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NFU Angered As New Evidence Reveals Link Between Red Meat And Cancer Was Flawed

The NFU is furious after learning that the findings of a review, which revealed errors in a report claiming a link between red meat consumption and cancer, have not been shared with policy makers. It has joined livestock levy body Eblex in its concern over flawed figures that are contained in a report from the World Cancer Research Fund.
The initial report, first published in 2007, has been widely used as proof of a link between eating red meat and developing cancer. However, two leading scientists have now highlighted a number of errors which include analytical inconsistencies and data extraction errors in the evidence. These are thought to have contributed to overestimations being made by the WCRF in its conclusions linking red meat and cancer.
Dr Stewart Truswell, of the University of Sydney, and Dr Dominik Alexander, of Exponent, have had their review published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. The conclusion of Dr Alexander's review is that "there is no conclusive evidence of a causal relationship" between eating meat and developing colorectal cancer.
NFU livestock board chairman Alistair Mackintosh said: "I am appalled that flawed evidence has been used to draw links between eating red meat and cancer. The NFU is calling for the World Cancer Research Fund to recognise the discrepancies that have been highlighted and accept that these errors could have potentially contributed to an overestimation of the association between eating red meat and the risk of colorectal cancer.
"I understand that the WCRF has privately accepted the flaws but it is unwilling to inform policymakers direct. This is doing a huge disservice to our industry and people must be made aware of the true facts as soon as possible. Future policy-making, which affects us all, could be distorted by these flawed assumptions.
"The NFU always stated that eating lean red meat has an important role to play in a healthy balanced diet. It is a traditional part of the British diet and is enjoyed by most of the population."


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