Processed meat and cancer link eats £3m in sausage and bacon sales

10 per cent was wiped off incremental sales in two weeks

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The Independent Online

Sales of bacon and sausages are down since processed pork was linked to cancer by World Health Organisation report.

Supermarkets have seen £3 million wiped off sales of pork and bacon products over the last two weeks. Retail analysts IRI Retail Advantage said that sales for pre-packed bacon fell 17 per cent in the week after the report was published. Sales dived further the following week by another 16.5 per cent.

Sausages suffered similar losses, down 15.6 per cent in the last week of October and another £13.9 per cent in the first week of November.

That means 10 per cent was wiped off incremental sales in two weeks - or the equivalent of £3 million - IRI told The Grocer, a specialist retail magazine.

The WHO said in October that eating a lot of processed red meat increases the risk of bowel cancer. At the time, farmers expressed concern that the report would impact sales. 

“If they determine that red and processed meat causes cancer – and I think they will – that moniker will stick … It could take decades and billions of dollars to change that," said Betsy Booren, of the North American Meat Institute.