Bacon lovers, rejoice! WHO admits cancer report was ‘misinterpreted’

Earlier this week, the meat industry took a huge blow when it was revealed processed meats can cause cancer, but it seems we don't need to turn vegetarian just yet.

A new report by the World Health Organisation published last Monday suggested that processed pork and red meat could be as dangerous for our health as smoking.

Needless to say, the world as a whole freaked out. After all, a large proportion of us would consider pork, beef and lamb as a part of our regular diet.

Now though, WHO has said the message in the report may have been "misinterpreted" and that we don't need to cut out processed meats completely.

The meats were classified alongside tobacco, alcohol and even asbestos as carcinogenic substances, which WHO spokesperson Gregory Härtl admits is a "shortcoming" in the organisation's classification system.

"We do not want to compare tobacco and meat because we know that no level of tobacco is safe," he explained to the Irish Times.

"We’re not saying stop eating processed meats altogether. Do not cut out meats completely as it has nutrients.

"But we do not want to do anything to excess."

According to the WHO report, daily consumption of processed meats could increase the risk of colorectal cancer by up to 18 per cent.

Mr Härtl said that further clarification on the levels of processed meats that could be eaten within the context of a healthy diet could be given. 

For now though, he suggests maintaining balance and not indulging in too much of anything.

"Eat healthily means eating a balanced diet, too much of anything is not good," Mr Härtl said.

With that in mind, we won't give up our Sunday fry, but we might say no to that second helping of rashers.

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