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In October 2015, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), part of the World Health Organization (WHO), conducted a review of research surrounding an association between red and processed meat and cancer. Red meat was ranked “probably carcinogenic” and processed meat was ranked “carcinogenic.” Media coverage prompted public confusion. WHO followed with a statement clarifying that “meat provides a number of essential nutrients.”

IARC reinforced the need for industry-wide actions to maintain the place of meat in a balanced diet. Smithcom worked with the Canadian meat industry to develop strategies that built trust through transparency, credibility and education.

A video series branded Protein Builds increased consumer awareness on the benefits of consuming protein. Video testimonials were delivered by reputable spokespeople and pitched to media. Media underscored the value of protein for Canadians at various stages of live and activity levels. Each topic was validated with scientific studies and expert opinions.

To reach influencers and registered dietitians, Smithcom executed a technical briefing lead by preeminent researchers. It focused on interpreting the evidence of IARC’s conclusion and examining protein’s impact on diet quality and health. Summary videos were shared with influencers in other markets. We also worked with a member of the IARC committee who has challenged the strength of IARC’s evidence. To extend reach of this information, Smithcom captured his testimonial to share with key influencers.