Barnaby Joyce: Farce to blame bacon, sausages for cancer
NATIONALS MP Barnaby Joyce has ridiculed a major health report linking cancer to processed meat including bacon and sausages.
The Member for New England, who grew up on a cattle and sheep property, said it is a "farce to compare sausages with cigarettes", the ABC reported.
Mr Joyce said the health report findings meant processed and red meat "joins about 474 other things that the World Health Organisation says are carcinogens, including walking outside if you're in the city, or sunshine."
The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) said it found "sufficient evidence in humans that the consumption of processed meat causes colorectal cancer".
The cancer risk from eating processed meat was "statistically small" but "increases with the amount of meat consumed."
Mr Joyce, the Minister for Agricultural, said it was a matter of having a balanced diet which included a range of foods.
"I don't think that we should get too excited that if you have a sausage you're going to die of bowel cancer.
"You're not. You just don't want to live on sausages,'' he told the ABC.
"If you got everything that the World Health Organisation says is carcinogenic and took it out of your daily requirements, you are heading back to a cave."
Meat and Livestock Australia told told ABC Rural that Australia's official dietary guidelines recommended 455 grams per week of cooked red meat "as part of a healthy, balanced diet."
"Promoting red meat as part of a healthy, balanced diet is important to the red meat industry and we are guided by the Australian dietary guidelines," the statement said.
"Red meat such as beef and lamb, is a critical, natural source of iron and zinc, vitamin B12 and omega-3 - essential nutrients needed to keep the body and brain functioning well."
"There is no reason to believe that eating beef and lamb as part of a healthy, balanced diet and lifestyle in 100g to 200g portion sizes (raw weight), three to four times a week as recommended in the Australian dietary guidelines, will increase risk of cancer," the MLA said.