MANILA, Philippines (The Adobo Chronicles) – What would a Filipino breakfast be like without longganisa (sausage) and tocino (pork or chicken cured meat)? Both, of course, are processed meats which the World Health Organization (WHO) is now officially saying cause cancer.
WHO’s International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), in a report released in the Lancet medical journal, says that many studies show the links between cancer and the consumption of hot dog, bacon, red meat and processed pork, beef and lamb.
“These findings further support current public health recommendations to limit intake of meat,” Dr. Christopher Wild, who directs IARC, said in a statement.
Edgardo de la Cruz, president of the National Association of Longganisa and Tocino Makers (NALTM) said his group disputes the WHO findings, saying that Filipinos (and Filipino expatriates) have been eating their products every morning for many decades without any reports of increased cancer incidence.
“It is unfair to single out processed meat among the many food products and beverages that do, indeed, cause cancer,” de la Cruz said, adding, “We demand that WHO retract its statement because it will have a very serious impact on the longganisa and tocino business.”
NALTM is afraid that the WHO announcement will cause heart attack among small business owners who depend on longannisa and tocino-making, much more than processed meat will cause cancer.