The American Meat Institute Foundation (AMIF) said a study published recently in the Cancer Journal that links nitrite and nitrate intake from processed meats to a potential increased risk of bladder cancer is the latest example of “nutrition whiplash” facing consumers. AMIF President James H. Hodges said the study creates needless confusion rather than providing clarity to the complex issue of diet and its effect on health.

Hodges emphasized that processed meat continues to be part of a healthy, balanced diet and nutrition decisions should be based on the total body of evidence, not on one study that stands in contrast to the full body of research.

The study erroneously perpetuates the myth that cured meats are the main source of ingested nitrite. The fact is that less than 5% of ingested nitrite comes from cured meats. 93% comes from vegetables like lettuce, spinach, celery, cabbage and beets and from our own saliva. In fact, research conducted in the last 20 years had concluded that the body makes nitrite as part of its healthy, normal nitrogen cycle.

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