The World Health Organisation (WHO) released a report Monday which placed processed meats, including bacon and sausages, in the same category as smoking and asbestos for causing cancer.
The report revealed that as little as two slices of bacon can increase the risk of colorectal (bowel) cancer by 18%.
If the meat eaters among us choked on their sausages as they read the report over breakfast, the vegetarian reaction – at least on Twitter – was a little more smug.
Meat eaters despair
Roughly 34,000 cancer deaths per year have been attributed by the WHO report to diets too high in processed meats. Heartbroken meat eaters were understandably annoyed.
Though processed meat is now in the same category as cigarettes and alcohol for causing cancer, WHO experts claim it does not mean that they are equally dangerous.
“For an individual, the risk of developing colorectal (bowel) cancer because of their consumption of processed meat remains small, but this risk increases with the amount of meat consumed,” Dr Kurt Straif from the WHO said in a statement.
Defiance amid the sadness
In spite of the report by the WHO, some meat lovers were still able to keep their chins up.
Unfortunately for vegetarians, the WHO’s findings came not long after a report by Clear Food revealed that 10% of vegetarian hot dogs contain meat – and that two-thirds of vegetarian samples contain human DNA.
U.S. meat industry groups are slamming the WHO report, with the North American Meat Institute called the conclusion “dramatic and alarmist overreach.”