A couple years ago, several headlines circulated through the 24-hour news cycle about scientists confirming that bacon was as harmful as human health to smoking cigarettes.
This was based off of a decision made by the World Health Organization, to brand processed meats as “carcinogenic to humans,” deciding to list them in the ranks of other notoriously carcinogenic substances such as asbestos, arsenic, cigarettes, and alcohol. We all are warned about the danger of smoking cigarettes. Fortunately, vaping has been spouted as an alternative. You can even smoke cannabis through a vape now with the right battery. But now it’s time we find alternatives to our beloved bacon.
Truthfully, the story is simplistic and it’s all based around a fallacy: an appeal to authority, the authority of the WHO.
Often, the WHO, CDC, and other government organizations have the ability to cause a media stir just based on what they say, not even necessarily what they report.
Continuing, the World Health Organization officially classified processed meats as carcinogenic in October 2015.
Somehow in this hierarchy, the decision managed to be made by something called the International Agency of Research into Cancer (IARC), based on a review done on 800 studies globally.
They say the report found “sufficient evidence in humans that the consumption of processed meat causes colorectal cancer.”
According to the IARC Report:
“Meat consists of multiple components, such as haem iron. Meat can also contain chemicals that form during meat processing or cooking.
For instance, carcinogenic chemicals that form during meat processing include N-nitroso compounds and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons.
Cooking of red meat or processed meat also produces heterocyclic aromatic amines as well as other chemicals including polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, which are also found in other foods and in air pollution.
Some of these chemicals are known or suspected carcinogens, but despite this knowledge, it is not yet fully understood how cancer risk is increased by red meat or processed meat.”
People would be better off using common sense, firsthand experience, and other reliable and demonstrable, provable sources of information for which things are toxic rather than the World Health Organization. They don’t recognize a ton of other things that are harmful or carcinogenic, but they have no problem stating the obvious.