30.10.2015

IARC and red meat

Luciano Butti comments on the decision of IARC (the International Agency for Research on Cancer) to include red meat and processed meat among the substances “probably carcinogenic to humans” and “carcinogenic to humans”, respectively.

The news has been widely reported in the media, which have underlined that also tobacco smoking or exposure to asbestos fibers are listed as “carcinogenic to humans”.

The newsletter explains how and why to compare red meat and processed meat with tobacco smoking or asbestos is the result of a big misunderstanding. Moreover, a similar comparison not only is incorrect but is also likely to damage some Italian DOP production (ham and similar products). Therefore, an in depth analysis, both from a legal and technical point of view, would be desirable, especially in order to protect artisanal products, such as the Italian DOP ham.

The iarc and red meat

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