Bad news, bacon lovers: your favorite breakfast meat may just give you cancer.
On Monday, the World Health Organization (WHO) is expected to declare that bacon, sausages and other processed meats cause cancer, and will be placing them in the same category as arsenic, asbestos and cigarettes, the Daily Mail first reported.
Likewise, red meat will also be deemed “probably carcinogenic to humans,” ranked only slightly less dangerous than preserved meats, the Daily Mail wrote.The Mail reports that WHO made its decision after a meeting and review of evidence provided by scientists from ten different countries.
The issue at hand is the fact that processed meats — which include deli favorites such as pastrami, salami, some sausages and hot dogs — are made by smoking, curing, salting or adding preservatives, Yahoo News wrote.
When people consume large quantities of these additives, they are at risk of developing cancer — specifically bowel cancer, according to the World Cancer Research Fund.
“People who eat a lot of these meats are at higher risk of bowel cancer than those who eat small amounts,” wrote the NHS. Bowel cancer is the second most common cancer in Europe and the third most common worldwide, according to Cancer Research UK.
Potentially affected industries are already responding to WHO’s news. “If they determine that red and processed meat causes cancer,” North American Meat Institute spokesperson Betsy Booren told Yahoo, “that moniker will stick. It could take decades and billions of dollars to change that.”
If you’re not sickened by the news, you can watch the Science Channel video below on how sausage is made: