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Arizona Beef Council pokes holes in report on dangers of red meat

(AP Photo)

PHOENIX — The Arizona Beef Council said a recent report linking beef to cancer was “over the top.”

“Cancer is a very complex disease and even the best and brightest minds don’t completely understand it,” Lauren Scheller, a spokeswoman with the council said.

“We do know that single foods, including beef, haven’t been proven to cause cancer.”

The World Health Organization released a report Monday that said bacon, hot dogs and cold cuts all raise the risk of colon and stomach cancer. Red with red meat not far behind.

The report listed red meat as ‘“probably carcinogenic to humans.” It also linked red meat to pancreatic and prostate cancer.

Scheller countered that the report was extreme and may cause a knee-jerk reaction from some who will fear the findings. She called the report the “study of the day.”

“Farmers and ranchers are very science-based because we want to ensure that we are raising a safe, wholesome and nutritious product.

“We’ve been looking at these reports for years and our experts don’t agree. Beef can fit in a healthy, balanced diet and active lifestyle.”

Scheller said cancer risk wasn’t about diet alone and the report didn’t help people understand the risk of getting cancer.

But she added that science supported getting a healthy and balanced diet that included all food groups and that beef provided protein, iron and zinc.

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