Red Meat Carcinogenicity Examined
2/2/2010 10:10:00 AM
Food Product Design
No association between red or processed meat consumption and cancer has been found according to a new, comprehensive assessment of the scientific evidence.
The report, funded by the Beef and Pork Checkoff program, examines the hypothesis that meat consumption may contribute to human carcinogenesis.
Randomized double-blind controlled clinical trials, the “gold standard” in testing, are not typically conducted on the relationship of meat and cancer and certain other studies can be subject to bias. Published epidemiological studies have often found associations between red meat and processed meat and certain cancers, such as colorectal, esophageal, lung and stomach. However the report points out the following:
Most associations are weak in magnitude
Many associations are null or inverse
Most associations are not statistically significant
Patterns of associations vary by gender and anatomic location of the tumor
Red and processed meat definitions vary across studies
Measures of meat intake and the analytical comparisons are variable
Because researchers believe cancer development is related to a number of genetic, lifestyle, infectious and environmental factors, and usually develops over a long period of time, it makes it difficult to identify the underlying factors of carcinogenesis, according to report author and leading epidemiologist, Dr. Dominik Alexander, PhD, MSPH. Still, he says, “…no mechanism for red meat has been established as being responsible for increasing the risk of cancer in human studies and …the totality of available scientific evidence is not supportive of an independent association between red meat and processed meat and cancer.” Read More
No single food has ever been found to cause cancer. It’s as simple as that. Some people who practice a vegan diet will go to almost any length to convince people otherwise, but the best science available would certainly disagree. It’s important that consumers know the truth about the safety of their food, which is why farmers and ranchers need to help share information such as this.