Red Meat Industry Responds to the World Cancer Research Fund Report

    TORONTO, Oct. 31 /CNW/ - The Beef Information Centre, Canadian Pork
Council and the Canadian Meat Council disagree with certain conclusions in the
World Cancer Research Fund (WCRF) Report. The report is a global review of
diet, physical activity and obesity in relation to cancer risk. Red meat
producers value research on health issues, however, they urge caution with
some of the Report's recommendations.
    There is no convincing scientific evidence that consuming red meat, as
part of a healthy balanced diet, increases the risk of cancer. Cancer is a
complex disease with many contributing factors including: physical activity,
obesity, smoking, alcohol consumption, diet, as well as family history and
age. There isn't one single food that causes or prevents cancer. A balanced
diet, regular physical activity and a healthy body weight play a key role in
cancer prevention.
    Scientific findings regarding cancer risk continue to be inconsistent.
For example, a pooled analysis of 725,000 subjects conducted by Harvard in
2004(1) concluded there is no positive association between red meat
consumption and colorectal cancer risk. The findings were presented at the
2004 American Association of Cancer Research annual meeting.
    Eating Well with Canada's Food Guide continues to recognize red meat in
the diet. The Food Guide recommends 1 to 3 servings of Meat & Alternatives per
day (75 grams per serving). Canadians on average are eating 74 grams of red
meat a day and are well within the Food Guide recommendations. As well, many
Canadians are not eating a balanced diet, missing out on the recommended daily
minimum servings of vegetables and fruit, and getting 22 per cent of their
total calories a day from foods low in nutritional value; like fats and oils,
condiments, candy, chips and beverages(2).
    Canadian red meat is lean and nutritious. Several cuts of beef and pork
meet the criteria of the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada's Health
Check(TM) program. Red meat is nutrient rich with 14 essential nutrients
making it an important part of a balanced diet. Red meat is an excellent
source of protein, zinc, vitamin B12 and selenium.
    Canadians can continue to enjoy eating red meat. Farmers and ranchers are
proud of the food they produce and the contribution it makes to a healthy

    The Beef Information Centre is a national organization formed by Canadian
beef producers. Its mandate is to increase consumer demand for beef.

    The Canadian Pork Council is the national association representing the
interests of Canada's hog producers.

    The Canadian Meat Council is the national association of federally
inspected meat packers and processors.

    (1) Meat and fat intake and colorectal cancer risk: A pooled analysis of
        14 prospective studies, Cho et al, Proc Amer Assoc Cancer Res,
        Volume 45, 2004

    (2) Overview of Canadians' Eating Habits 2004: Nutrition Findings from
        the Canadian Community Health Survey

For further information:

For further information: Media Contacts: Beef Information Centre: Mr.
Ron Glaser, Executive Director Communications and Public Affairs, Ms. Lisa
Mina, RD, Executive Director of Marketing, on location in Washington, D.C.,
(T) (403) 275-5890 x 306, E-mail:, E-mail:; Canadian Pork Council: Ms. Anita DeCoste, Communications
Officer, Ms. Mary Ann Binnie, Nutrition Manager, on location in Washington
D.C., (T) (613) 236-9239 x 277, E-mail:, E-mail:; Canadian Meat Council: Mr. Jim Laws, Executive Director,
(T): (613) 729-3911 x 24, E-mail:

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