As the video notes, there are many substances used in daily life that get a 2A or 2B classification, including chemicals used to fry foods and even coffee. But what really matters for anything classified as potentially or probably carcinogenic are amounts. Labeling red and processed meats as “potentially causes cancer” really only means people should eat less of it, not that they can’t eat any at all.

But even that is a tough pill for the meat industry to swallow, as shown in the Dietary Guidelines fight. Booren said an IARC classification would be much worse. “IARC is going to make the Dietary Guidelines (process) look easy,” she said.

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