"An international panel of experts convened by the World Health Organization concluded Monday that eating processed meat like hot dogs, ham and bacon raises the risk of colon cancer and that consuming other red meats “probably” raises the risk as well. But the increase in risk is so slight that experts said most people should not be overly worried about it.
The panel did not offer specific guidelines on red meat consumption. But its conclusions add support to recommendations made by other scientific groups like the federal government’s dietary guidelines advisory committee, which has long discouraged the consumption of red and processed meat. And the report could also influence health agencies such as the European Food and Safety Commission.
Experts not involved in the report said that the findings should give people more reason to “moderate” their intake of processed meat. But they cautioned that any increased risk of cancer was relatively small."