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Beef: It’s Still What’s For Dinner, Say Associations

When an industry gets bad press, expect an association to respond.  That’s exactly what happened when an international panel of researchers messed with the $95B US beef industry.


The World Health Organization's International Agency for Research on Cancer announced yesterday that processed meat like bacon and sausage and red meat were “probably carcinogenic to humans” and cause cancer. That was met with a storm of backlash from associations that represent the industry. The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association medical spokesperson Shalene McNeill (above) said cancer is a complex disease that even the best researchers struggle to understand. The American Association of Meat Processors says the evidence doesn’t support a link between red meat and cancer and ignores red meat’s nutritional value


American Association of Meat Processors outreach specialist Chris Young (above) also pointed out that the panel studied 940 agents and found that only one—a chemical found in yoga pants—doesn’t pose a hazard. He also says the same panel has found links to cancer from sunlight, breathing air, alcohol, wood dust and working the night shift. The North American Meat Institute scientific affairs VP Betsy Booren added that people in countries where the Mediterranean diet is followed, like Spain, Italy and France, have some of the longest life spans in the world. The diet calls for red meat in moderation, a few times per month.