It’s also been picked up by the Arizona Republic, New York Newsday, as several other newspapers throughout the US and Canada.
The American Meat Institute has released a statement expressing skepticism regarding the CUP Expert Panel’s consensus judgment that convincing evidence links red and processed meat to colorectal cancer, and urging “common sense.”
We at AICR stand by the CUP Expert Panel’s systematic and comprehensive evaluation of the evidence, but we do agree with the AMI on one point: The science on colorectal cancer does not support eliminating red meat from the diet. In fact, AICR recommends moderating intake of beef, pork and lamb to 18 ounces (cooked) per week — below this level, the increase in colorectal cancer risk is very small; above this amount, the increase is enough to warrant concern. When it comes to processed meat, however, the situation is different. An increase in risk is seen with even relatively low consumption of processed meats like hot dogs, cold cuts and bacon — that’s why AICR recommends saving these foods for special occasions, like a hot dog at a ball game, or a slice of ham at Easter.
Our report has people around the globe talking. It made the cover of the UK’s Daily Express, and was prominently featured in the other national UK papers as well. In Australia, it made the Sydney Morning-Herald and the Daily Sun. It even found its way into Russia’s Pravda.
There’s surely more coverage of this major report on colorectal cancer risk to come — let us know in the comments if you spot any in your local paper or on your local news.
Of course, the science continues, and evidence continues to mount — that’s why the Continuous Update Project (CUP) is so important. Via the CUP, new evidence is systematically entered into the massive database we have created, and that evidence — old and new — is periodically reviewed. In 2009, the CUP report on breast cancer was released. Today, we publish the CUP Report on Colorectal Cancer.
The new judgments in this report confirm that red and processed meat increase risk for colorectal cancer. The CUP Expert Panel concluded that the evidence that foods containing fiber — like whole grains, beans, fruits and vegetables — offer protection against colorectal cancer has gotten so much stronger it has earned a grade of “convincing” — the most rigorous classification the CUP Expert Panel could assign. But the CUP also weighed the totality of evidence on a host of factors like alcohol, physical activity, body fat and much more.