Sacre Bleu: There Is a Link Between Charcuterie, Colon Cancer

France cutting nitrates in food after health authorities confirm the connection
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 13, 2022 2:30 AM CDT
Sacre Bleu : There Is a Link Between Charcuterie, Colon Cancer
Stock photo.   (Getty Images / Irina Gelwich)

France will cut the use of nitrates and nitrites in its food after the country's national food safety body confirmed there's a link between them and colon cancer. What exactly does that mean? Well, charcuterie could be affected, because nitrates are added to processed or cured meats, the Guardian reports. The World Health Organization released similar findings in 2015, and now France's national health agency says it has studied the data and come to a similar conclusion. It also noted there are suspected links between nitrates and other cancers. But the agency's move stops short of what processed meat producers in the country had been concerned about: a full ban, Reuters reports.

A French parliament bill in February attempted to reduce the amount of nitrates used in such meats, and called on the government to take action. France is one of the largest producers of charcuterie, or cold cuts, across the globe. The health agency now "recommends reducing consumption of the range of nitrates and nitrites by deliberately limiting exposure through food consumption." The recommended amount is an average of 5.3 ounces consumed per week, about half of the current amount French adults consume on average. The agency says limiting consumption will also decrease the risk of botulism, listeria, and salmonella. (More nitrates stories.)

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