In the IARC
evaluation, prospective cohort studies, which follow large groups of healthy people and track information on exposures as they go along, were given the most weight.
For an individual, the risk of developing colorectal cancer because of their consumption of processed meats remains small, but this risk increases with the amount of meat consumed," said Kurt Straif, head of the IARC
did not elaborate on how meat might cause cancer, or what a safe dietary quota would be.
Dr Kurt Straif, head of the IARC
Monographs Programme, said: "For an individual, the risk of developing colorectal cancer because of their consumption of processed meat remains small, but this risk increases with the amount of meat consumed.
Head went on to say the working group for this evaluation defined red as all muscle meat from mammals, such as beef, veal, pork, goat, lamb and the like.
The opinion by the IARC
committee to list red meat as a probable carcinogen does not change that fact.
Red meat, under which the IARC
includes beef, lamb and pork, was classified as a "probable" carcinogen in its group 2A list that also contains glyphosate, the active ingredient in many weedkillers.
The decision by the IARC
to classify substances like 2,4-D and glyphosate as potentially harmful is likely to cause alarm among farmers and consumers, who will wonder about the appropriateness of its continued use in commercial agriculture or gardening.
panel looked at evidence from 11 randomised controlled trials and 40 observational studies.
It is important to foster continuing improvement of the methods used by IARC
and other bodies that review scientific evidence.
Monsanto chief Dr Philip Miller said: "We don't know how IARC
could reach a conclusion that is such a dramatic departure from the conclusion reached by all regulatory agencies around the globe.
The European Code Against Cancer is available on the European Commission and IARC