WCRF recommendation on meat consumption called extreme

by Editor fleischwirtschaft.com
Thursday, November 01, 2007

The American Meat Institute (AMI) said that World Cancer Research Fund’s (WCRF) recommendations to limit red meat intake would be unfounded.

A new report by the World Cancer Research Fund/American Institute for Cancer Research suggests to limit the intake of red meat and to avoid processed meat as one of ten recommendations to reduce cancer risk.

According to the AMI these recommendation reflects WCRF’s well-known anti-meat bias and should be met with scepticism because they oversimplify the complex issue of cancer, are not supported by the data and defy common sense.

AMI Foundation Vice President of Scientific Affairs Randy Huffman, Ph.D., said that WCRF’s conclusions would be extreme, unfounded and out of step with dietary guidelines. He also noted that the causes of cancer are extremely complex and involve factors like genetics, the environment, lifestyle and a host of other issues.

Furthermore, Huffman expressed strong concern that all relevant research was not considered by the WCRF panel. In particular, he noted that the largest study ever done on red meat and colon cancer – a 2004 Harvard School of Public Health analysis involving 725,000 men and women and presented at the 2004 American Association for Cancer Research Conference – showed no relationship between the two.

Huffman also disputed the report’s extreme recommendations on processed meats. Huffman pointed out that AMI’s own systematic review of the literature by independent epidemiologists has documented that 15 of 16 comparisons regarding processed meat and colorectal cancer were not statistically significant. The literature simply would not support the recommendations of the WCRF report, he said.