November 1, 2007 / 1:32 PM / 12 years ago

Bacon munchers defy cancer scare

LONDON (Reuters) - Bravely chomping down on what has overnight become one of Britain’s most dangerous snacks, bacon sandwich lovers gave two fingers on Thursday to the World Cancer Research Fund.

A typical BLT sandwich at Tony's I-75 restaurant sits on the counter in Birch Run, Michigan, October 15, 2006. Bravely chomping down on what has overnight become one of Britain's most dangerous snacks, bacon sandwich lovers gave two fingers on Monday to the World Cancer Research Fund. REUTERS/Molly Riley

After years of research, the Fund has declared a link between processed meats like bacon and a range of cancers.

The Sun headed its front page with the rallying cry “Save Our Bacon” whilst traders and shoppers at London’s Smithfield meat market were scornful.

Tabloid headline writers were as irate as devoted fans of the bacon butty.

“So what IS safe to eat?” asked the Daily Mail.

Meat traders were outraged too.

“People know everything in life is bad for you and they’re too attached to their bacon to stop eating it,” said Barry Cassidy, 55, a salesman at Smithfield, where meat has been bought and sold for over 800 years.

“You could go for 20 to 30 years and not eat bacon, not enjoying life, then get hit by a car — I say, everything in moderation,” he added.

Regular customer Avtar Johal, 61, who runs a nearby sandwich bar, said the report would not stop him eating his beloved butties.

“Some reports say it is good for you, some say it is bad — who knows,” he said, snorting in disbelief over the report.

Ken Taverner, 71, who works part-time at a butchers’ shop, was equally dismissive.

“Every other week a new study comes out about what you can and cannot eat. All my life I’ve eaten meat pies and pudding and I didn’t worry about it.”

While some traders said the report could affect their sales, others were defiant.

John Fitzsimmons, 43, assistant manager at “The Cock Tavern” situated underneath the meat market, quipped:

“We’ve never sold so many bacon sandwiches as this morning. You say one thing and people do the opposite.”

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