Ham and cancer: the National Health Security Agency would confirm, in a report, the harmfulness of nitrites

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The health agency Anses would recognize, in a document which will not be made public until Tuesday, July 12, the existence of a risk of cancer linked to nitrites which are found in cold cuts.

According to an article from Sunday newspaper, published this Sunday, July 10, the health authority would have, for the first time, recognized a risk of cancer linked to nitrites in ham. Nitrites which are other than preservatives which give the ham its pink color and prevent the formation of toxic bacteria. Present in 75% of charcuterie sold in supermarkets, they have been singled out for several years because of their potential harmfulness.

A link to the risk of colon cancer

In an eleven-page opinion, which our colleagues were able to consult, ANSES assessed the risks associated with the consumption of nitrites. The thirteen researchers (toxicologists, epidemiologists, microbiologists, etc.) confirm the existence of a serious risk and recommend: “to reduce the exposure of the population by proactive measures by limiting exposure through food”. These experts even go so far as to assert that there is a link between the risk of colon cancer and exposure to nitrites.

Several scientific studies had already shown that these preservatives would increase the risk of cancer: “We have enough scientific elements to say that we should do without them”, declared, in February, Olivier Andrault, food and agriculture project manager at UFC-Que Choisir.

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