Who_ red, processed meat contributes to cancer likelihood – victoria advocate – victoria, tx

“World’s oldest woman says she eats ‘bacon’ daily. Good news: I will never give up bacon.”

Kenna Dubose-Starrak, of Victoria

“As far as sausage and bacon, I stick with the local processors like Maeker’s, Patek’s and Janak’s.”

Chuck Holley, of Victoria

“Government organizations change their opinion of what’s healthy as often as the wind changes direction (see their newfound

view of whole milk). Also, no one takes the UN seriously.”

Travis Smith, of Victoria

“Eat steak! Rare and non-processed. By the way, my father and grandfather were wholesale meat packers. They produced tons of pastrami and corned beef and ate that stuff regularly.

My father is alive and well at 85. My grandfather lived to be 93.”

Dr. Gary Branfman, of Victoria

“We’ve known this for a long time. I believe several agencies have talked about this. This is not just all meat; it is processed meat only. The nitrites and nitrates are what causes the cancers, so all processed lunch meats, bacon, sausage, etc. However, if you go to H-E-B, they have an excellent selection of good and healthy lunch meats and hot dogs. I think the meat growers don’t have anything to worry about. If you want meat with no hormones and antibiotics, buy natural meat at H-E-B. I have totally gotten away from all processed meat and all meat with antibiotics and hormones.”

Sue Rhodes Hedtke, of Victoria

“Who cares! If it’s not the bacon, it’s something else you use, eat or drink in your daily lives that will cause cancer. Life’s short – eat bacon!”

Felipe Tunchez Jr., of Victoria

Processed meats such as bacon and hot dogs cause cancer in humans, according to the World Health Organization – but consumers shouldn’t worry about it, according to Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller.

The WHO’s study, conducted by the International Agency for Research on Cancer, the organization’s cancer research agency, is “another example of politicized science that is not grounded in reality,” Miller said in a statement to The Texas Tribune.

In a study published Monday, the WHO announced processed meat would be designated a “Group 1” carcinogen – alongside tobacco and asbestos. The study also concluded red meat in general is “probably” carcinogenic to humans and is “positively associated with pancreatic and with prostate cancer.”

According to the state Department of Agriculture, Texas is the United States’ top exporter of beef. In 2012, the state beef industry brought in more than $800 million.

Texans shouldn’t feel the need to change their dietary habits, Miller said.

“Lean red meat has long been and will continue to be an important part of a healthy, well-balanced diet,” he said.

Retired Victoria County Extension agent and rancher Joe Janak agreed.

“Processed meat is not the same as red meat,” Janak said. “And red meat is not the same as the beef people buy in the grocery store.”*

Gene Hall, a spokesman for the Texas Farm Bureau, said he hopes the WHO’s report won’t dissuade consumers.

“To put red meat in the same sentence as tobacco and asbestos is absurd,” Hall said. “For the time being, I’m going to assume the public’s appetite for red meat will remain strong.”

Hall said he has doubts about the study’s conclusion, which drew on more than 800 epidemiological studies investigating cancer and meat consumption across several countries.

“I’m skeptical about the science and even more so about the way it’s being interpreted. There are a lot of studies out there that say the opposite,” Hall said. “It’s very fashionable to attack beef these days.”

Hall said he ultimately isn’t too concerned about the study’s findings.

“I’m not buying it, and I don’t think the public will either,” he said.

Janak said people should research the topic themselves and come to their own conclusions.

“I take it with a grain of salt,” he said of the WHO study. “There’s ‘mays’ in there.”

Advocate staff reporter Sky Chadde contributed to this story.

*Correction, Oct. 27, 2015: Retired Victoria County Extension Agent Joe Janak said, “Processed meat is not the same meat in the store.” His quote was unclear in an earlier version of this story.