NFU warns of heartache over red-meat cancer-link study

15 September 1997

NFU warns of "heartache" over red-meat cancer-link study

THE National Farmers Union said a study linking high red meat consumption with cancer would cause “heartache” among livestock producers.

The Committee of Medical Aspects of Food Policy is expected to warn ministers later this month that people should limit their consumption of cooked red meat to a maximum of 140g (5oz) a day to avoid increased risk of cancer. But 140g is well above what the average UK citizen eats on a daily basis – with the average consumer eating 75g daily, according to statistics.

Its working group on diet and cancer is believed to have found a link between high red-meat consumption and a higher incidence of bowel and stomach cancer.

A World Cancer Research Fund study is believed to have reached similar conclusions.

It will be another blow to an industry still struggling to recover from the impact of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE).

  • A Taylor Nelson-AGB survey says nearly half of adults who call themselves vegetarians secretly eat meat. There are an estimated 3 million vegetarians in Britain, with numbers growing by another 5000 each week. Many cite the beef scare as their main reason. Another 8 million avoid red meat. Only 1.6% of Scots have converted.

    • Financial Times 15/09/97 page 1
    • The Independent 15/09/97 page 3

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