Prominent German nutritionist Udo Pollmer (photo right), a frequent guest of the media on issues concerning food, recently commented on and dismissed here the UN’s latest claim that especially processed meats cause colon cancer and red meats show a strong link.
In the deutschlandradiokultur.de segment Pollmer first says that the science in the report is difficult to judge because the study has not been yet made open to the public. He adds, however, that the old playbook seems to be at work: create a lot of publicity and later should it turned out to be wrong, all will be forgotten. “This alone shows that it has little to do with scientific truth.”
Based on a mere 27 studies, not 800!
First the meta-analysis did not involve 800 studies, as the media all trumpeted. Pollmer says:
As by coincidence along with the WHO, also US epidemiologists assessed the global database: and they found only 38 studies that fulfilled the minimum criteria. From that after excluding parallel publications only 27 remained.”
As a result Pollmer writes that the UN meta-analysis is fundamentally inconclusive. Pollmer adds that the collection of the data based on questionnaires from many different countries is unreliable because the subjects themselves did not even know what was in the meat products.
Another problem Pollmer sees with the WHO study is that the study focused only on colon cancer rates, and not the overall rate of all cancers.
How can we know if sausage is cancer-causing, or perhaps even reduces the overall cancer rate?”
Pollmer says the correct way to conduct the study would be to put a group on a high meat diet and another on a very low meat diet. Such a study does not exist for meat, but does so with plant fiber. He writes:
By the administration of wheat bran, the number of adenomas (non-cancerous tumors] (the precursors for cancer) in the colon increased.”
Pollmer feels that the WHO is singling out processed meats in an attempt to label them the villain and that the organization is using the word “cancer” to “intimidate the public”.
At the end Pollmer asks: if meat were bad for humans, over the past 4 million years of evolution would it not have long since removed those who had eaten it?
Of course the meat eaters are here today, and instead it appears that the vegans were the ones who were naturally selected. Today they are making a comeback, but only thanks to modern food production technology and mass availability.
As for the rest of us who are concerned about remaining healthy, eat fatty meat, and especially food products made from the organs!
Photo credit: EULE.