It’s official: Bacon, hot dogs, other processed red meat cause cancer

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After years of research and hundreds of studies finding links between eating certain meats and cancers, health experts have finally broken out the branding irons.

Today, in a sizzling announcement, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) officially marked processed meat, such as bacon, hot dogs, and sausages, as “carcinogenic to humans,” a “group 1” designation. The agency, an arm of the World Health Organization, also classified red meat, such as beef, pork, and lamb, as “probably carcinogenic to humans,” a “group 2A” grade.

(The group designations refer to the confidence health experts have in the link between the meats and cancer; it does not refer to the potency of the meats’ cancer-causing abilities.)

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