FSA hits back at World Cancer Research Fund processed meat findings

The Food Standards Authority has sought to reassure parents it is safe for children to eat processed meats after controversial research published today suggested it can increase their risk of developing cancer later in life.

Processed meat: 'increases risk of bowel cancer'
Processed meat: 'increases risk of bowel cancer'

The FSA press office issued a statement to the BBC which said: ‘Processed meats, such as ham and salami, can form part of a balanced diet and parents should not be concerned about including these in their children's lunchboxes now and again.'

The World Cancer Research Fund has today warned that including sandwich fillers such as ham and salami could mean children get into habits that increase their risk of developing cancer later in life. The research was released ahead of the new school year.

The charity said there was convincing scientific evidence that eating processed meat increases bowel cancer risk, which is why the WCRF recommends people avoid eating processed meat.

The WCRF in-house press office has been handling media calls about the story. It was featured on BBC Breakfast, Today Programme and Radio 5 Live this morning. The team is being led by head of communications Richard Evans.

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