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World Health Organization: We're Not Telling People to Stop Eating Bacon

Reducing your intake will reduce the risk of cancer, though.


The internet lost its collective mind this week following the release of a World Health Organization report that declared red meat and processed meats — including that cultural zeitgeist, bacon — to be carcinogenic to humans. Now, however, The Independent reports the WHO is trying to ease the panic by insisting that it's not recommending people cut out these foods altogether.

The WHO points out in a statement that the new study, conducted by the International Agency for Research on Cancer, merely reiterates what it recommended way back in 2002, which was that people moderate — not eliminate — their consumption of such foods to reduce the risk of cancer. The group can hardly blame the public for reacting hysterically, though: The report did place processed meats in "group one" of carcinogens, right alongside cigarettes and formaldehyde.

Obviously, the meat industry was none too pleased by this news: The North American Meat Institute swiftly issued a press release declaring the IARC's report "dramatic and alarmist." Neither was meat-loving Iron Chef Michael Symon, who posted a lengthy rant to his Facebook page that began, "To say I am disappointed in your witch hunt... errr "research" would be to put it mildly an understatement."