The North American Meat Institute and American Meat Science Association have once again teamed up to produce new Meat MythCrusher videos, addressing many of the common consumer misconceptions about meat and poultry. The newest video discusses the commonly reported myth that the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) found 800 studies linking red and processed meat to cancer. The video features Andy Milkowski, Ph.D., adjunct professor, department of animal sciences at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, explaining that the actual number of studies considered was a fraction of the 800.
“They started with 800 studies, but then they had to sift and winnow through those studies in order to determine which ones were really relevant to the questions they were asking,” said Milkowski.
In the end, 32 of those studies were truly applicable, some of which showed a statistical association between meat and cancer and some of which showed no link, according to Milkowski.
The final IARC abstract released in 2015 cited 18 studies on processed meat and colorectal cancer, with 12 of them showing some statistical association and 14 studies on red meat, with seven of them indicating an association between red meat consumption and colorectal cancer. The resulting confusion led to a follow up from the World Health Organization (WHO), which oversees IARC, clarifying that red and processed meat can play a role in a healthy, balanced diet.
“They said that because this was a hazard assessment and not a risk assessment and there are many nutritional benefits of meat, people should not be overly concerned. They should eat a balanced diet and maintain a healthy lifestyle,” said Milkowski.
The video also explains the difference between hazards and risks, and what kind of information can be learned from each type of assessment. The Meat MythCrusher video is the 51st in the series, which features interviews with meat scientists and other experts on the most common myths surrounding meat and poultry production and processing. Altogether the videos have been viewed more than 260,000 times, and Meat MythCrusher printed brochures have been handed out to thousands of health, culinary and industry professionals around the country. Other topics include myths surrounding meat nutrition, antibiotic use in livestock, “Superbugs” in meat, Meatless Monday, hormone use in animals, ammonia in ground beef, grass-fed beef and more.
All of the videos as well as the brochure covering the different meat myths addressed in them are available at http://www.meatmythcrushers.com/.