JSB and A MEATY Difference of Opinion: 5

JSB and A MEATY Difference of Opinion: 5

My blog series response to the recently published letter in the Napier Courier, written by Fiona Greig, the nutrition manager for beef and lamb New Zealand Inc.

The well respected Dr Frank Hu, from the Harvard School of Public Health, commented on the Harvard internationally reviewed landmark 28-year study covering 120,000 people in March 2013.  He said “This research is staggering and shows clear evidence that regular meat consumption contributes substantially to premature death.  By simply replacing meat with other foods, 10% of male deaths and 8% of female deaths could be prevented”.

The results of a five-year process by an international panel of the world’s leading independent scientists looking at the available research on diet and cancer were released in 2011 by the World Cancer Research Fund (WCRF), the American Institute for Cancer Research (ACR) and the World Health Organisation (WHO).  

This is a very serious, credible and respected international study.  In fact it is the most comprehensive, evidence-based research on cancer and diet ever undertaken in history. 

This research was funded using money raised from the general public therefore the findings were not influenced by any vested interests

The World Cancer Research Fund, the American Institute for Cancer Research and the World Health Organisation had independent scientists at Imperial College in London review all the 1,012 ‘cancer and diet’ studies in the medical literature. 

Then after that, another independent expert panel reviewed the results and made judgements. 

What did they recommend? 

“Consume a plant-based diet.  On meat, the clear message that comes out of our report is that red and processed meat increase risk of bowel cancer and that people who want to reduce their risk should consider cutting down the amount they eat.” 

In 2011, Teresa Nightingale, General Manager of WCRF, said: “Many people feel confused about cancer prevention because it can seem like a new study is published every week that suggests that a new substance either causes or prevents cancer.  But this takes the latest scientific findings and adds them to the existing body of evidence in a way that ensures our advice takes the latest research into account.  This means people can be confident that our recommendations are up-to-date as well as being the most evidence-based information on cancer prevention available anywhere in the world"

"This latest report shows that there is enough evidence to recommend that people can reduce their bowel cancer risk by consuming less red and processed meat and alcohol, having more foods containing fibre, and by maintaining a healthy weight and being regularly physically active.  This report confirms that bowel cancer is one of the most preventable types of cancer and we estimate that about 43% of bowel cancers cases in the UK could be prevented through these sorts of changes.  That is about 17,000 cases every year.”

WCRF/AICR’s 2007-2011 Expert Report, Food, Nutrition, Physical Activity, and the Prevention of Cancer: a Global Perspective is the most comprehensive report ever published on the link between cancer and lifestyle.  The CUP report on bowel cancer contains the judgements of the Continuous Update Project Expert Panel.  It is chaired by Professor Alan Jackson of the University of Southampton and the other members are: Dr Elisa Bandera of the Cancer Institute of New Jersey; Dr David Hunter of Harvard University; Dr Stephen Hursting of the University of Texas; Dr Anne McTiernan of Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center; Professor Hilary J Powers of the University of Sheffield; Professor Ricardo Uauy of Instituto de Nutricion y Tecnologia de los Alimentos in Chile and the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine; and Dr Steven H Zeisel of the University of North Carolina. Professor Elio Riboli of Imperial College London is a panel observer and Dr John Milner of the National Cancer Institute is an advisor. Dr Arthur Schatzkin, of the National Cancer Institute, served on the CUP Expert Panel until his death in 2010.

Posted: Thursday 27 March 2014