World Cancer Research Fund (WCRF) has accused the British meat industry of misleading the public by making factually inaccurate and potentially defamatory comments.
In a coordinated attack, the National Beef Association (NBA), the British Pig Executive (BPEX), the National Sheep Association (NSA) and the National Farmers’ Union (NFU) have issued statements suggesting that WCRF has misled the public with its recommendations on meat.
But WCRF has responded by assuring people it continues to stand behind its recommendation to limit intake of red meat to 500g (cooked weight) per week and avoid processed meat. This is the conclusion of an independent panel of international scientists who judged the evidence that they increase colorectal cancer risk to be convincing, following the biggest review of the evidence ever undertaken.
The UK meat lobby accuses WCRF of making mistakes in analysing the scientific literature about the link between meat and colorectal cancer and then refusing to admit to these mistakes. This is not true.
Any errors in the report were too minor to have affected the overall conclusions. These are detailed on our website at http://www.dietandcancerreport.org/?p=errors_and_omissions and have been set out in detail in letters to the meat industry.
Professor Martin Wiseman, Project Director of the Report, said: “These insinuations are nothing short of outrageous. The truth is that we have had open dialogue with the meat industry for many months on exactly these issues and we have given them all the information they have requested.
“I invited them to share this information with the Food Standards Agency and others. But it appears they are only interested in creating doubt in people’s minds.
“This report features the judgements of an independent panel of eminent scientists. WCRF commissioned the report with money raised from the general public and therefore it was not influenced by any vested interests.
“The fact is that our report is the most comprehensive and authoritative review of the evidence that has ever been published and it found convincing evidence that red and processed meat both increase risk of colorectal cancer.”
The full report is available for download at www.dietandcancerreport.org
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