Consumption of red meat and processed meats has raised international alert for their possible carcinogenic effect, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).
In Ecuador, these products are among the most demanded by households and could involve an expenditure of 19% of household income, according to the Ecuadorian Institute of Statistics and Census (INEC for its Spanish acronym).
Experts say that for every 50 grams of processed meat eaten per day, the risk of developing colon cancer increases by 18%.
The announcement raised concerns in sectors of sausage production and livestock in the country. Ana Lucia Jara, assistant manager of La Iberica Sausages, explained that if this alarm is maintained they expect a significant drop in sales. She added that the company will be 100 years old in the market and has always taken care of the quality of its products.
Teofilo Carvajal, head of the Federation of Livestock of Ecuador (Fedegan) said that this kind of alerts is detrimental to the sector because it affects the demand. He said he will ask the government to demand a clarification from the WHO, as the Ecuadorian livestock sector is small (around 370,000 people) and can be seen strongly affected by this kind of information.
The consumption of sausages in Ecuador reaches three kilos per person per year, according to the INEC. This means three times less than the average consumption of beef.