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

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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