World Health Organisation classifies

processed meats as carcinogens.  


Thinking of reducing your meat intake?


26 October 2015

The World Health Organisation has today released a report which has classified processed meats such as bacon, sausages and ham as carcinogenic. The report also states unprocessed red meats are ‘probably carcinogenic’ but there is only limited evidence.

Lynne Elliot, Chief Executive at the Vegetarian Society, said: "Millions of people across the UK enjoy meat-free meals – even if just a couple of times a week.   

"This new report shows that the dietary choices of those people who eat a lot of processed meat, and possibly unprocessed red meats, could be posing a significant risk to their health – but the good news is it's easy to do something about it.

"There is strong evidence to suggest that cutting down a high meat intake can have a real benefit to health. By choosing tasty meat-free options more often, not only can it have a positive effect on your health, but you can also lessen your impact on animals and the planet. Overall, it makes a lot of sense."

If this news has made you think of reducing your meat intake we have a few handy tips to help you.

  • Tasty recipes at your fingertips- download our free recipe app for delicious meat-free meals. Or visit our online recipe section


  • Know your nutrition! Interested in iron, protein and nutrients? We’ve lots of info for you to get your teeth into.


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The Vegetarian Society is a charity that aims to influence, inspire and support people to embrace and maintain a vegetarian lifestyle. Being a vegetarian is a choice that is kinder to animals, to people and to our living planet. Established in 1847 we are the oldest vegetarian organisation in the world. Visit  for more information.


Notes to editors

  • For more media information please contact Su on 0161 925 2012 / out of office hours please call 07973 108167/07973 108165.




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The Vegetarian Society of the United Kingdom Limited, Parkdale, Dunham Road, Altrincham WA14 4QG
Registered Charity No. 259358, Registered Company No. 959115 (England and Wales)

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