Comments

1
The report does not give any indication of the levels of these things that were present. Equipment is pretty sensitive these days and preventing any contamination is almost impossible.

If you really want to avoid ingesting human DNA you better stop breathing, as a good chunk of the dust in the air is human skin, shit, saliva, or other bits.
2
Shame on the WHO for only publishing the relative rate increase in their summary, and on all the papers for blindly parroting the numbers.

The absolute rates tell a very different story than the headline. A 50 year old man has a 0.68% risk of getting colorectal cancer in the next ten years, and consuming processed meat increases it to 0.8%. A difference? Yes. Worth changing your behavior over? Probably not.

Scaremongering at its finest.
3
In the mid '90s, Playboy ran a short interview with a hit man who'd turned state's evidence, then left witness protection.

They asked him what is the most important thing to have to be a successful hit man. His reply, "A cooperative meat processing plant."
4
@2 - I think statistical findings like that are not in and of themselves "scaremongering." Facts are facts; make of them what you will. Marginal variances like that are more significant for manufacturers, food policies for national school lunch programs, etc. than they are for individuals, it's true. But I would like to think that agencies like the FDA or the NSLP pay attention to this stuff.

Also: Clear Food seems like a very cool outfit. Thanks for the tip, Dan!
5
“Clear Food found human DNA in 2% of the samples, and in 2/3rds of the vegetarian samples.”

“Human DNA found in 2% of samples. 2/3 of the human DNA samples were vegetarian products.”

Uhhh, what. “2/3 of the vegetarian samples” and “2/3 of the human DNA samples” are completely different numbers.

@1, The presence of human DNA is an indicator of poor sanitary practices and not a direct safety concern itself. They are “only” finding it in 2% of samples, so there likely isn’t a problem with their methodology being too sensitive.
6
Is there a report on how much human DNA is found in other foods?

The scaremongering headline of course makes it out that human meat is being processed, but our DNA is present in many other things that go into food all the time. Hair, saliva, skin flakes, etc.
7
Republican candidates and Tea Party activists will shortly claim this is a homo-Muslim attempt to have the UN take over America and have it run by dildo-carrying floozies who want to castrate your male preborn babbies, and that's why we need Ben Carson as President.
8
@5

Achoo!
9
@5: Makes me feel a tad better that the human DNA is caused by poor sanitary conditions, I thought that the world was actually entering the Soylent Green era.
10
@5 Actually it could be their test is too sensitive. If they are using vertebrate 16s or 12s not a whole lot is going to amplify out of plant based samples, increasing the likelihood of a hit to human sequence. In meat products you're going to be pretty swamped with the meats involved, decreasing the likelihood of capturing the occasional human based sequence.
11
@10, Fair point. The fact that they're finding it mostly in veg samples would support that, however that would mean their methods aren't sensitive enough for detecting human contamination because the meat samples are saturated with animal DNA.
12
Does meat quality count?

For example I buy all my meats at local butcher shops like Green Valley Meats -- where they list the ranches that each type of steak comes from.

I buy my seafood at B&E meats in Des Moines where it looks and smells fresh.

If I get bacon, sausage, I get it at one of those places where they make it fresh, or I buy the higher quality brands like Boar's Head Knockwurst.
13
@4 I'm fine with publishing statistical findings, but reporters ought to ask questions like "What are the baseline rates?" and then include the answer in the article.

Statistics out of context can sound more significant, and that's why I call it scaremongering -- they choose a sensational sounding headline ("Processed Meats Give You Cancer"), and also make no effort to provide the context that would allow someone to make an educated decision.
14
If the hot dogs are kosher then the contamination is fine. G_d won't care.
15
You are what you eat
16
Come on - jacking off into the hotdog-o-matic is one of the only perks of working in a meat packing plant.
18
Meh. We all gotta go someday.
19
Clearly this means that vegetarian hot dog makers ("big veg") hate their customers and are trying to make them cannibals or zombies, maybe both.

@17 FTW.
21
@20 - boy, you must be new here. Dan, at least, is unambiguous about the dangers of bathhouses and always advises readers not to go to them.

@16- heh. First thing I thought of too. Special ingredient! Trade secret.
22
@20, Hot dogs are only unsafe if you don’t put a condom on it first. We've known this for decades now, try to keep up.
23
I ate a corndog at a gay bar last night and I have no regrets.
24
What @12 said...the study doesn't seem to distinguish between quality, non-mass-produced/processed meat and the horrible grade-z filth they serve at shitholes like Arby's. Pretty sure the carcinogen count is quite a bit higher in the latter variety.
25
The human DNA was probably just cum left over in the pigs from before they were slaughtered.
26
@25 FTW
27
Strict religious dietary restrictions and strict vegetarianism are both silly dogmas, so I can't say I don't find a wee bit of delight in this...
28
@27, That’s a really odd takeaway from an article about meat causing cancer.
29
Correction to the headline is in order. Not ALL meat.

Read the report. It's processed RED meats. And quality of the red meat - if it's processed - doest;t seem to matter. But it's the N-nitroso compounds in RED meat that are the issue. Poultry is fine. Well. So far.

Again, read the report. Eating smoked or processed poultry and fish are not associated with increased risks.
30
I think @20 is our new troll. He came on the weekly thread with an equally offensive remark. Surely as a Pariarch, he must have a wife and kids somewhere he can Patriarch over and not bother the rest of us.
Sorry wife( and kids), but I'm sure when you married him you knew what a douch you were gonna be stuck with.
And he's gone. Good.
31
Douche.
Did you see Dan on your site, that they are advertizing a Grammar app?
32
And yet Italy has a good life expectancy despite the fact that they eat a lot of processed meat.
33
Clearly I upset Dan and got censored in @17. It was a joke Dan, not clear why you took such extreme exeption to it ..
35
Dang, if this didn't make raku come out of hiding, nothing will.
36
@12 The actually study does address quality indirectly. The reason red meat is believed to increase cancer risk is due to a component in the hemoglobin in the meat. There is a substance that causes damage to the lining of the intestines increasing the risk of bowel cancer because the increased damage requires cells to reproduce faster to repair it, and the increased cell reproduction presents more opportunities for DNA corruption that result in cells becoming cancerous.

So quality of fresh meat is irrelevant. If you get your steak from the local butcher or from the local supermarket it all still has hemoglobin in it.

The culprit in processed meat appears mainly to be nitrates. Again, pretty much all processed meat has nitrates so it's not the quality, it's the ingredients.

But as has also been mentioned, yes these things increase the chance of cancer. Not really news. This just confirmed that fact scientifically, but it has pretty much been accepted by most in the medical community before now.

But this just means that yes; there are things in processed meat that increase your chance of cancer. But just because processed meat and tobacco are both classified in group 1 together does not mean your risk form them is equal. And it's not like avoiding processed meat eliminates your risk of bowel cancer.

With all things, moderation is key. Eat your bacon and sausage, just not every day. Just like alcohol. Just like sweets. Just like most things you consume. A little here or there isn't going to significantly be detrimental.
37
We've known that nitrates cause cancer for, what, thirty years? Why is this news?

And, as a few others have pointed out, your wonderful mennonite sausage from the traditional butcher down the street might taste a million times better than a no-name hot dog from the supermarket, but not much difference when it comes to cancer. Nevermind, I'll still eat, occasionally, the pogácsa from my local little Hungarian deli, because what's a long life worth without bacon buns?
38
I wonder about the accuracy of this study and its recommendations if they're touting some of these larger companies (e.g. Butterball) and stores (e.g. Walmart). Butterball (made #1 - and over Boar's Head - which I find really weird) is produced by Smithfield -- the company that has been infamous for their pig farm conditions in places like North Carolina and their atrocious union busting practices (e.g. having police beat up union organizers at an attempted worker election). I make it a point not to buy Smithfield products - which includes A LOT of less obvious choices - Butterball being one of the more obvious ones - but they have scores of other foods on the market, quality is horrible, and sometimes it's produced in countries where the regulations are much less lax, whether it's Poland or China -- then shipped back to the American consumer. So, seeing Butterball as the number 1 recommendation after their "study" finds me skeptical, at the least.

I'm also perplexed that they miss brands that are produced without any nitrates, for example. The name momentarily eludes me - but there are these delicious sausages on the market -- a bit more expensive, but they don't have any of these additives. And they're not even mentioned on the list, but they're certainly big enough.

I'm quite taken back by the news that the vegetarian products have meat, or that chicken or turkey products have pork.

Agree with the hygiene conclusions about human DNA. A bit of hair, etc. and there you are, consuming "human." Ugh, but it may not be as bad as some of the other stuff?

They've known for a while that processed meats and red meat consumption contributes to cancer So I'm not clear why this is otherwise such big, earth-shaking news.

But I find the study questionable, given the companies recommended as "best" ....

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