Word has it that the World Health Organisation is planning to declare that bacon, sausages and other processed meats cause cancer tomorrow.
The announcement is expected to list the fry-up favourites in the same category as arsenic, asbestos and cigarettes.
Red meat will also be declared “probably carcinogenic to humans”, and will be ranked as only slightly less dangerous than preserved products, according to a Daily Mail source.
Processed meat, which include pastrami, salami, hot dogs and some types of sausages is made by smoking, curing, salting or adding preservatives.
The World Cancer Research Fund said: “There is strong evidence that eating a lot of these foods [red and processed meat] increases your risk of bowel cancer.”
Bowel cancer is Australia’s second biggest cancer killer after lung cancer, claiming the lives of 3,980 people every year.
The NHS website says that evidence shows there is “probably a link between eating red and processed meat and the risk of bowel cancer”.
“People who eat a lot of these meats are at higher risk of bowel cancer than those who eat small amounts,” it adds.
According to the World Cancer Research Fund, there is strong evidence that eating red and processed meat increases risk of bowel cancer.
The British National Health Service repeated the claim on its website, NHS Choices.
However, the site also acknowledged the benefits of meats like beef, lamb and pork which it says “can form part of a healthy diet”.
According to the Mail, the decision by the WHO was made following a meeting and review of available evidence by scientists from ten nations including the UK.
But the decision, expected to be announced on Monday, could have a serious financial impact on farmers and the food industry.
Betsy Booren, of the North American Meat Institute, said recently: “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.”