Metro-East News

Meier says bacon got bad-mouthed; co-sponsors resolution to support pork

State Rep. Charlie Meier carries his briefcase and garment bag to his vehicle before making a trip to Springfield. Meier is a farmer. Though he’s not a hog farmer, he says bacon has gotten a bad rap from the World Health Organization. He’s sponsoring a House resolution to recognize the pork industry’s contribution to Illinois’ economy
State Rep. Charlie Meier carries his briefcase and garment bag to his vehicle before making a trip to Springfield. Meier is a farmer. Though he’s not a hog farmer, he says bacon has gotten a bad rap from the World Health Organization. He’s sponsoring a House resolution to recognize the pork industry’s contribution to Illinois’ economy dholtmann@bnd.com

On the heels of the World Health Organization saying eating too much processed meat, such as bacon, could lead to higher risks of cancer, there is a resolution in the Illinois General Assembly defending bacon and other pork products.

The proposed resolution, which was filed by state Rep. Steven Andersson, R-Geneva, on Oct. 30, has 10 co-sponsors, including state Rep. Charlie Meier, R-Okawville.

“I am proud of Illinois’ pork industry. One of the largest pork producers in the nation is headquartered in Clinton County,” said Meier, referring to the Maschhoffs.

“Illinois pork helps feed the world while providing thousands of good-paying jobs to the people of Illinois,” Meier added. “It’s hard work, my family farm used to raise hogs for decades up until 1979, so I will always advocate for pork and encourage people to continue eating pork.”

The WHO clarified its initial report and said reducing the amount of bacon and processed meats could help reduced the chances of colorectal cancer.

Meier, who eats bacon twice a week, was skeptical of the WHO report.

“In this world we live in, drinking water, breathing — they find out everything will cause cancer,” Meier said during a phone interview.

The proposed resolution defends pork by saying it’s a good source of protein and provides several important vitamins and minerals.

It also says the key to eating bacon is keeping portions a reasonable size.

Meier said he isn’t sure if the resolution will be formally voted on by the General Assembly.

But he said he knows, from personal experience, that many state lawmakers like pork.

“I’ve watched state representatives at different breakfasts,” Meier said. “A lot have a piece of bacon in their hand.”

Joseph Bustos: 618-239-2451, @JoeBReporter

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