UK advertising authority wants cancer messages ‘proved beyond doubt’

| July 1, 2013

Animal rights campaigners in Britain have been banned from running a billboard campaign warning that eating meat increases the risk of cancer, according to a story by Mark Hennessy for The Irish Times.

A campaign picture showed a child smoking a cigar alongside the statement: “You wouldn’t let your child smoke. Like smoking, eating meat increases the risk of heart disease and cancer. Go vegan!”

Claiming that the “advertisement” was “misleading,” the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) said claims that eating any kind of meat increased the risk had not been “proven beyond doubt.”

Reacting to the ban, a spokesman for the campaign group People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals said: “We are befuddled by the ASA’s ruling on our billboard highlighting the fact that eating meat increases the risk of heart disease and cancer. The link between meat consumption and the increased risk of heart disease and cancer has been repeatedly documented in studies and medical reports.”

Researchers from Oxford University had, he said, recently published an investigation into the diets of 45,000 people in England and Scotland, comparing heart disease rates between those who ate meat and those who didn’t.

The study, funded by Cancer Research UK and the U.K.’s Medical Research Council, “found that vegetarians had a 32 percent lower risk of becoming ill or dying from heart disease than [did] non-vegetarians,” even when adjustments were made to discount the effects of age, sex, weight and smoking habits.

Category: Breaking News

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