Australian meat-maker rejects WHO red meat-cancer report

By @Shayani92 on
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A traditional full English breakfast of sausages, chips, baked beans, bacon, black pudding and toast is pictured at 'Enough To Feed an Elephant' cafe in London May 24, 2012. A menu of oddly named and sometimes oddly tasting traditional British dishes awaits adventurous diners visiting London for the Olympic Games this summer. Picture taken May 24, 2012. Reuters/Suzanne Plunkett

Australian sausage-maker Nick Kerr has stepped forward to reject the connection between red meat and cancer, calling it a “blanket claim.”

The link was established by 22 experts from 10 countries as part of the IARC Monographs Programme, which classified the consumption of red meat as carcinogenic after thoroughly reviewing accumulated scientific literature.

"Saying there is an issue with bacon and sausages are (sic) a bit of a blanket claim,” he said, according to the  SMH.

Responding to the World Health Organisation report, which also states that the consumption of red meat can cause cancer, Kerr said such claims don’t apply to Australian meat processors.

Kerr and his brother Richard run Farm Foods, which supplies fresh produce to all major supermarkets. They also produce sausages in large quantities.

Kerr said he found the WHO report "personally offensive," and noted that in his 20 years of service, he has seen the quality of these products improve. “All the products we make are from fresh meat … whereas in the past that might not have happened," he added.

He further said that food safety was a priority in Australia, and local food standards were very high. As a result, such claims do not involve countries like Australia.

Similarly, Agriculture Minister Barnaby Joyce has ridiculed the report, calling it as farce and saying humans would take a step back to a primitive society if they heeded WHO's report.

“If you got everything that the World Health Organisation said was carcinogenic and took it out of your daily requirements, well you are kind of heading back to a cave,” he said.

However, Labor agriculture spokesman Joel Fitzgibbon defended the report and said it has been misinterpreted. He remarked that WHO was promoting a balanced diet and not, in fact, asking people to stop consuming red meat. "I'll be sticking with bacon and eggs for breakfast on Sunday," he added.

A spokeswoman for Meat and Livestock Australia also said consuming red meat was part of healthy, balanced diet.

Meanwhile, beef processor company Bindaree said that the demand for red meat was high among the Australians but refused to comment on WHO reports.

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