The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), the cancer agency of the World Health Organization (WHO), has evaluated the carcinogenicity of the consumption of red meat and processed meat.
Researchers classified the consumption of red meat as probably carcinogenic to humans, based on limited evidence that the consumption of red meat causes cancer in humans and strong mechanistic evidence supporting a carcinogenic effect. Processed meat was classified as carcinogenic to humans.
The WHO did stress that meat also had health benefits. Cancer Research UK said this was a reason to cut down rather than give up red and processed meats.
Reference to the research:
International Agency for Research on Cancer Monograph Working Group. Carcinogenicity of consumption of red and processed meat. The Lancet Oncology, 2015
Further reading :
Processed meat and cancer – what you need to know. Cancer Research UK