By Dr. Mallika Marshall, WBZ-TVBy Dr. Mallika Marshall

PARIS (CBS) — The World Health Organization (WHO) is putting out the warning, calling processed meats carcinogenic and considering how much of this stuff we eat here in America lot of people are concerned.

World cancer researchers say people who fill up on processed foods like bacon, sausage and hot dogs face a real risk of colon, stomach and other cancers.

Scientists from the WHO say eating processed meats, including those that are smoked, cured or salted poses the same cancer risk as smoking.

Read The Report (PDF)

“To put that into perspective,” says cancer specialist Dr. David Agus, “the lifetime risk of colon cancer is 5%. If you have a hot dog every day, your risk goes to six percent so it’s very, very small.”

While doctors have long warned against eating too much meat, the WHO report goes a step further, classifying processed meat as cancer-causing and red meat as a likely cause of cancer.

The North American Meat Institute is calling the report “dramatic and alarmist” and argues that cancer is a complex disease “not caused by single foods.”

But the WHO says it has hard evidence that came from the evaluation of 800 studies from several continents about meat and cancer.

The new report says grilling, pan frying or cooking red meat at high temperatures produce the highest amounts of chemicals suspected of causing cancer.

Dr. Mallika Marshall

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