Dr. Robert Lucas Responds to Guyson Mayers

Submitted by Dr. Robert D. Lucas

bodyThere was an article entitled “Red Meats Cause Cancer” in the Advocate of Sunday, 1ist.November 2015, by Mr. R.E. Guyson Mayers. Mayers was guilty of disseminating incorrect information,


which displayed his gross ignorance of the subject as I will show and I will explain some facets of food risk and meat processing.

The World Health Organization’s (WHO) advisory linked the excessive use of processed red meats with an eighteen percent increase above the basal level, in the risk of colorectal cancer in humans. The advisory went on to state that that there was no link between the consumption of red meats and cancer, but posited the opinion that red meats probably caused cancer, which I find to be rather unscientific on WHO’s behalf. The advisory concluded by stating that, there was no problem, if the consumer restricted intake to one hot dog or 50g (about 2 oz.) of processed red meats daily. Mayers is referred to the British Broadcasting Corporation’s (BBC’s) Programme “ More or Less” of 5th.November 2015 and to the Independent, Uk newspaper of the 28th. And 30th. October, 2015, to articles entitled “Cancer-so how dangerous is a bacon sandwich?” By Kashmira Gander and “WHO insists it is not telling people to stop eating bacon after cancer report” by Lizzie Deardens respectively. As a matter of fact, the WHO’s advisory is only a rehash of the advisory it published in 2002, as it admitted. There was no out-cry then.

Paracelus, the founder of the modern discipline of toxicology in the sixteenth century stated: “All substances are poisons; there is none which is not a poison. The right dose differentiates between a remedy and a poison” (Institute of Food Technologists’ Scientific Status Summary: “Assessing, Managing, And Communicating Chemical Food Risk” IFT Expert Panel on Food Safety and Nutrition, 1997.pp85-92). The salient factor here is the dosage consumed. Before I deal with dosage and risk analysis, it is necessary to give some back ground on meat curing. The pigment in meat is called myoglobin. In the presence of nitrite and heat, compounds called amines which are derivatives of amino acids found in proteins combine to give rise to intermediary compounds called nitrosamines. Nitrosamines are precursor compounds which can result in cancer development. Nitrites are used to give cured meats their pink colour, cured meat flavour and to inhibit the formation of the neurotoxin formed by the bacterium C. botulinum, which causes food intoxication and death; the mortality rates from this toxin are very high. To inhibit the formation of nitrosamines ascorbic or its mirror image erthorbic acids are used in cured meats formulation. The formation of nitrosamines is favoured in the presence of fat and high temperatures and streaky bacon is an ideal product. It is for this reason that nitrite is restricted to 100ppm in bacon end products.. All of these adverse effects have been known since the 1950’s and several attempts have been made to find replacements for nitrite to no avail. Mayers is referred to the article by IFT Expert Panel “Nitrites, Nitrates, and Nitrosamines in Food- a Dilemma” Journal of Food Science. 1972:37:89-92. Since the 1950’s, in animal model systems, very high rates of nitrosamines have been fed to test animals, which exceed cumulative amount of nitrites/nitrosamines ingested in humans in a normal life-span spent consuming processed red meats by several order of magnitude.

Compounds which are suspected to be carcinogenic are assumed to cause cancer at any level of ingestion. Whereas, non-carcinogenic food additives in model systems are assumed to have a threshold level, below which no adverse effects are observed; this is called the no observable effect level (NOEL). The point immediately above the threshold level is called the lowest observable effect level (LOEL). These NOEL and LOEL are used to establish guideline for the use of non-carcinogenic food additives. To rationalize this anomaly in the case of suspected carcinogens, risk analysis is done. .I will illustrate what I am talking about with practical examples. Chlorine is used to ensure the safety of potable water at about 200ppm, depending on the amount of organic matter present in the water. At this level there is no problem. If used at 1000ppm, chlorine is carcinogenic. Regulatory bodies therefore have a decision to make. Not to use chlorine can result in outbreaks of cholera, typhoid, amoebic dysentery and other microbial diseases. The cost-benefits have to be weighed, water borne disease or the risk of cancer. Similarly with use of nitrites in processed red meats. A trade–off has to be made. In 2002, there was hue and cry about presence of acrylamide in bread. Acrylamide is formed by some starches when heated. It is highly toxic and carcinogenic. People are still eating bread; acrylamide is still present in bread.

I want to disabuse Mayers of the idea that there is such a thing as a hundred percent safe and risk free food. The food industry and regulatory bodies do their utmost to minimize the risks. I will illustrate with an example what I am talking about. The Jack-in-the Box Food chain in the USA. Customers suffered an out-break of E. coli food poisoning from consuming the chain’s hamburgers. The chain cooked the hamburgers to the recommended United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) internal temperature. However, the E.coli had mutated and required a higher internal to destroy it. Some people died.

Mayers also alluded to the use ethyl and methyl mercury and asbestos. In the case of asbestos, he is referred to an erudite article published in the local press by Professor Henry Fraser, sometime ago. As for mercury, the methyl mercury bio-accumulates in the body. The ethyl form is use in small quantities and in any event, how manty vaccines doe one get in a life time? By the way, tuna and albacore red flesh, are people going to stop eating tuna or albacore?

Robert D. Lucas, PH.D. , CFS

Certified Food Scientist.

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31 Comments on “Dr. Robert Lucas Responds to Guyson Mayers”

  1. MR.C November 6, 2015 at 9:29 PM #

    This is a very interesting topic, that people need to pay attention to. I am a Prostate Cancer Survivor for a little over 13 years now. I eat very little red meats, and not that often either. I eat lots of sea foods, turkey, chicken and lots of fruits and vegetables. But what is causing me to wonder over the years about what we eat, or drink. Is that with all the chemicals in the feeds that are given to the animals, all the chemical pollution that’s in the oceans, all the pesticides that are being sprayed on the fruit trees and vegetables. And before I forget, here in the USA we have farm raised salmon, which is given chemicals to make them bigger than the ones in the ocean.

    I have quite A BIG PROBLEM UNDERSTANDING WHAT REALLY IS SAFE FOR US TO EAT OR DRINK AT THIS POINT IN TIME. If the foods don’t do it. Then all the different medications that people are taking for different illnesses, that some of them throws into the lavatories from time to time. And then we are drinking RECYCLED WATER. At this point in time, I strongly believe that ONLY THROUGH THE POWERS OF THE MOST HIGH THAT MANY OF US ARE STILL ABOVE GROUND IN PRETTY GOOD HEALTH. I refuse to take any medications PERIOD. My belief is, I CAN NEVER LIVE ANY LONGER THAN THE TIME THAT THE MOST HIGH HAS GIVEN ME. So PLEASE be very mindful as to what you put into your bodies that can create problems.. I’m STILL eating all the dishes that I was raised on as a boy growing up in Barbados.



  2. ac November 6, 2015 at 9:59 PM #

    Why are you getting mad at Mr. Mayers He is not the only person that have Ever Agreed with scientific findings linking red meat to cancer,
    However i do belive that the carcinogens are liked to the pesticide and different forms of steroids use in the curing process and the packaging used to preserve the longevity of meat,
    The facts which Mr Mayers speak of has been told man times over but swept quickly under the rug by by corporate Food giants and pharmaceutical peddlers whose fear having to see there financial empires crumbled right under their noses.
    There is a believably factor which connects to what is being told by WHO especially when one looks at the high rate of colon cancer world wide and peoples whose lives are attributed not to a poor or unhealthy lifestyle…. as they say garbage in and garbage out,


  3. Gabriel November 6, 2015 at 10:22 PM #

    Dr Lucas is well known for his knowledge of and his many contributions to the media on matters of Food Science.Guyson Mayers,a former policeman.THE ONLY FOOD HE KNOW ‘BOUT IS FROM THE POLICE CANTEEN.


  4. Hants November 6, 2015 at 10:32 PM #

    Warning to my fellow Bajan Canadians……..



  5. ac November 6, 2015 at 10:43 PM #

    @ Gabriel did you read Mr Mayers article? He did not give an experts opinion .He simply agreed on the scientific findings as presented .
    BTW what does his profession as a layman has to do with scientific findings ,He did not conduct the scientific data,

    Here is an excerpt fro the article reference Guyson Mayers

    The findings of this report were not casually compiled. Twenty two scientists looked at over 800 studies and came to the conclusion that processed meat and red meat are linked to cancer. The meat link to cancer is so strong that the scientists place meat products in the same category as smoking and asbestos as causes of cancer.


  6. Gabriel November 6, 2015 at 11:00 PM #

    Fools rush in….tell the silly man to stick to what he knows..how to destroy long standing institutions of Barbados.JA


  7. ac November 6, 2015 at 11:14 PM #

    @ Gabriel Ok Voice of reason !steupse Now stick to the article and stop acting like the ole miserable bitty u are


  8. David November 7, 2015 at 12:35 AM #

    Every single article it has to be polluted with droppings from Mutt and Jeff.

    On 7 November 2015 at 03:14, Barbados Underground wrote:



  9. Simple Simon November 7, 2015 at 1:05 AM #

    Eat drink and be merry..because none of us will live forever.


  10. Dompey November 7, 2015 at 8:17 AM #

    Mr. C

    I have done a lot of research on prostate cancer since my father was diagnosed several years age, and I am quite sure GP can add to, but the medical literature does not support the finds that red meats contributes to prostate cancer.

    The medical literature points to three main causes which contributes to prostate cancer that I know of, but feel free to correct me if you so desire.

    The factors that I have read of are environmental, heridiary, and a diet consist of high fatty foods ,however; there is evidence which shows some linkage between red meats and colon cancer.

    And finally, the report which came out on CNN last week regarding the health risks of consuming red meats focused, on colon cancer as a direct link.
    Nevertheless, you also have to bear mind that there is a counter argument out there which refutes this recent medical study.


  11. Bush Tea November 7, 2015 at 8:52 AM #

    Eat drink and be merry..because none of us will live forever.

    The motto of an idiot.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. ac November 7, 2015 at 10:26 AM #

    What difference does it make .The revelations to which Mr. Mayers alluded are scientifically based and put into the public domain as a warning for which should be of most concern
    To start a sparring and shouting match serves no purpose.
    As long as the public has all the verifiable and valudated proven scientific evedience it is solely up to public to make decision necessary for the best interest of health
    One should also be overly concerned about the vigorous mouthings against the scientific findings and its correlation to red meat


  13. Dompey November 7, 2015 at 3:34 PM #


    It is it an unadulterated fact that whether we die at two or ninety-two, we all are terminal whether we care to accept it as factual or not.

    Now, with respect to the scientific inquiry, we cannot employ science as the final arbiter in determining truth, or else we run the risk of disregarding the other promising alternatives and sloutions to given problems.

    In any event, can we really trust science as an exact barometer for determining truth because a decade or so ago, Dr. Atkins high protein consumption and low carbohydrates diet was thought of to promote weight loss as well as robust health, however, a decade later scientific findings indicates that the Atkins’ diet promotes coronary artery disease.

    So yes, we must adhere to the scientific findings to some extent, but also be mindful of the fact that because of our human faults and failings, the scientific inquiry cannot be excluded from error and the delivery of fact.


  14. Green Monkey November 7, 2015 at 6:34 PM #

    Never mind the bacon and the red meat, even the vegetarians may be screwed now too.

    Poisoned Agriculture: Depopulation and Human Extinction’
    by Colin Todhunter

    A new paper by Rosemary A Mason in the ‘Journal of Biological Physics and Chemistry’, indicates that a ‘sixth extinction’ is under way (the Holocene extinction, sometimes called the Sixth Extinction, is a name describing the ongoing extinction of species during the present Holocene epoch – since around 10,000 BCE). In her paper, ‘The sixth mass extinction and chemicals in the environment: our environmental deficit is now beyond nature’s ability to regenerate’, she argues that loss of biodiversity is the most urgent of the environmental problems, as biodiversity is critical to ecosystem services and human health. And the main culprit is the modern chemical-intensive industrialised system of food and agriculture.

    Mason asserts there is a growing threat from the release of hormone-disrupting chemicals that could even be shifting the human sex ratio and reducing sperm counts. An industrial agricultural revolution has created a technology-dependent global food system, but it has also created serious long-run vulnerabilities, especially in its dependence on stable climates, crop monocultures and industrially produced chemical inputs. In effect, farming is a principal source of global toxification and soil degradation.

    Without significant pressure from the public demanding action, Mason argues there could little chance of changing course fast enough to forestall disaster. The ‘free’ market is driving the impending disaster and blind faith in corporate-backed technology will not save us. Indeed, such faith in this technology is actually killing us.

    Since the late 1990s, US scientists have written in increasingly desperate tones regarding an unprecedented number of fungal and fungal-like diseases, which have recently caused some of the most severe die-offs and extinctions ever witnessed in wild species and which are jeopardizing food security. Only one paper dared to mention pesticides as being a primary cause, however.

    Mason cites a good deal of evidence to show how the widespread use on agricultural crops of the systemic neonicotinoid insecticides and the herbicide glyphosate, both of which cause immune suppression, make species vulnerable to emerging infectious pathogens, driving large-scale wildlife extinctions, including essential pollinators.

    Providing evidence to show how human disease patterns correlate remarkably well with the rate of glyphosate usage on corn, soy and wheat crops, which has increased due to ‘Roundup Ready’ crops, Mason goes on to present more sources to show how our over-reliance on chemicals in agriculture is causing irreparable harm to all beings on this planet. Most of these chemicals are known to cause illness, and they have likely been causing illnesses for many years. But until recently, the herbicides have never been sprayed directly on food crops and never in this massive quantity.



  15. Bush Tea November 7, 2015 at 8:41 PM #

    Wuh cuh shiite…. Farmers are stuffing animals with all kinda hormones, antibiotics, chemicals, and false feeds – with the single aim of fattening them for market within a financial timeframe and with minimum expenses.
    How the hell could the ‘meat’ that results from such an approach to farming be anything but poisonous?
    …OK, it may take as much as 20 years to overwhelm you, but it SURELY cannot be the same as eating meat from free-range animals living on natural feeds in open farms.

    Boss…however wunna look at it, ..this earth is in its FINAL stages of ‘life’.
    Every shiite mashing up!!
    Just like any other life-form, as it nears the end of its cycle of existence, our Earth’s systems are failing…. there are growing and unusual pains; unsteadiness; stress and strains; … and the lotta buildup of all the shiite we have been doing all those ‘healthy years’ are catching up with us…..

    Red meat shiite!!!
    Skippa, the very fact of LIVING nowadays is statistically dangerous to our health….
    This must be SO FRUSTRATING to those for whom this temporary ‘life’ is everything……


  16. Green Monkey November 7, 2015 at 10:44 PM #

    Psychopaths rule.


    Despite Whining By Monsanto, Roundup DOES Cause Cancer … and Many Other Diseases
    Posted on November 7, 2015 by WashingtonsBlog

    The World Health Organization is right when it announced recently that Roundup weedkiller – also known as “glyphosate” – probably causes cancer.

    In response, Monsanto has been whining that the WHO is wrong.

    But Reuters notes:

    “There are a number of independent, published manuscripts that clearly indicate that glyphosate … can promote cancer and tumor growth,” said Dave Schubert, head of the cellular neurobiology laboratory at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies in La Jolla, California. “It should be banned.”

    The Salk Institute is one of the world’s top neuroscience facilities:

    In 2004, the Times Higher Education Supplement ranked Salk as the world’s top biomedicine research institute, and in 2009 it was ranked number one globally by ScienceWatch in the neuroscience and behavior areas.

    Indeed, Roundup has been linked with numerous diseases, including autism, dementia, thyroid and bladder cancer, kidney failure, bowel and intestinal disease, high blood pressure, obesity and diabetes.

    Roundup has been found in 75% of air and water tested, and in virtually all sanitary cotton products. (FYI for any clueless men, that’s not just bandages or cotton gauze you might place over a wound or injury but also includes your wife’s, daughter’s, mother’s, aunt’s, girlfriend’s sanitary napkins and tampons. Any chemicals in such products can be absorbed through the vagina walls and enter the bloodstream. /GM.)

    And crops are drenched in Roundup right before harvest … meaning that we get alot of it in our food.

    And yet the EPA recently raised the allowable amount of a glyphosate – the main ingredient in Monsanto’s toxic Roundup – by 3,000% … pretending that it won’t have adverse health effects.

    And EPA uses Monsanto’s own biased research – largely based on outdated studies from the 197os – to pretend that Roundup is safe. (Monsanto studies from the 1970s and 1980s – shared with the EPA at the time – allegedly showed that Roundup was toxic.)

    We should instead ban the poison …

    Multiple supporting links embedded in the original at:


  17. Exclaimer November 8, 2015 at 7:23 AM #

    @ Bush Tea & Green Monkey,

    It would be a good thing for our planet if human beings became extinct. Do you know that our Chinese friends level mountains because they “stand in the way” of development. Our that many fisherman now use “controlled explosions” in order to harvest fish. Our that one ton of rock needs to be extracted to produce one gram of gold.

    Sadly we live in a crazy world full of “Money Brain” characters. It’s all about the money!


    Cooking with vegetable oils releases toxic cancer-causing chemicals, say experts



  18. chad99999 November 8, 2015 at 7:33 AM #

    The problem I have with the good doctor’s article is that he appears to be saying that there is a single measurable threshold for toxicity that applies to (almost) everyone. In fact, some people are more sensitive to carcinogens than others and the difference between a carcinogenic intake of red meat and a non-carcinogenic intake varies substantially among individuals. Since it is impossible for any individual to know what quantities of red meat are safe, it is meaningful to speak of red meat as carcinogenic, since it poses risks that cabbage, brussel sprouts, cauliflower, broccoli, and a lot of other foods do not pose.


  19. Bush Tea November 8, 2015 at 8:34 AM #

    Excellent observation Chad (nuff.)
    Perhaps the Doc meant to say that it is only slightly cancer causing –
    …so those with healthy immune systems need not worry
    …and we need not worry about those with compromised immune systems… 🙂


  20. David November 8, 2015 at 8:36 AM #

    Where is Doc GP on this matter?


  21. ac November 8, 2015 at 12:17 PM #

    Really i do not understand the mentality of those disputing the findings with “questionable “arguments asking of those “What possible beneficts are there to be derived from those scientists who did the analysis?
    There should be absolutly no suspicion left that should proffer some kind or any kind of self serving involvement unless these labs where being funded by organic corporations in which part there might be a stink of foul meat attached
    I do however belive that the findings are not surprising to an avid reader who does plenty research on healthy lifestyle


  22. Dompey November 8, 2015 at 5:30 PM #


    This is just my personal perspective regarding science, so done be to hard on me sista; I am probably out of bounds, but bear with me for a moment here.

    Now the problem I have with certain scientific findings is the fact that some people take them as the absolute gospel or at face-value to some extent, which belies the danger.

    What some people fail to accept is the fact that even though the scientific inquiry dealings in empirical evidence, there are real limitations to this mode of inquiry.

    Science for example: cannot tell us beyond a reasonable doubt, when the world begun and when it will end. Science cannot teach man morals neither can science minister to the needs of the human soul, so therein lies the shortcomings of science, and all that it is worth.

    Nevertheless, I shall concluded on this very important note: we must regard certain scientific findings with a sense of relativism, in an effort to avoiding the absolutism with which we too often attributed to this mode inquiry, or else we will run the risk of revert back to the superstitions above which we ourselves have risen, and which served in their day as stepping stones for human progress and human development.


  23. Dompey November 8, 2015 at 5:52 PM #

    In other words AC: we cannot allow any medium of human inquiry to be our final arbiter in determining truth because to embrace such a perspective, is analogous to scientific and religious totalitarianism, which offers little or no room for the psychological or intellectual probing beyond the confines of these two mediums of inquiry.


  24. ac November 8, 2015 at 6:06 PM #

    Dompey your conclusions are among many who prefer to live by the high risk of chance rather than practice wholesome preventive measure
    i rather err on the side of caution that be driven by speculative measures


  25. Dompey November 8, 2015 at 6:11 PM #

    Let me end with the philosophical words of the legendary ancient Jewish philosopher and theologian Moses Miamonides who said:” Follow the evidence no matter the source.”


  26. ac November 8, 2015 at 6:29 PM #

    Dompey here is some philosophy you should add to your list of antidotes

    Just eating less meat has a protective effect. A National Cancer Institute study of 500,000 people found that those who ate the most red meat daily were 30 percent more likely to die of any cause during a 10-year period than were those who ate the least amount of red meat. Sausage, luncheon meats and other processed meats also increased the risk. Those who ate mostly poultry or fish had a lower risk of death.



  27. Dompey November 8, 2015 at 7:17 PM #


    I absolutely agree with you that foresight is better than hindsight, but there is aways a price to pay, I think.

    Nonetheless, many decades ago, doctors in the United States of America performed what was called lobotomies, by cutting away the prefrontal cortex of the anterior portion of the frontal lobes of the brain to modify psychotic behaviour, following the introduction of antipsychotic medication.

    Now, one might concluded that scientific findings in this area of medicine was still in its infancy at the time, but this still doesn’t precluded the suffering of those persons who have had these lobotomies.

    So my point is this, we cannot accept all of these scientific findings as an absolute guide of conduct for our lives or else we would end up like the late Michael Jackson who walked the streets of America clad in a face mask with his knife and fork.

    Last year a scientific study concluded that the consumption of too much coffee was bad for your health; six months later another came out which told us the health benefits to be derived from consuming coffee.

    At the same time a study came out informing us of the dangers associated with taking an 81 mg tab in the morning to prevent stroke and heart- attack, and these findings were contrary the previous year.


  28. Dompey November 8, 2015 at 7:57 PM #


    A new study from the Medical University of Graz in Austria finds that the vegetarian diet characterized by lower consumption of saturated fats, and intake of fruits, vegetables and grains products -carries elevated risks of cancer, allergies and mental health disorders.

    The study also found that vegetarians were twice as likely to have allergies, and a 50 percent increase in incidence of cancer.


  29. Dompey November 8, 2015 at 8:11 PM #


    GP, can probably confirm what I am about to say, but despite the heritary and dietary factors which contributes to cancer, cancer increases with age being that the body loses the mechanism to fight cancer as we age.


  30. ac November 8, 2015 at 9:16 PM #

    Maybe yes cancer in age can be attributed to many factions including heredity however what the scientist findings have concluded is not only age or hereditary but the rapid rises of cancer across the board in humans being young or old race or gender ,
    those findings are too real and conclusive to be ignored and for any one to close a blind eye to what the findings have revealed as a negative source pointing directly to red meat ,


  31. Green Monkey November 15, 2015 at 10:14 AM #

    Industry Insider Speaks Out About the Hazards of Industrialized Agriculture

    It's been eight years since bird flu was a concern in the United States, but now it's back again, and it's particularly integrated into <b>confined animal feeding operations (CAFOs)</b>. (emphasis added /GM)Dr. John Ikerd, who has a PhD in Agricultural Economics, is an industrial agriculture insider, making him a rare voice to speak out against the conventional model.He grew up on a dairy farm, and also gained experience working for Wilson & Co. — at that time, the fourth largest meat packing company in the country — and Kansas City stockyards.After obtaining his PhD, he worked as an extension livestock marketing specialist and an agricultural economist, spending the first 15 years of his academic career promoting industrial agriculture, which includes large-scale CAFO’s.

    SNIP How CAFOs Promote Disease Epidemics

    The first bird flu pandemic was launched upon the American public in 2005, with repeats in 2006, 2007, and again in 2008, followed by the threat of a swine flu pandemic in 2009. I actually wrote a book about the initial bird flu scare, which became a New York Times bestseller, called The Great Bird Flu Hoax.At one time, they warned two million people could potentially die from this disease. Yet to this day, I'm not aware of anyone in the US ever dying from bird flu. It has however become a serious threat to CAFOs. <I>“The reason I was giving you that background is I think what we’re seeing right now is inherent within this system of agricultural production,” Dr. Ikerd says. “What we’re seeing in terms of the bird flu is a consequence of concentrating hundreds of thousands of birds in these [space-wise] small operations.”</i>Prior to CAFOs, when a virus would emerge, some small farms would lose part or all of their flock, but the numbers would be limited. It wouldn't turn into a massive epidemic where millions of birds are affected and the disease spreads like wildfire across the entire country.

    Full article


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