Michael Symon blasts WHO over meat cancer warning

Michael Symon
Michael Symon (Facebook)

Chef Michael Symon isn’t happy with the World Health Organization (WHO) after the agency declared processed meats like, bacon, ham and salami to be carcinogenic to humans. But the WHO didn’t stop there. The agency also compared the dangers of consuming these products to smoking cigarettes or being exposed to asbestos.


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But the news only got worse for meat lovers. The WHO also linked red meats, such as beef and lamb to cancer in humans – that’s meat lovers.

That was enough to make celebrity chef Michael Symon to take to his Facebook page and fire back a salvo at the health agency.

Symon, well known for his many appearances on the Food Network and co-star of ABC’s “The Chew,” called the WHO’s study a “witch hunt” and an “incredible disservice” to group factory farmed, mass produced meat products with “beautifully raised, produced and crafted artisan products.”

Symon wrote the following message on his Facebook page:

Dear World Health Organization,
To say I am disappointed in your witch hunt..errr “research” would be to put it mildly a understatement. First off why wouldn’t you take this opportunity to talk about the huge division of meat and meat products that are out there. To group factory farmed, mass produced products loaded with hormones, words we can’t pronounce and man made nitrates with beautifully raised, produced & crafted artisan products is an incredible disservice to those who work so hard to do things the right way.
Also the media using this research as “click on my page” gimmick with headlines such as “Bacon & Beef Kills!” just makes it an even larger problem. Lets talk about a couple facts here. You never mentioned anything about anyone that was tested diet or if they are rich in fiber and balanced with grains & vegetables. Also when digging deeper in the article it mentions that a diet filled these so called deadly products effects less than 1% of people or 30,000 people WORLDWIDE ANNUALLY. To put that in perspective deaths caused by car accidents and smoking where 1.3 million and 900,000 last year.
I would hope most people understand by now life is about balance and if you ate pounds of bacon, beef and hot dogs daily that it would be bad for you. To categorize the danger of eating bacon, salami & beef in the same breath as cigarettes is a complete joke ….as is your blanket statement research.
On a happier note my 97 year grandfather called me today laughing about the article while enjoying a BLT from his couch.
Eat Real Food,
Michael Symon