The Myths about Carcinogenic Foods

February 27, 2019
On several occasions, public opinion and activist associations relate certain foods with cancer. Among the most criticized products are transgenics. However, are these statements well founded?

It’s true that there may be carcinogenic compounds in certain foods. However, you should be careful about how you interpret the information.

Cancer is the second leading cause of death in developed countries. It’s more common as people age, and it’s typically related to the amount of carcinogens that they’re exposed throughout life, among other things.

Unfortunately, some of these carcinogenic foods may be in your diet.

More and more scientific evidence indicates that certain foods may be related to the development of cancer. However, there are several factors that cause cancer, and diet plays a role along with other aspects such as genetics.

One thing that’s for sure is that eating a healthy diet is always good for you. By following a balanced diet, you can help maintain a good state of health. Plus, you can even prevent the appearance of certain chronic diseases.

Meanwhile, it’s also important to logically interpret the scientific information that’s available today.

In this context, there are many articles and information that ensure that taking certain carcinogenic foods can cause diseases to appear. On several occasions, these statements are not entirely true.

Woman using logic when thinking about carcinogenic foods

Alleged Carcinogenic Foods

Processed Meats

Certain meat products have nitrous compounds or aromatic amines that help conserve these products.This is especially true for marinated, cured or salted foods. These compounds can pose health risks to the point of being potentially carcinogenic.

However, a balanced diet is enough to prevent the potential adverse health effects that come from these compounds. Therefore, this means you shouldn’t eat excessive amounts of meat and consume enough vegetables.

Read this article: Why Eating Meat Can Increase Your Risk of Breast Cancer

Soft Drinks

Soft drinks

The excessive consumption of soft drinks is harmful to your health. These products have an excessive amount of sugar. By drinking them, you greatly increase your blood sugar levels.

Also, diet drinks that have reduced amounts of sugar, contain chemicals and artificial sweeteners that aren’t beneficial to your health. Some of these compounds may be potentially carcinogenic to some degree. However, it’s not certain that they cause cancer.

Overall, the healthier option would be trying to reduce your consumption of this type of products. You should greatly take into consideration that these food products can be harmful to your health.

Genetically Modified Organisms

There are numerous opponents of transgenic or genetically modified organisms (GMOs). However, this stance of denial and rejection towards transgenic technology usually come from ethical aspects of marketing and production, and not so much on the product itself.

However, there is a large amount of information that asserts that the consumption of genetically modified food is not safe. Unfortunately, it could lead do the development of cancer.

In addition, these statements often blame herbicides and pesticides. These products common in the farming of type of food.

Therefore, make sure you are aware of the two main characteristics of genetically modified crops. These crops are insect resistant and tolerant to herbicides. As you can imagine, there isn’t much natural about these characteristics.

Check out this article, too: 5 Healthy Foods that You May Be Eating in Excess

The Characteristics of GMOs

Genetically modified tomato

Throughout history, GMO’s have undergone several changes:

The first characteristic change that takes place is due to a bacterial protein. Farmers have used this in organic agriculture ever since the 30’s.

The second characteristic that’s changed took place by inserting a bacterial gene in crops. This produces a protein that gives resistance to glyphosate herbicide.

The use of this herbicide is one of the most controversial aspects of transgenics. However, there is a strong history of safe usage since the year 1974. In addition, several scientific studies ensure that glyphosate is not a risk factor.

The fear around the consumption of genetically modified foods comes from many cases that lack information.

After all, transgenic foods are organisms that have been modified or have added certain fragments of DNA. However, DNA is present in all foods. You consume it from the food you eat and your stomach breaks it down without causing you any harm.

Finally, due to the condition of GMOs, genetically modified foods are subjected to a rigorous risk assessment process. The results of these evaluations show that transgenic crops aren’t a higher risk to human health than their conventional counterparts.

  • American Cancer Society. “What Causes Cancer?“. Consultado el 26 de marzo de 2016. Disponible en:
  • Mink P.J., Mandel J.S., Lundin J.I. & Sceurman B.K. (2011). Epidemiologic studies of glyphosate and non-cancer health outcomes: a review., Regulatory Toxicology and Pharmacology, 61 (2): 172-184
  • Mink P.J., Mandel J.S., Sceurman B.K. & Lundin J.I. (2012). Epidemiologic studies of glyphosate and cancer: a review., Regulatory Toxicology and Pharmacology, 63 (3): 440-452
  • European Commission, 2010. A decade of EU-funded GMO research (2001 – 2010). Disponible en: