It is important to note that today’s International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) report “also clearly recognises the nutritional benefits of eating red meat” says Quality Meat Scotland (QMS).
“It is equally important to consider the background to this report,” said QMS chairman, Jim McLaren, stating that IARC has looked at over 900 substances since 1971 and decided that all, apart from one, is at least capable of causing cancer in certain circumstances.
“These substances include such diverse products as coffee, paint, hairdressing products and talcum powder.”
QMS’s advice, in line with current government guidelines, is that meat should be eaten as part of a healthy balanced diet. The point is also made that IARC’s findings are not based on any new evidence from any new research.
The Scottish meat promotion body then went on to highlight the dangers attached to not eating meat.
“Avoiding red meat could in fact be detrimental to health,” said Mr McLaren (pictured above), illustrating his argument by pointing out that around 40% of women and teenage girls have iron intakes which are “too low”.
“Red meat is a natural source of protein, iron, zinc and B vitamins and we should continue to enjoy it in the knowledge that it plays a vital role in our diets.”
He also said that vegetarians were found to have the same rate of bowel cancer as meat eaters in one of the biggest studies of its kind in the UK carried out by Oxford University.