DEFENDING DEVON: Local butcher Peter Boodle comes to the defence of red meat and bacon in particular after a WHO report warns of cancer risk of eating highly processed meat products.
DEFENDING DEVON: Local butcher Peter Boodle comes to the defence of red meat and bacon in particular after a WHO report warns of cancer risk of eating highly processed meat products. Chris Ison Rokcmeat

No bacon backlash for butcher Peter Boodle after WHO report

DESPITE the World Health Organisation this week listing processed meats as carcinogenic, Peter Boodle doesn't expect there to be a bacon downturn anytime soon.

The organisation's International Agency for Research on Cancer has released its findings on processed meats such as bacon and sausages which identified links between consumption and colorectal cancer.

The IARC's experts found each 50g portion of processed meat eaten daily increased the risk of colorectal cancer by 18%.

They also identified red meat in general as "probably" carcinogenic due to links between cancer and the nitrates used for preservation and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons produced during the "smoking" process of certain meats.

The owner of Peter Boodle's Quality Meats was a little surprised when he heard the announcement over the weekend, but said customers didn't have anything to worry about.

"You would have to eat a lot of bacon and sausages for it to actually affect your health. If you ate it three meals a day, 52 weeks of the year it could be a problem," he said.

"Bacon sales and sausage sales haven't slowed down."

In fact, Mr Boodle said those key items were part of the weekly purchases of at least one-third of his customers.

He said products were also on offer in the store which were nitrate, sulphate and gluten free.

Despite the WHO announcement, Mr Boodle said the industry would be alright. "CQ people like their meat. If everyone does things in moderation, I don't think any of these things will affect their health whatsoever," he said.

"It is only a minor part of our business. Coming up to Christmas, people will still have smoked ham; I don't think they are going to renege on that."



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