Red meat and processed meatsLyon, France, 26 October 2015 — The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), the cancer agency of the World Health Organization, has evaluated the carcinogenicity of the consumption of red meat and processed meat.

After thoroughly reviewing the accumulated scientific literature, a Working Group of 22 experts from 10 countries convened by the IARC Monographs Programme classified the consumption of red meat as probably carcinogenic to humans (Group 2A), based on limited evidence that the consumption of red meat causes cancer in humans and strong mechanistic evidence supporting a carcinogenic effect. This association was observed mainly for colorectal cancer, but associations were also seen for pancreatic cancer and prostate cancer.

Processed meat was classified as carcinogenic to humans (Group 1), based on sufficient evidence in humans that the consumption of processed meat causes colorectal cancer.

A summary of the final evaluations is available online in The Lancet Oncology, and the detailed assessments will be published as Volume 114 of the IARC Monographs.

Links

IARC press release
IARC Q&A regarding monograph on the carcinogenicity of the consumption of red meat and processed meat
Q&A on IARC monograph series
Links between processed meat and colorectal cancer

For more information, please contact
Véronique Terrasse, Communications Group, at +33 (0)4 72 73 83 66 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
or Dr Nicolas Gaudin, IARC Communications, at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.