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Meat Industry Response to Meat Being Labeled Carcinogenic

The most extensive report on diet and cancer in history is constantly being updated with all the new research. As I discuss in my video The Palatability of Cancer Prevention, in its update on colorectal cancer a few years ago, various meats were implicated, including processed meat as “a convincing cause of colorectal cancer,” which is its highest level of evidence that “effectively means ‘beyond reasonable doubt.’” More recently, processed meat was confirmed as a carcinogen by the World Health Organization. The main message was that “the best prevention of colorectal cancer is the combination of higher physical activity with a fibre-rich and meat products poor diet.” A decrease by half a turkey sandwich’s worth of meat might lower the total number of colorectal cancer cases by approximately 20 percent. There are several implications of this cancer guideline update, but a paper in the industry publication Meat Science decided “to focus on the consumer side of the story, since every consumer is a patient and vice-versa at some point in the future.” But chronic disease need not be invariably a consequence of aging.

“Although the epidemiological evidence for the relationship between colorectal cancer risk (at least!) and processed meats intake cannot be denied,” the Meat Science authors suggest further research. For example, compare the risk of consuming meat to other risky practices—alcohol, lack of physical activity, obesity, and smoking. Compared to lung cancer and smoking, maybe meat won’t look so bad!

Consumers, however, probably won’t even hear about the cancer prevention guidelines. “Consumers today are overloaded with information….It is thus probable that the dissemination of the [World Cancer Research Fund’s] update on colorectal cancer drowns in this information cloud.” And, even if consumers do see it, the meat industry doesn’t think they’ll much care.

For many consumers in the Western world, “the role of healthfulness, although important, is not close to taste satisfaction in shaping their final choice of meat and meat products…It is hence questionable that slightly revised recommendations based on the carcinogenic effects of meat consumption will yield substantial changes in consumer behavior.”

Doctors and nutrition professionals feed into this patronizing attitude that people don’t care enough about their health to change. A classic paper from The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, a leading journal, scoffed at the idea that people would ever switch to a “prudent diet,” reducing their intakes of animal protein and fat no matter how much cancer was prevented. “The chances of reducing consumptions of fat, protein foods, or indeed of any food to a significant extent to avoid colon cancer are virtually nil.” Consider heart disease. We know we can prevent and treat heart disease with the same kind of diet, but the public won’t do it. “[T]he diet,” they said, “would lose too much of its palatability.”

“The great palatability of ham,” in other words, “largely outweighs other considerations…[although] health and wellbeing are increasingly important factors in consumer decisions.” A 1998 Meat Science article feared that “[u]nless meat eating becomes compatible…with eating that is healthy, wholesome, and safe, it will be consigned to a minor role in the diet in developed countries during the next decade.” That prediction didn’t quite pan out. Looking at a graph of total meat consumption per person over the last 30 years or so, intake rises and rises. In 1998, when that Meat Science article worrying about the next decade of meat consumption was published, we see intake rise even further. It does then seem to kind of flatten out before it starts falling off a cliff. Indeed, meat consumption dipped down about 10 percent  but has surged back up. Still, millions of Americans are cutting down on meat.

So don’t tell me people aren’t willing to change their diets. Nevertheless, we continue to get diluted guidelines and dietary recommendations, because authorities are asking themselves, “What dietary changes could become acceptable?” rather than just telling us what the best available science says and letting us make up our own minds about the cancer risk as we feed ourselves and our families.


How Much Cancer Does Lunch Meat Cause? Good question—watch the video!

Can simply cutting down on meat consumption extend our lifespan? Find out in Do Flexitarians Live Longer?. For my overview on cancer prevention, check out How Not to Die from Cancer.

I think the role of health authorities is to share with patients the pros and cons of all the options and let the patients, their families, and their doctors decide together what’s right for them. I’ve produced a number of videos on this issue, including:

In health,
Michael Greger, M.D.

PS: If you haven’t yet, you can subscribe to my free videos here and watch my live, year-in-review presentations:

Discuss

Michael Greger M.D., FACLM

Michael Greger, M.D. FACLM, is a physician, New York Times bestselling author, and internationally recognized professional speaker on a number of important public health issues. Dr. Greger has lectured at the Conference on World Affairs, the National Institutes of Health, and the International Bird Flu Summit, testified before Congress, appeared on The Dr. Oz Show and The Colbert Report, and was invited as an expert witness in defense of Oprah Winfrey at the infamous "meat defamation" trial.


71 responses to “Meat Industry Response to Meat Being Labeled Carcinogenic

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  1. Those nut-job carnies out there who eat nothing but raw meat day after day — and who visit Dr. G’s place “for laughs” — are probably salivating at the sight of the dead animal flesh (photo).

    1. YR, this is a total non-sequitur, but I’m trying to answer your question from a few days ago: what I put in my morning hot cereal. I tried posting it last night before leaving work, but I got an error message & it didn’t post. And since you may never go back to that section, I’ll try again by posting it here for you:

      1/2 c mashed beans (northern are my favorites for this)
      1/4 tsp each of cardamom, cinnamon & turmeric with 9 grinds of black pepper
      1 tbsp blackstrap molasses
      2-3 dried figs, finely chopped
      1 tbsp ground flax seeds
      1/2 c cooked amaranth (boiled, not popped)
      1/4 to a 1/2 c unsweetened almond or other plant milk (I like oat milk these days)

      I also do a variation of this substituting the figs & molasses with 1/2 c chopped mangoes and 1/2 c of blueberries, especially when fresh blueberries are in season. Those Starkrimson pears are coming into season just now, so I’ll be using those instead of the mangoes. I love their bright red color!

      That’s what I eat for first breakfast. Second breakfast is a 16-oz. smoothie with lots of kale & berries.

      1. Thanks, Nancy….I thought maybe YOU wouldn’t go back there!

        Wow…that’s one hearty bowl of cereal! I still think your 2-3 dried figs would be too sweet for my taste though. A banana, 1/4 cup of frozen blueberries and the 1/2 teaspoon honey or molasses is all I need. (Plus the tablespoon of ground flax seeds; Chia and hemp seeds I save for lunch.)

        I never got in the smoothie habit. I keep intending to buy a VitaMix or whatever they’re called, but I sorta hate to put so much kale or whatever into the thing. I shop, by bus, only twice a week and my shopping cart can hold just so much.

        I subscribe to Healthy Crazy Cool, one reason because he’s a cutie-pie and the other ’cause he’s so funny. Seems to me he’s always packing goodies into his blender (when he’s not drooling over the latest brand of peanut/almond butter or tahini). :-)

        I never heard of popped amaranth before.

        1. Nancy,

          I am going to try the Northern Beans thing. It might be a way to get me back into having a morning cereal.

          YR,

          I have a VitaMix. They are expensive, and, in some ways, they are mostly just expensive blenders. My other friend who had one said the same thing. They last a long time and may be slightly more powerful than a Ninja or something like that, but I am not sure it is worth how much more it costs unless you really will use it every day and for a wide range of things.

          The thing is, it has more power, but I never really need all the power it has.

          If it dies, I will buy a cheaper brand.

          1. Deb, I mash the beans & spices together with fork, so they take on the flavor of the spices. And then add the plant milk last. I think the mashed beans makes the cereal a lot smoother & richer. That and the ground flax.

            I have a Montel Williams Healthmaster blender. It was a lot cheaper, & I’ve had it for years. And in all honesty, I don’t really use it every day since I no longer make my own smoothies.

        2. YR, I can’t eat bananas anymore. I used to live in India and once you’ve eaten bananas there, the ones we get here taste like wallpaper paste.

          Call me lazy, but I do not make my own smoothies. I get them at a little roadside stand called Grandma Zook’s that’s 3 miles from my house. They charge me $6/smoothie. They use mostly organic ingredients & they grow the kale in their garden. I pay for them up front on Saturdays for the week, so I don’t have to pay every time I go in. I just bring them my containers, they fill them up, then I go off to work. I also get their V-12 juice, which is kind of like V-8 only fresh pressed & no salt added. It isn’t the making of smoothies & juice that bothers me so much. It’s the clean up. I just don’t have time in the mornings.

          I never heard of Heath Crazy Cool but will check him out. Thanks for the tip.

          I didn’t know you could pop amaranth until I googled how to cook it. There are a bunch of videos showing you how to do it. I prefer it boiled. A few words of advice if you’re going to try amaranth: they are tiny & round & will skitter all over your kitchen in no time. So keep a vacuum handy.

          1. Nancy, bananas taste a lot different now than when I was a kid. The only way I eat them is from the freezer. As I’ve posted before (somewhere), once they get ripe, I peel them and stick ’em in a freezer bag — and then the freezer section of the refrig.

            Next morning I cut one of the frozen bananas in smallish chucks for the cereal — it melts right in (it will have also have thawed for a few minutes at least), and then I add the other stuff. One glorious yummy mess!

            Interesting that you lived in India. I used to want to visit the country, but probably never will in this lifetime. Also, huge crowds of humanity give me claustrophobia. “Give me land, lots of land under starry skies above…don’t fence me in!” tra-la-la

            1. You cut your bananas after freezing?!?!

              I do mine before freezing.

              Do you use a saw?

              That is my mental picture of what it would take to cut them while frozen.

              1. Deb, nope….no saw. I take out the bags of frozen blueberries and frozen peeled bananas at some point between doing my rebounding/shower/yoga exercises and meditation.

                By the time I get back to the kitchen, the whole-grain cereal (forgot to mention the chopped walnuts) will have cooked and the fruit will have thawed to the “just right” point. Easy to cut the banana with a sharp knife, and it will have separated from the other bananas with no problem. During the hot summer they often will have thawed TOO much!

                I have it all synchronized very well.

          2. Nancy,

            I am jealous!

            I want fresh V-12 and organic smoothies!

            It sounds heavenly!

            Thanks for the tips. I would have put the milk in before the mashing and wouldn’t get the spices right.

            1. What is in a V-12?

              Some of us need to up our nutrition and I was doing better when I was juicing and making smoothies.

              I stopped because of the calorie density studies where juice just caused people to eat more calories but stopping causes me to be flirting with Hslo Top nondairy ice-cream and I am going to ruin my gut microbiome if I don’t figure something out.

              1. YR,

                Back to the Vitamix.

                I bought it because I was trying to up my fruit and vegetable intake and I thought that I might make nut butters and nut flours and nut milks and soup, too, but I font eat nut butters or nut flours or nut milk and I never used it for soup. The soup could happen eventually but for as seldom as I eat those other things, I wasted hundreds of dollars and it isn’t that much better as a blender.

                You can watch the tests on YouTube. It doesn’t always come in first and it is so much more expensive that it should.

                I give you the list because if you do make your own nut butters or nut milks, then it might be worth it for you.

                I have had mine for a few years and I just use it as a blender and it isn’t much better than my Ninja, which also has a dough hook, which I have never used either.

                1. Deb, years ago I did have a blender of sorts, but cleaning the thing and the sharp blades bothered me too much to keep using it. Gave it away. It also too up too much counter space. Would rather use the space for other things. (I don’t have a microwave oven either.)

                  I’ll just keep chewing my food and buying nut butters, etc. from the store. Almond smoothies are an occasional treat if I’m having lunch at a health-food cafe or something. They taste like decadent desserts!

              2. The nutrition in smoothies versus chewing spinach fascinated me in this video.

                https://nutritionfacts.org/video/are-green-smoothies-good-for-you/

                Mainly, when people chewed their spinach, their folate when up 3 points after the first week and so did the smoothie spinach drinkers, but after that first week, the chewing their spinach group had their folate numbers go down slightly the next two weeks in a row, while the smoothie group kept going up.

              3. Deb, the V-12 is mostly tomato juice with whatever fresh vegetables Angie has on hand. it’s usually cucumbers, spinach, kale, zucchini, bell peppers, carrots and garlic. Lots of garlic! We call it V-12 because it has way more vegetables than just 8, like the store-bought stuff. The other day she told me she put in purple cauliflower. Other times she’s put in lots of oregano or basil (from her garden). It’s different everyday. And she makes gallons of it everyday because it’s so popular. It’s so good, it’s like nectar!

                Unfortunately she closes the stand at the end of the year. She uses local/organic produce, which is becomes too difficult to find through the winter months. It means I’m going to have to make my own juices & smoothies January through March. Or get them at Whole Foods & pay through the nose!

            2. A roadside smoothie stand called Grandma Zooks!

              I would have seen the word “Grandma” and would have stopped at first glance.

              Lucky you!

    2. YR

      Crazy or just foolish? It’s hard to tell.

      Even real carnivores living in the wild don’t subsist on a raw meat diet. They eat some of the hide, skin, fur, bones and connective tissue. With smaller prey, carniores often devour their victims whole so they are also consuming teeth, hair, hooves/claws and whatever. Think wolves and wild cats for exmple. All these things are the roughage in a natural carnivorous diet. Natural grooming behavious in eg cats also results in ingestion of significat amounts of hair – furballs in cats for example. These are another natural source of roughage in their diets. For us vegetarians, our roughage consists of dietary vegetable fibre.

      A study of captive cheetahs showed that those fed an all-meat diet (boneless beef) produced many more toxic metabolic chemicals than cheetahs fed whole rabbits.
      https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/j.1439-0396.2011.01252.x

      All-meat diets and diets with a very high proportion of meat (and possibly fat), and little or no roughage, are simply ‘unnatural’ even for real carnivores. The protein:fat ratio of wild prey animals and the meat from slaughtered livestock are also likely to be significantly different.

      Who knows what problems people on such diets are setting themselves up for, especially when one considers that humans are not obligate carnivores in the first place and that there is no good scientific evidence of the long term or short term safety of such diets.

      1. It can’t be fun being anywhere near those all-meat eaters. They gotta stink to high heaven! The only friends they could possibly have are those who reek just as badly. One can only imagine what must be going on inside their putrid bodies.

        Eeeeeeeuuuuuuuuuu! :-(

  2. There are symptoms of eating meat that are not recognized as syptoms. People take for granted that a little or a lot of constipation is normal, or they read that Some People have only 2 bm’s a week. Or having smelly greasy, sweaty skin and scalp. Or everyone has kidney stones at some point in their life. Or that everyone eventually will have high cholesterol? Or that Everyone Dies of Something or other….You have to tell and show your friends and family what Healthy is like. But, then they say you happen to have been born with good Genes. Im telling them anyway.

  3. If consumers only knew what was in the “meat” on supermarket shelves they would never touch it again. When you have time google “meat glue” and see what comes up. Do the same search on YouTube and watch some of the videos. In addition to the hormones and chemicals that are give animals, meat is injected with chemicals to extend shelf life. Frankenfood is a better term to describe it.

    An educated populace is the meat industry’s biggest nightmare.

    1. “An educated populace is the meat industry’s biggest nightmare.”

      I agree but your statements leading up to your closing line imply that most or all meat is as you described. It is not. Some is but not all.

      You are using the same marketing tactics as the meat producers, but on the other side.

      Even as a vegan I am not going to lie to people.

      When you argue in the manner that you did and imply that all meat is a certain way you make your argument very weak and therefore easy to defeat. Thus, you end up changing fewer minds.

      There are plenty of valid and solid arguments against eating animals so there is no reason to argue by using a paper tiger.

      If you are going to convince people make sure to have arguments that they at least have to research to counter your claims. Not all meat is held together with meat glue. Not all animals are filled with hormones as the cattle grow or preservatives for longer shelf life. Thus, your argument might just push someone into a better raised cow with no hormones and buying right from the local farmers market or butcher.

      The idea is to get people to not raise and eat meat, not to change the meat source that they buy.

      1. This is an excellent point. Thank you. I have been eating organically raised chicken from a local farm, with some dislike of myself for doing so. I won’t touch higher mammals as I loathe the apparent “right” most people assume they have to kill other sentient lifeforms. But a chicken is still a lifeform, no matter how healthily it was raised.

        1. Thanks, Antonia–it’s always heartening to see people giving consideration to the animals we have exploited as food! I would say, though, that chickens are entirely comparable to the “higher mammals”; there is, increasingly, sound research showing that these birds are far smarter (rationally and emotionally) than they have been given credit for (http://www.bbc.com/earth/story/20170110-despite-what-you-might-think-chickens-are-not-stupid). Chickens are definitely sentient, and they have also demonstrated self-awareness, problem-solving skills, counting skills, complexity in their communication, and even compassion for others. I see them as beings deserving of respect.

        2. Antonia:

          There is no up or down in life forms. Chicken as a life form is no better or worse than humans or insects.

          Nutritionally however: I stopped eating organic chicken when Dr Greger quoted a study that it is the fats in chicken that are most responsible for arterial plaque. Since then the plaque in my carotid artery has reduced in size.

      2. Mic the Vegan just did a video on Vegan myths and said that he doesn’t want Vegans to promote the myths because it makes the movement less credible.

    2. Marc
      I certainly appreciate and concur with your general assertion that meat is often tainted by the use of disgusting processing methods and substances (your Frankenfood) that are unknown to the general shopper, And you’re absolutely right that knowledge of those methods and substances (pink slime, anyone?) is the enemy of the meat industry.

      Please don’t let the responses that take you to task for your brief, non-technical posting, and suggest, obliquely, that you are a liar or myth “promoter,” and that people like you undercut the vegan movement, make you feel as if you’d prefer to never visit this website again.

      If we were all physically in my living room, talking about the same topics, no one would respond to you, in that manner. There’s something about the internet that allows people to act in ways they never would, if they looked you in the eyes, when doing so.

      You know this already, but sometimes, after such an attack, I get the feeling that I’d better off without such on-line “friends.”
      Don’t take it personally, blame the anonymity. And come back.

  4. People are changing, the growth of plant based food is increasing, animal activists are rising, and scientists warn that if humans do not reduce their meat consumption we are in dire straits with the climate as well as health.

  5. If you buy the best organic meat, chicken, turkey, etc…(no processed lunch meats), how much of the carcinogens are directly involved in the meat itself, as opposed to how you cook it? I would think that cooking meat on an open flame would be much more carcinogenic than say baking it.

    On another note, I was watching a documentary the other night that showed a group of scientists on a fishing boat that travelled from California to Hawaii. They had a fine net on the back of the boat and were trailing it through the water. Every hour they took the net out of the water and using small brushes, they combed out the content. They filled up several quart-sized mason jars with plastic confetti suspended in a plastic gel. Very little of it was water. They stated that the big plastic items floating in the water is not “as much” of a problem than the stuff that has already broken down by the salt water. They also stated that many countries around the world don’t recycle anything and that there are beaches where the plastic is hip-deep on the beach. I won’t be eating anymore fish after seeing what the fish are eating.

      1. What happens to meat that is determined to be carcinogenic? Does it become dog food, or Grade B or C or whatever and continue to be sold, perhaps in a mixture of meats to lessen it cancer potential?

      2. Thanks Graham, I will check it out. I just read in the paper today that China is now only accepting recyclables from foreign countries if they are 99.5% free of any other type of waste. The USA has been sending them recyclables that have been 97% separated. As of today, most recycling plants say they are either making pennies on the dollar, or they are keeping the accumulating recyclables (97% clean) here at a loss. Now the landfills are going to get even bigger. I think China is once again out-smarting us. At some point Trump is going to have to make a deal with them.

      3. Hi Graham. I did watch it and I was shocked. I recycle everything I can as a consumer and I also use recyclable bags for my market shopping along with avoiding plastic bags when I can carry the items out of the store. Yet, I can’t help but feel guilty about the extreme harm we as humans are doing to every other life form on this planet. I wonder how feasible it would be to replace plastic bottles by putting water in aluminum cans instead, like beer and soda. I think the aluminum would be less of threat to the environment and better suited for recycling than plastic water bottles.

    1. Jack,

      Dr. Greger did a video where it said that boiling or microwaving or cooking Sous Vide or adding marinades all lower the carcinogens. Not sure how much though. I looked for a chart for how much of a difference it made, but couldn’t find one.

  6. I grew up eating tons of meat. Now I’m a vegan. My wife is a vegan as are 3 of my granddaughters. Health, cruelty, and pollution motivate us and we are not alone.

    1. Robert,

      There is a rising movement.

      I think it was last year that vegan was considered the hottest diet.

      Vegan and Keto and Paleo are the ones warring for people’s minds.

      Keto is the hardest one, because they have a lot of people making movies and doing research.

      Happy Healthy Vegan is doing a good series right now debunking the pro-meat studies which were used in an online debate.

    1. There are approximately 8 billion people on this planet and the doubling rate is ever increasing. I wouldn’t be surprised that there is a cure for all cancers, but since cancer has become such a big business, we will never “find” a real cure. I think its also being used as a population control method along with other diseases. If Darwin was right, what will future humans look like? Most species adapt and overcome their environment over long periods of time. Perhaps if we are lucky, another giant meteor will collide with the earth and vaporize us all in a Nano-second. Either way, the future is not looking very promising.

  7. I am always amazed when I read this sort of discussion on this, perhaps my favorite ‘data’ website, that the question is not asked, “Why do so many people eat badly when their lives are at stake, and why is it so hard to get people to stop.” I don’t think Newton argued that it was gravities fault that he couldn’t get stuff to stop falling.
    As a firm believer in the scientific theories of evolution, I believe there are ‘always’ valid survival goals in ‘everything’ people do.
    In my case, I was not able to stop eating badly until I healed most of a very large trauma-load I carried from having survived an extremely difficult childhood. Today I am vegan, but must still eat some vegetable fats even though I am diabetic and still a bit overweight, and know perfectly well it is shortening my life and damaging my circulation. I can dispense with the fats very slowly as I heal my trauma load.
    Given that over half of us are overweight, we might consider looking for explanations that give us more power to change and help others join us in such healthy change. That is my dream.

    1. Frank,

      I would have agreed with you about the “trauma load” and would have always pointed to evidence of it, but Dr. Lisle did a video and he started joking that the Asians are lucky that nobody ever went through any trauma and none of them were abused, etc. He said that it is just the food. Dr. Barnard talked about it as some foods are addictive and others aren’t. The Food Revolution Summit had people talking about the fact that the food industry pays millions and millions and millions of dollars to study how certain flavors, smells, visual cues, textures affect the brain and these scientists hook people up to MRI’s and look at the pleasure centers and add chemicals to affect those pleasure centers. When people get away from the sugar and processed foods and foods with those flavor enhancers, they suddenly don’t have the same problems again, even though they still have the trauma load. I came from abuse, but it was getting enough Magnesium, which got me off Chocolate and it was eating enough fruits and vegetables which probably helps depression most because they believe that depression is linked to inflammation. Dr. Ornish had a 73% success rate for depression using his diet. It might have even gotten better over time.

      And I think it was Dr. McDougall or Dr. Kim who talked about during the stress and trauma of WWII people under food rationing started having less disease and longer mortality. The diet trumped the trauma.

        1. Tom,

          That is interesting.

          Yes, it could be both.

          They have done studies with people in mental institutions who regularly were making suicide attempts and they upped their nutrition and the suicide attempts went down. There is a TED Talk about it.

          They can also prevent PTSD after an event like a school shooting by upping the nutrition.

          A year later if they intervened nutritionally fewer people struggle with PTSD.

          I can’t remember all the details but they genuinely can prevent some of the things like suicide.

          1. i am hypothesizing if they got those same fruits and vegetables into people they might be able to prevent the murders themselves.

            If the people who kept trying to kill themselves stopped trying to do it, is murder anger outward versus anger inward?

            Could they go into a prison or inner city school and do a study?

            1. I found a study on murder and antisocial behaviors improving by 1/3 when prisoners used supplements. Can you imagine what would happen if they used whole food instead?

              “Bernard Gesch, a senior research scientist at Oxford University, set out to show that better nutrition does, in fact, decrease violence. He enrolled 231 volunteers at a British prison in his study; one-half received a placebo, while the other half received fatty acids and other supplements. Over time, the antisocial behavior (as measured by assaults and other violations) of the inmates who had been given the supplements dropped by more than a third relative to their previous records. The control group showed little change. Gesch published his results in 2002 and plans to start a larger study later this year. Similar trials are already under way in Holland and Norway.”

                1. Seems like the focus needs to start in pre-schools because kids already are junk food addicts by the time they are 6 or 7. My 8-year-old pal is such a junk food junkie. Has been for years, but she was more pliable at 3, 4 and 5. Now, she has established strong likes and dislikes.

  8. As a paralegal, it is my personal opinion that the only phrase which “effectively means beyond a reasonable doubt” is, believe it or not, “beyond a reasonable doubt,” a legal term. “A convincing cause” means, one can infer, simply and precisely that; convincing, should the listener – or reader – choose to be convinced by whatever evidence is presented. One may infer that this phrase might reach the level of “more likely than not,” which is a lesser level of evidence required to prevail in a civil suit. But this is not legal advice, because one does not wish to practice law without a license to do so. Then again, one assumes (perhaps incorrectly) that a medical doctor also does not wish to practice law without a license to do so. Stick to the medical, please.

    On the other hand, we already know that the AMA, among other organizations, is not the least bit interested in preventing cancer, or in using effective treatments which may cure cancer. In fact, we know that those who use “alternative” treatments to the “conventional” and extremely expensive treatment regimens of surgery, radiation and chemotherapy have been ridiculed, persecuted, prosecuted, and imprisoned for daring to question the very profitable gospel according to AMA. Some of us are not even allowed to request second opinions as to the worth of these “conventional” (carcinogenic) “treatments.”

      1. It looks more like this in the report.

        3.1 General
        This section lists factors outside the scope of this Report, identified as established
        causes of cancer by the World Health Organization International Agency for Research on
        Cancer, and other authoritative bodies. These factors are listed in Chapter 2.4 of the
        SER: tobacco use; infectious agents; radiation; industrial chemicals; and some
        medications. Other diseases may also increase the risk of cancer. In the same way, life
        events that modify the risk of cancer – causative and protective – are also included.
        ‘Established’ effectively means ‘beyond reasonable doubt’ – roughly the equivalent of the
        judgement of ‘convincing’ used in this Report. Occasionally, authorative findings that
        perhaps fall short of ‘established’ are also included here.
        W

        1. Brenda,

          I am wondering if that answer satisfies you?

          I believe it is the legal department of the WHO or some group like that, which chose those terms.

          I hate legal speak. Generally, I find that it mostly confuses the issues and provides loopholes, and makes things too complicated for the average citizen to understand, but where billions of dollar industries are at state, people have to use it.

          I still live in a place where I can deal with a handshake with lots of people. I just got off the phone with someone who told me that he would take a bullet for me and that if I ever need anyone, he would be someone I can call, and he is demonstrating that type of loyalty to the family of a mutual friend right now, which is how that conversation came up. I thanked him for being the one who showed up and walked a family through the loss of the Patriarch.

          I have someone who would show up for me. That is pretty cool.

  9. As regards to standard beef, I mostly agree with Dr. Greger.

    However, I must once again point out (after reading carefully twice) there is not one mention of 100% Grass Fed Beef.

    I never eat standard beef (processed or otherwise), and I always cook my 100% grass fed beef at low heat.

    1. Then I must once again point to the Uruguayan study demonstrating that the greater the consumption of 100% grass-fed beef, the higher the rates of cancer.

      http://journal.waocp.org/?sid=Entrez:PubMed&id=pmid:19640186&key=2009.10.3.429
      https://www.forbes.com/sites/stevebanker/2016/01/29/the-grass-fed-beef-supply-chain/#35a42c5648e5

      There is no evidence that consumption of 100% grass-fed beef is eiter healthful or safe. All there is, is a million websites claiming that it is – based on some highy dubious chains of reasoning and marketing spin. Dr Greger limits his discussion to the scientific evidence. You keep posting here about grass-fed beef. Can you cite any scientific evidence about the health effects of eating this? Perhaps then, Dr Greger will discuss the specific topic here. In the meantime though, perhaps you could consider these:
      https://nutritionfacts.org/topics/beef/
      https://nutritionfacts.org/video/is-organic-meat-less-carcinogenic/
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=le8U7KIi_Pk
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VaFCMOqRZ7Y

      It is perhaps also worth noting that prodution of 100% grass-fed is considered much more environmentally destructive than conventionally produced beef.

      1. My dearest Mr. Fumblefingers:

        I previously pointed out to you that the studies on meat consumption in Uruguay do not look at cooking methods, making that study INVALID. So why do you continue to quote it?

        BTW: I happened to see part of a cooking program on a part of Brazil immediately adjacent to Uruguay. They certainly were NOT cooking the beef on low heat.

        The biggest problem re 100% Grass Fed Beef is that the studies you request have not been done – YET. However, I believe that 100% Grass Fed Beef is higher, indeed much higher, in many critical nutrients.

        And where is your evidence that producing 100% Grass Fed Beef is environmentally destructive? Cows eat grass grown in the open air watered by clouds. Sounds good to me. Standard beef is a whole other story.

        1. The fact that the study doesn’t discuss cooking methods doesn’t invalidate it. That’s just speculation on your part..Or wishful thinking. As you have been told before.

          The World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research On Cancer (IARC)) found
          “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.”
          https://www.iarc.fr/en/media-centre/pr/2015/pdfs/pr240_E.pdf

          and
          ” there were not enough data for the IARC Working Group to reach a conclusion about whether the way meat is cooked affects the risk of cancer.”
          https://www.iarc.fr/en/media-centre/iarcnews/pdf/Monographs-Q&A_Vol114.pdf

          This has been brought to your attention before but you just ignored it. As you do here.

          Your appparent belief that 100% grass fed beef is safe or healthful is not supported by any credible scientific evidence that I know of. Certainly, to my recollection, you have never produced any evidence for your beliefs whatsoever. However, that doesn’t stop you complaining that the videos/blog posts here never say that 100% grass fed beef is safe or healthful. Of course they don’t – because there is no evidence that it is.

          Grass fed beef might be higher in certain nutrients than ordinary beef. That doesn’t necessarily mean that it is either safe or healthful. Tea/coffee with milk and sugar might also be higher in certain nutrients than tea/coffee without those. Coca cola might be higher in certain nutrients than water. That doesn’t make any of them either healthy or safe..

          As for the environmental damage point, that isn’t me. It’s just stuff that I came across on the web. I don’t eat beef of any kind so, as Ron might say, I don’t have a dog in this particular fight. You can Google it yourself but here is an example:

          https://www.newscientist.com/article/2149220-grass-fed-beef-is-bad-for-the-planet-and-causes-climate-change/

      2. I mean it is not as though human history isn’t replete with cultures throughout the centuries and millennia that had only grass fed meat. What do they tell us?

        Central Asian nomads,for example, traditionally lIved on grass-fed meat (and dairy foods from grass fed animals). What about their health?

        As far as I know, those nomads have aways had a reputation for high rates of cardiovascular disease eg
        .https://books.google.com.ph/books?id=2Y0sT6O61CcC&printsec=frontcover&source=gbs_ge_summary_r&redir_esc=y#v=onepage&q=KIrghiz&f=false
        https://books.google.com.ph/books?redir_esc=y&id=lOYSAQAAMAAJ&focus=searchwithinvolume&q=nomad

        While grass fed beef may be less harmful than conventional beef (I wouldn’t disagree with you on that poiint), can you cite any evidence that long term consumption is actually healthful or safe?

    2. Sydney, a quick search of the videos Dr. Greger has available shows that carcinogens are produced using ANY cooking method for beef. Even completely raw beef (100% grass-fed or otherwise) is still cancer promoting-

      1. All beef increases human IGF-1 levels (cancer promoting)
      2. Any type of beef will cause TMAO production in the gut (cancer and heart disease promoting)
      3. Any kind of beef will encourage the propagation of Bacteroides gut flora which are carcinogenic (colon cancer, breast cancer, prostate cancer, etc.
      4. All beef comes with heme iron which is a powerful oxidant as well as cancer promoting
      5. Any beef you eat will be displacing more nutrient dense and cancer preventing whole plant foods
      6. Polyoma viruses in beef as well as bovine luekemia virus both cause cancer (what you feed a cow doesn’t change what pathogens they carry and both of these viruses survive standard coming methods
      7. All animal protein is carcinogenic
      8. Methionine (found in any kind of beef) speeds cancer growth
      9. Cholesterol has been found to feed breast cancer

      … and I’ve gotten bored of listing examples. Sydney, for your continued health and longevity, please look into the numerous ways that meat of any kind can negatively impact your well-being and think about cutting back. Some meat may be relatively healthier than other meats but that’s like saying that formaldehyde is less toxic than cyanide…

    1. It was a fairly pro-vegan article.

      Vegan is in fashion.

      Some of us stumbled into it without knowing that.

      Wealthy countries is where it is fashionable just feels me that nobody talked to the poor people in their language yet.

      No money for medicine or doctors or meat in the first place is so effective for poor people.

      I think of what Dr Ornish said in an interview about smoking.

      Telling people that they could die wasn’t effective at all. Telling men about erectile dysfunction works.

  10. I think people care very much about their health but get so confused by ever changing guidelines that they give up and eat what they like. For example, one year coffee was bad for us then the next year its good for us and even the “specialists” disagree with each other until all our heads go spinning. We need more tests done without being paid for by one breakfast cereal company, meat board, etc or another. Read honest testing is needed and who does that (in THIS country)? The thinking in my circles is we are going to die anyway so why can’t we have the burger and pizza a couple times a week. Nobody I know is in love with Kale and Celery.

  11. We understand your frustration. Creating this frustration is the “modus operandi” of those that make a profit from you eating things that increase your risk for early death. Your choice is to read the 10,000 clinical studies every month to decide what is relevant and what isn’t, or let Dr. G do the work for you. He picks out the real data and shows it to you. This will give you a much clearer path forward. Sure we’re all going to die anyway, but no reason to do that many years prematurely or ridden with painful and miserable metabolic diseases.

    Dr. Ben

  12. Dr Greger, Thank you for all of the valuable information. Please know some of us out here are listening. I have become a vegan along with my daughter and friends since watching your movie “Eating You Alive”. Since studying your blogs and lectures I have shifted to Whole Foods Plant based along with a few others. We feel great! My energy levels are amazing. My Blood Pressure is down and Arthritis has improved! Weight is just dropping off effortlessly. I am truly living a much richer life! I cant wait for the next Dr appointment and blood work results! Please keep up this great work. You are keeping us Alive and Well! Some of us are listening!
    Ps Will the movie “Eating You Alive” ever come out for the public to see?

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