Sunday, 20 February 2011

New red and processed meat warning??

Today's headlines give a dire warning that Britons MUST eat only 70g of red and processed meat per day otherwise they MAY get stomach cancer.

Now why I am so sceptical that I have immediately written to Dr Anne Prentice of MRC [Dr Susan Jebb's boss!] who is Chairman of The Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition (SACN), the body issuing the warning.

"Dear Dr Prentice,

I would be most grateful if you would kindly provide me with a list of the studies upon which your committee has based the latest warning, headlined today.

In February 2009 I made the same request to the World Cancer Research Fund when the same warning was given. I was provided with a link to 1,028 studies, but I was unable to find any that were relevant.

I would also be very interested to know the reasons for combining, say, grass-fed beef with foods such as the beef in a typical fast-food curry. "

I'm sceptical because we heard almost identical warnings exactly two years ago, in February 2009 - only that time the headline was "Red meat causes cancer"!

This is what I did then, and these were my findings.

Then I discovered that red meat, particularly beef, is a healthy food.

This is why I'm so sceptical of the latest warning, and I can't wait to get a response to my email, because only if there is genuine research proving the direct correlation between the sort of red meat that I eat - grass-fed beef, Welsh lamb, Cheshire pork and Lancashire chicken - only then will I hold up my hands and say "Sorry, you're right - I'll become a vegetarian ... again ... even if it does make me fatter and sicker, and more likely to die earlier!"

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