Time to take cancer risk from processed meat seriously says Southend West MP

Sir David Amess MP has added his support to calls warn of the use of cancer-causing chemicals in processed meats, such as bacon and ham.

The MP has joined food scientist Professor Chris Elliot and cardiologist Dr Aseem Malhotra to raise awareness and demand action on the use of cancer-causing nitrites contained in the majority of bacon products on sale. A 2015 report by the World Health Organisation classed processed meats as a group one carcinogen that could be responsible for an additional 34,000 cancer deaths annually. 

In a joint statement, a coalition of MPs from all parties, scientists and charities, have called on the Government to take the cancer risk posed by nitrites seriously. Sir David was joined in the call for action by Labour's Deputy Leader, Tom Watson, and Mary Creagh, chair of the Commons Environmental Audit Committee. In the statement, the coalition recognised the 'consensus consensus of scientific opinion that nitrites in processed meats result in the production of carcinogenic nitrosamines – and therefore increase cancer risk for those who regularly consume traditional bacon and ham.'

The group have called for 'a united and active front is needed from policymakers, the food industry and the cancer-care community...to raise awareness of their risks and encourage the much wider use of nitrite-free alternatives that are safer and can reduce the number of cancer cases.' Sir David has said that raising awareness amongst the public of the dangers and working with the industry to reduce the risk are vital to reducing cancer deaths. 

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