“Bacon, ham and sausages rank alongside cigarettes as a major cause of cancer, the World Health Organisation has said, placing cured and processed meats in the same category as asbestos, alcohol, arsenic and tobacco.” Guardian 26 Oct 2015.
The Guardian and most other media have got this story completely wrong. It was based on a press release from IARC (International Agency for Research on Cancer) which is part of WHO, but quite independent. What IARC did was assess the strength of the evidence, NOT the strength of the association. So processed meat had strong evidence of a VERY SMALL increased ca risk which put it in the same “quality of evidence” category as smoking which has a VERY strong risk, such that even now smoking is responsible for 25% of deaths under age 70 in UK and will kill one third of Chinese men. Red meat has a PROBABLE slight cancer risk, and in fact there is no conclusive evidence of any risk yet.
Meat DOES NOT rank alongside smoking as a cause of cancer.