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MEPs debate IARC studies on red and processed meat with WHO's Roberto Bertollini

11-11-2015

MEPs reacted to the assessments published by World Health Organization (WHO)'s International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) classifying the consumption of processed meat as carcinogenic to humans, and red meat as probably carcinogenic, during a debate on Tuesday with WHO EU representative Roberto Bertollini. The recording of the debate is available from this link (debate started at 11.40)

 

“This issue is of concern for the public opinion as a whole. It is important to consider the IARC’s work in its context – of research. Consumers should be informed, and they should be reassured, too” said Public Health committee chairman Giovanni La Via (EPP, IT). “In its work, WHO also stresses that eating meat has known health benefits” he added.

“Meat has to be consumed within a healthy and balanced diet. A normal, moderate consumption does not create problems. Risk increases with the amount of meat consumed” Mr La Via said.

Background

In October, 2015, 22 scientists from ten countries met at the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) in Lyon, France, to evaluate the carcinogenicity of the consumption of red meat and processed meat.

They classified the consumption of red meat as probably carcinogenic to humans (Group 2A), based on “limited evidence that the consumption of red meat causes cancer in humans and strong mechanistic evidence supporting a carcinogenic effect”.

Processed meat was classified as carcinogenic to humans (Group 1), based on “sufficient evidence in humans that the consumption of processed meat causes colorectal cancer”.

Q&A by WHO on the carcinogenicity of the consumption of red meat and processed meathttp://www.europarl.europa.eu/committees/en/ENVI/home.htmlMeeting documents