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France confirms link between processed meats and cancer

France will reduce the use of nitrites after a national health agency found they increase the risk of developing cancer.

The fear of a full French ban on processed meat producers who use nitrites to make products like sausages and ham was shared by many.

Anses reviewed a 2018 World Health Organisation report that linked nitrates/nitrites in processed meat to colorectal carcinoma.

Anses stated that the two substances could also be linked to breast, kidney, pancreas and other types of cancers.


The agency recommended reducing nitrates, nitrites, and other nitrates to a minimum.

Nitrate can be used to fertilize crops, while nitrite can be used to enhance shelf life and give boiled Ham its pink colour.

After Anses stated that 99% of French citizens did not exceed permissible daily exposures to nitrites and nitrates, the government stated that a complete ban was not justifiable.

Sky News has more information:

A study has found that eating two portions of fish per week can increase your skin cancer risk.

Officials said that a plan to reduce or eliminate them would be presented to parliament this autumn.

This move comes after a February bill by the French Parliament aimed to gradually decrease the use of nitrites within cured meats. The government was asked to take action based on the results of the Anses review.


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