How risky is eating red meat? New papers provoke controversy

NEW YORK (AP) — An international team of researchers is questioning the advice to limit red and processed meats, saying the link to cancer and heart disease is weak.

Their conclusions published Monday were swiftly attacked by a group of prominent U.S. scientists who tried to stop publication of the research, arguing it sends the wrong message.

The new work does not say red meat and processed meats like hot dogs and bacon are healthy or that people should eat more of them. But the authors say the increased risks appear very small and uncertain and that cutting back likely wouldn’t be worth it for people who enjoy meat.

It’s the latest example of the criticism facing nutrition research. Defenders counter that nutrition studies can rarely be conclusive, but that they offer important insights.

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