"What the Health" is a documentary that is gaining popularity and has already caused a frenzy of debunking, rebuttal, and re-rebuttal articles and videos from various media sources. It documents filmmaker Kip Anderson's investigation of the animal product industry. In order to avoid this forum becoming a mess, I want to stick with one claim here: red and processed meats cause colorectal cancer. This claim comes up in the first 5 minutes of the film and refers to a report from the World Health Organization (WHO) that led to the classification of processed meats as a group 1 carcinogen and red meats as a group 2A. This means that there is sufficient evidence to say that processed meats increase risk of colorectal cancers but the case with red meats is not as certain. This claim itself is absolutely correct. Like so many things in this film, however, the interpretations and conclusions made from such information are dishonest. Because of this classification, Kip compares the idea of eating meat to smoking and questions why children are allowed to eat processed meats. He also emphasizes that processed meats are in the same category as asbestos and plutonium. The misunderstanding here comes with the way the International Association for Cancer Research (IARC) classifies carcinogens. The classification system works by probability, not how dangerous the substance is. In other words, the classification system answer the question, how strong is the evidence that this substance can increase my risk of getting cancer? It does not assess how carcinogenic something is. For perspective, alcohol is also listed as a group 1 carcinogen and the profession of being a barber is classified as a group 2A carcinogen. This does not mean any of them are comparable. A better way to think about this is to look at the estimated deaths attributed to each carcinogen. From the IARC Q&A page: http://www.who.int/features/qa/cancer-red-meat/en/ From this information, Kip concludes that meat is a dangerous carcinogen that should never be eaten and that everyone who eats it is in grave danger of getting cancer. This conclusion is harsh and dishonest for two reasons. 1) According to the report, the increase in colorectal cancer risk that comes with consuming 50 grams (0.11 lb) of processed meat a day comes out to about an 18% increase. That 18% is not a net increase, it is relative to the baseline risk, which is about 5%. This means that by eating 50 grams of processed meats a day, you increase your risk of colorectal cancer from 5% to 5.8%. 2) Eating a reduced amount of meat will make this risk negligible. This scientific information does not warrant mass warnings and drastic lifestyle changes. What it does warrant is a strong reminder that diet is important for health and cancer prevention and we should be mindful of how balanced our meals are. Going vegan can be a great decision for many reasons. The decision does not have to employ pseudoscience and scare tactics.