The Meat Advisory Panel has reacted to claims made in last night’s BBC programme
The Meat Advisory Panel (MAP) has reacted to claims from last night’s BBC1 programme The truth about meat with Chris Bavin.
The programme focused around the health implications of meat and summarised people should eat less red and processed meat but promoted white meat and offal as healthier options.
MAP member Professor Robert Pickard said red meat has been ’wrongly and unfairly demonised’.
"Red and processed meat do not give you cancer.
"The healthiest way to enjoy red meat in the diet is to stick within the 70 gram daily limit, avoid burning or charring the meat, and serve with plenty of vegetables. That is the truth of the matter."
Professor Pickard disputed the claim one bacon roll is the equivalent of smoking four cigarettes.
"In no way whatsoever does eating red or processed meat carry a similar health risk as smoking tobacco."
It also showed Mr Bavin weighing his cooked breakfast meats to see how much processed meat he was eating.
"The other crucial inaccurately communicated point is that we are eating too much processed meat. The IARC ruling identified intakes of 50g of processed meat every day leads to a very small increase in the risk of bowel cancer."
The National Diet and Nutrition Survey showed the UK average daily intake of processed meat is 15.5g. British sausages and burgers are not generally classified as processed meat as, unlike European versions, they are usually not cured or smoked.
"Cutting meat out of the diet appears to offer no benefits to bowel cancer risk anyway as European studies show similar rates of bowel cancer in meat eaters versus vegetarians," he added.
"Randomised clinical trials also conclude that there are no advantages to body weight, blood pressure or cholesterol levels by swapping red meat for white meat or plant foods, as long as lean cuts of red meat are selected."
The programme did highlight the nutrients found in a steak including the levels of zinc, potassium, vitamin D, iron and protein with iron in particular being flagged as ‘difficult to replace’. About 20 per cent of women have a low intake of iron.
AHDB’s Dr Phil Hadley was also featured in the programme showing Mr Bavin around an abattoir and discussing animal welfare.
Dr Hadley stated animals in the slaughterhouse needed to be ‘treated properly’ or the quality of their meat would be affected.
Following his tour, Mr Bavin said watching the slaughter had been ‘quick and humane’ and made him appreciate meat more.