24 October 1997

Study refutes evidence of cancer link to diet

A NEW study showing no evidence of a link between frequent meat eating and cancer has been welcomed by the Meat and Livestock Commission.

The study, based on a health and lifestyle survey of 9000 people chosen at random throughout the UK, was prepared by Cambridge University scientists.

Colin Maclean, MLC director general, said the results brought a welcome measure of commonsense to the debate on a relationship between diet and cancer.

"This is an extensive study of a representative cross-section of the UK population and serves further to refute recent claims of a link between red meat and cancer," he said.

The recent COMA report, which linked high red meat intake with increased risk of stomach and colon cancers, was dismissed by MLC as unfounded.

The Cambridge scientists confirmed the value of fruit and vegetables in helping prevent some cancers but, like other European studies, found no evidence to link red meat consumption with colo-rectal or any other cancer, Mr Maclean added.n