• Germany's news in English
 
jobs_header_v3

Cancer warning over German bratwurst intake

The Local · 26 Oct 2015, 15:17

Published: 26 Oct 2015 15:17 GMT+01:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

According to the WHO, processed meats such as those used to make sausages can lead to more serious health risks than previously thought.

The organisation's latest report suggests that having just 50g of processed meat a day - less than two slices of bacon or one sausage - increases the chance of developing colorectal cancer by 18 percent.

It is the first time that the World Health Organisation (WHO) has said that there is "sufficient evidence" to make the link.

Risk rises with consumption

“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,” Dr Kurt Straif, Head of the WHO's International Agency for Research on Cancer's (IARC) Monographs Programme said in a statement on Monday.

How could something as delicious as Currywurst be so bad for you? Photo: DPA

"Each 50-gram (1.8-ounce) portion of processed meat eaten daily increases the risk of colorectal cancer by 18 percent.

“In view of the large number of people who consume processed meat, the global impact on cancer incidence is of public health importance,” he added.

The IARC Working Group considered more than 800 studies that investigated associations of more than a dozen types of cancer with the consumption of red meat or processed meat in many countries and populations with diverse diets.

It concluded that there was also "limited evidence" to suggest that the consumption of red meat could cause colorectal, pancreatic and prostate cancer, but said that more research needed to be done in this area.

Meat-loving Germans

The decision is likely to be felt particularly keenly in Germany, where figures from the Federation of the German Meat Industry (BVDF) show that people eat around 60 kilogrammes of meat each per year.

At 160 grammes per person per day, that's much higher than the European average of 24 grammes per head cited by Brussels-based meat processing industry body CLITRAVI.

As well as Germans, the new guidance could be bad news for hot-dog-loving Swedes and saucisson-scoffing Frenchmen.

When asked by The Local to comment, the BVDF responded with a statement from CLITRAVI, which said that "the European meat manufacturing industry strongly rejected the new classification made by the IARC... [and] has pro-actively stepped forward with the aim of providing as many details as possible.

"CLITRAVI recommends a more holistic approach... there is extensive scientific evidence to prove the benefits of meat consumption within a healthy diet. Meat and meat products are an essential source of nutrients," it went on.

Could it be time to make Schwarzwalder Schinken a rarer treat? Photo: DPA

The statement added that a number of other factors, such as colon disease, obesity, lack of exercise and tobacco use bore a higher risk of cancer than meat consumption.

"It is not just one specific food group by itself that defines the risks associated with health, but the diet as a whole, together with any of the other factors."

A spokesperson for the Ministry of Food and Agriculture in Berlin was unable to comment immediately on the WHO decision when contacted by The Local.

DON'T MISS: Top 10 traditional German veggie dishes

But choosing to reduce meat consumption for their health might not be a total disaster for Germans.

As chef Stefan Paul explained to The Local in September, "German cooking in former times was largely one of poor people.

"The Sunday roast was the only meat, and the exception to the rule. In Germany there's actually a big tradition of vegetarian cooking."

Germans have only started eating such a large amount of meat since the "economic miracle" that followed the Second World War, Paul said at the time.

For more news from Germany, join us on Facebook and Twitter.

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit


Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Berlin vs Munich: whose newborn polar bear is cuter?
Berlin's (left) and Munich's (right) newborn bears. Photos: Tierpark Berlin / DPA

Both city zoos welcomed baby polar bears into the world in November, with Berlin zoo its releasing first photos on Friday. But which one is more adorable?

Learn how to speak German like a silver screen icon
Dirty Harry. Photo: DPA

We all agree that there is no other option than to learn irregular German verbs by rote. But when you want a bit of downtime, why not learn from your big screen heroes?

Stolen Dachau 'Work will set you free' gate found: police
The entrance to Sachsenhausen concentration camp. Photo: DPA

An iron gate from the former Nazi concentration camp in Germany's Dachau with the slogan "Arbeit macht frei" ("Work will set you free") has been found two years after it was stolen, police said Friday.

Mystery flight path artist draws new message in sky
Photo: DPA

A pilot who likes to draw patterns in the sky using his flight path has returned with his greatest artwork yet.

Berlin 'abusing power' to stop Snowden coming to Germany
Edward Snowden. Photo: DPA

Opposition parties have accused the coalition government of overstepping its authority in its attempt to block American whistleblower Edward Snowden's trip to Germany.

Germany gains record number of Michelin-star restaurants
Head of the Michelin Guide, Michael Ellis (centre) with Michelin-star chefs at a presentation in Berlin. Photo: DPA.

Germany had a slew of newly minted Michelin-star restaurants this year, and its top-rated establishments held onto their prestigious three stars.

At last: Germany passes major disabled rights reform
People in wheelchairs watch as the German parliament deliberates on the new disability rights reform. Photo: DPA.

For years people with disabilities in Germany have called for legislation to provide them with better benefits and opportunities in life and work. On Thursday the German parliament passed such a reform - but is it enough?

How new German rules are holding refugee families apart
Children wait for food in Jarablus, Syria. Photo: DPA

Germany, trying to staunch the flow of Syrian refugees, has placed high hurdles for them to be reunited with their families, creating a Kafkaesque nightmare in the courts.

10 German Christmas cookies you have to bake this winter
Photo: DPA

Fire up your ovens and get ready to bake - here are ten festive German cookies and pastries that'll send your senses into paroxysms of yuletide joy.

5 things we learnt reading Germany's first Charlie Hebdo
Photo: DPA.

The very first German edition of Charlie Hebdo hit the shelves across the country on Thursday. So what can Germans expect if they buy it?

Lifestyle
10 German Christmas cookies you have to bake this winter
Sponsored Article
The key to launching your international career
Lifestyle
Our 10-step guide for doing Christmas just like a German
National
Here's why so many Germans vote for the far-right AfD
National
7 events in Germany that'll make December unforgettable
Lifestyle
7 frosty German sayings to make you a winter wordsmith
National
This is how unequal German society has become
National
Six things you should know about the Lufthansa strike
National
9 ways living in Germany will make you a better person
National
These 10 German Christmas markets cannot be missed
Features
8 German words that unlock amazing secrets in English
Culture
10 German words with simply hilarious literal translations
Lifestyle
7 things Germans do that make foreigners feel awkward
International
Why Donald Trump's grandad was booted out of Germany
National
This is what is really inside your Döner kebab
National
Rejoice! Christmas markets start opening across Germany
Education
These German universities are best at landing you a job
Travel
Why Heidelberg is Germany's most inspiring city
Lifestyle
This soppy German Christmas ad will bring you to tears
National
Here's where Germans speak the best (and worst) English
Culture
10 German books you have to read before you die
Culture
U-Bahn train found filled with autumn foliage in Berlin
Features
Seven German words that unlock amazing secrets about English
Travel
Germany's ten most beautiful towns you've never visited
6,633
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd