Junk science triumphs again and the international press is nearly fainting over the danger in its own headlines.
If you think the announcement by the World Health Organization that red meat and "processed meat" may be causative for cancer wasn't a kick in the groin to the beef and pork industries, in particular, here are a few of Monday's story leads and headlines.
NBC news: "Ham, Sausages Cause Cancer; Red Meat Probably Does, Too, WHO Group Says."
ABC news: "WHO: Processed Meat Linked to Cancer; Red Meat Is Risky, Too."
NPR news: "Bad Day For Bacon: Processed Meats Cause Cancer, WHO Says."
NY Times: "W.H.O. Report Links Some Cancers With Processed or Red Meat."
Wall Street Journal: "Red Meats Linked to Cancer, Global Health Group Says: WHO agency’s study deems processed meats like bacon as carcinogenic."
CNN Money: "The World Health Organization said Monday that eating processed meat such as sausages and ham causes cancer, while unprocessed red meat may also be carcinogenic."
British Broadcasting Corp.: "Processed meats do cause cancer - WHO"
Bloomberg News: "How Red Meat Joined the 478 Other Things That Might Give You Cancer."
Also, the headlines and lead were typically misleading and slanderous to the animal industries. Within one of the mainline news organizations, in this case the British news organization The Guardian, I found a set of questions and answers apparently produced by the WHO's International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), which actually denies and confirms at once what the press claimed in their stories. Here a key excerpt from the article.
"Q. Red meat has been classified as Group 2A, probably carcinogenic to humans. What does this mean?
"A. In the case of red meat, the classification is based on limited evidence from epidemiological studies that shows associations between eating red meat and developing colorectal cancer, and strong mechanistic evidence.
"Limited evidence means that an association has been observed between exposure to the agent and cancer, but that other explanations for the observations - technically termed chance, bias or confounding - could not be ruled out.
"Mechanistic evidence refers to procedures such as the isolation of specific chemicals in processed meat and establishing that they cause cancer in cells or laboratory animals."
Note the article in The Guardian does not draw any kind of line between red meats and processed meats. It use the terms interchangeably one moment and as if it represents only one substance the next. This is one of many ongoing problems with these research projects and those who set them up and interpret them.
No matter, though, right? The damage is done now.
I guess I should just follow the gubmit's advice and live on veggies and carbohydrates, which is pretty much what they've been telling us for 50 years. After all, it's worked for millions of obese Americans.