse shit, don’t listen to these idiots eat what ever you like in moderation is all! I know plenty of people that live to 90’s that eat bacon and sausage

  3. I think the title and article are a little sensational. While certain foods in general may have an increased risk of cancer, there are dozens of other factors to consider. While processed anything is generally frowned upon, red meat has been eaten in many cultures for centuries and most countries that still rely heavily on non-processed meats for daily meals that include cattle and lamb aren’t topping the charts on bowel cancer deaths. Western society also needs a lesson on moderation and variety rather then blanket statements of “just stay away from these things and you’ll be fine” Next week they’ll be demonizing potatoes or white rice.

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