Germans should not be worried about eating their favorite "bratwurst" sausages despite a World Health Organization (WHO) report which warned eating processed meats can cause cancer, the country's agriculture minister said on Tuesday.
Experts concluded in the WHO study that eating processed meats such as hot dogs, sausages and bacon can cause colorectal cancer in humans, and red meat is also a likely cause of the disease.
The review by WHO's International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) classified processed meat as "carcinogenic to humans" on its group one list along with tobacco and asbestos, for which there is sufficient evidence of cancer links.
The WHO report drew attention in Germany, where sausages and other processed meat are a staple for many.
"No one should be afraid if they eat a bratwurst every now and then," Christian Schmidt, minister for food and agriculture, said in a statement emailed to Reuters. "People are being wrongly unsettled when eating meat is put on the same level as asbestos or tobacco."
Schmidt likened sausages to sunshine, which he said had beneficial effects if taken in moderation.
"It always depends on the amount. Too much is unhealthy," he said.
(Reporting by Thorsten Severin and Michael Hogan; Editing by Noah Barkin and Alison Williams)