No cancer scare - No fall in red meat sales after WHO report

November 13, 2015
FILE In this January 18, 2010 file photo, steaks and other beef products are displayed for sale at a grocery store in McLean, Virginia.

No cancer scare

Supermarket operators and medical doctors have expressed varying views on the potential impact of a report by the World Health Organisation (WHO) which states that eating processed meat, such as bacon and frankfurters, increases the risk of cancer.

The report, released by WHO recently indicated that research had found that persons who consume at least 50 grams of processed meat each day increase their risk to colon cancer by 18 per cent.

But manager of General Foods Supermarket in Ocho Rios, Sharon Chin, told THE STAR that the sale of processed meat at her supermarket is not likely to decrease with the recent findings.

"Jamaicans may think about it for a short time, but after a time, they will go back to their habits," she noted.

Chin added that the meat industry in Jamaica is constantly growing because of the popularity of meat in the diet of Jamaicans.

A manager of a supermarket in Kingston, who asked for his identity not to be revealed, also agreed with Chin.

"Jamaicans like meat, they have some sort of meat for all their meals daily, so I don't think one little report will impact how much people consume," the manager said.

sharp decrease

He also told THE STAR that there were other reports that could have scared Jamaicans from consuming various food products, but that did not cause a decrease in their consumption.

However, Dr Japheth Ford had a different view, as he said he expects that there will be a sharp decrease in consumption of certain processed meat.

"People in the meat industry should expect a fall-out because Jamaicans are more health conscious than before and there are obvious economic consequences to be felt from this report," explained Ford.

The medical doctor also gave advice to Jamaicans and stressed that they should also watch their children's eating habits.

"You are what eat, children shouldn't be drinking sugary drinks, or tap water, or sweet products because persons need to be more conscious about children's health," added Ford.

Another doctor, who asked to remain anonymous, said he was not ready to accept the findings of the report from WHO.

"There have been persons that have come out and give evidence contradicting WHO, so the report is a springboard for more research to be done before a conclusion [is ma," he added.

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