WCRF statement on SACN report

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The Scientific Advisory Committe on Nutrition (SACN) has today issued its Iron and Health report.

On the links between red and processed meat and cancer, SACN states:

Red and processed meat is a source of iron in the diet of the UK population. COMA reported possible links between red and processed meat consumption and colorectal cancer risk in 1998 and the evidence that has accumulated since then generally supports this association. However, it is not possible to quantify the amount of red and processed meat that may be associated with increased colorectal cancer risk because of limitations and inconsistencies in the data. It may be advisable for adults with relatively high intakes of red and processed meat (e.g., it is estimated that those above the 75th percentile consume over 90 g/day) to consider reducing their intakes.”

World Cancer Research Fund has given the following statement in response to the SACN report:

“We welcome the fact that this report recognises the strong evidence that red and processed meat increases risk of bowel cancer.

“We are also pleased that its recommendation is similar to the 500g per week, cooked weight, limit that World Cancer Research Fund recommends.

“However, our report made the distinction between red and processed meat and we recommended that while people should limit intake of red meat, they should avoid processed meat. This means that we would suggest that people following this new report’s guidelines should try and make sure as little as possible of their 70g per day is processed.”

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