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The home of Parma ham, trumpeting the benefits of a traditional Mediterranean diet, is urging consumers not to get into a prosciutto panic after a warning that processed meat can cause cancer.Italian food and farming groups responded indignantly to the World Health Organization report that put cured meats, such as ham, sausage and salami, together with asbestos and tobacco on a list of carcinogens.The WHO said each 50-gram portion of processed meat – usually beef or pork which has been transformed through processes like salting and smoking – increased the risk of colorectal cancer by 18 percent.Coldiretti also underlines the nonhealth aspects of issue, noting the meat industry in Italy generates 32 billion euros ($35 billion) a year in sales and provides work for 180,000 people.
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