Julie Kelly and Jeff Stier writing in the WSJ
* * *
Headlines blaring that processed and red meat causes cancer have made this steak-and-bacon-loving nation collectively reach for the Rolaids. Vegans are in full party mode, and the media is in a feeding frenzy. But there is more to this story than meets the (rib)eye.
With United Nations climate talks beginning in a few weeks in Paris, the cancer warning seems particularly [er...] "well timed."
Environmental activists have long sought to tie food to the fight against global warming. Now the doomsayers who want to take on modern agriculture, a considerable source of greenhouse-gas emissions, can employ an additional scare tactic: Meat production sickens the planet; meat consumption sickens people.
* TO PARAPHRASE: GIVE ME BACON OR GIVE ME DEATH!
Late last month, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) — part of the World Health Organization, an arm of the U.N. — "concluded" that red meat, like beef and pork, is “probably carcinogenic” to humans, and that processed meat is an even greater cancer threat.
* ISN'T IT ENOUGH THAT HOT DOGS ARE NO LONGER SOLD IN POUND-WEIGHT PACKAGES?!
* GIVE ME SLIM JIMS OR GIVE THE ENVIRONMENTALISTS... A BEATING! (STILL PARAPHRASING, FOLKS... STILL PARAPHRASING...)
The IARC placed foods like bacon, sausage and hot dogs in the same carcinogen category as cigarettes and plutonium.
* FOLKS... YOU CAN'T MAKE THIS DEGREE OF INSANITY UP!
IRAC has placed red meat in its second-highest carcinogen category, alongside DDT and the human papillomavirus, HPV.
(*BANGING MY HEAD AGAINST THE WALL*)
Sensationalist reporting makes processed meat sound more dangerous than even the IARC report claims. A headline at NBC News reads: “Ham, Sausages Cause Cancer; Red Meat Probably Does, Too, WHO Group Says.”
Another by the national desk at Cox Media Group runs: “Bacon poses same cancer risk as cigarettes, world health group claims.”
This is a case where many "journalists" and policy makers fail to give proper scrutiny to claims that advance the prevailing political narrative. When a report advises eating less meat, few bother to check the facts, because the conclusion is already popular among them and assumed true.
Now we get to the connection between climate alarmism and the "Meat-Is-Bad" movement:
In advance of the Paris climate talks, the World Health Organization released a lengthy report about climate pollutants and global health risks. The section on agriculture discusses the need to direct consumers away from foods whose production emits high levels of greenhouse gases: “A key action with large potential climate and health benefits is to facilitate a shift away from high-GHG foods — many of which are of animal origin — and towards healthy, low-GHG (often plant-based) alternatives.”
* MAN... IS... AN... OMNIVORE!
* GIVE ME MEAT - AND - GIVE ME FRUITS, VEGETABLES, AND GRAIN-BASED PRODUCTS!
The report specifically mentions red and processed meat: “In affluent populations, shifting towards diets based on careful adherence to public health recommendations — including reduced consumption of red and processed meat and/or other animal-sourced foods in favor of healthier plant-based alternatives — has the potential to both reduce GHG emissions and improve population health.” How would this shift in consumers’ tastes be produced? “Experimental and modeling studies demonstrate that food pricing interventions have the ability to influence food choice,” the report states, before favorably citing a study in the United Kingdom of “taxing all food and drinks with above-average GHG emissions.”
* FOLKS... ARE YOU PAYING ATTENTION...?!?!
Much of this is aimed at the U.S., which is the world’s top producer of beef and its third-largest producer of pork. Americans, along with Australians and Argentines, are among the world’s biggest per capita meat-eaters. Now climate busybodies can shout that meat causes cancer and is as bad for the person eating it as it is for the planet.
In other words, meat is a double threat that governments should "contain."
* VIA TAX POLICY!
Hang on to your T-bones and sausages, folks.