Industry bodies are giving their backing to AHDB's request for The Lancet to retract its 2019 study which links red meat consumption to cancer, due to concerns over a lack of transparency.
The levy organisation has made the request in an open letter to the medical journal, following concerns over whether the 2019 study was scrutinised by peers.
The controversial report stated that eating even a few mouthfuls of red meat weekly was bad for human health.
But AHDB has questioned whether it was conducted in line with appropriate procedures to ensure its accuracy.
The National Pig Association (NPA) said it 'fully backed' AHDB's request, as 'sound science' was 'hugely important' in this topic.
Concerns were first raised by nutrition and health academics in late 2021, followed by another group, with links to the World Cancer Research Fund, in early 2022.
They expressed their concerns over the reliability of the claims of a jump in deaths related to red meat consumption.
The authors of the 2019 study published a carefully considered response to AHDB’s letter on 4 March 2023, nine months after it was sent.
Despite this, AHDB said it was still 'very much unclear' on whether the data went under independent scrutiny and whether its new evidence review process was carried out in accordance with relevant intellectual protocols.
Of significant concern is that the authors of the Global Burden of Disease Study 2019 published another study, independent of The Lancet, in late 2022 which found "weak evidence of association between unprocessed red meat consumption and colorectal cancer, breast cancer, type 2 diabetes and ischemic heart disease."
This report added that there was "no evidence of an association between unprocessed red meat and ischemic stroke or haemorrhagic stroke.”
AHDB’s chief executive, Tim Rycroft said “It is imperative that this science follows due process and critical review to ensure the greatest accuracy and, not least, legitimacy.
“As an evidence-based organisation, we are particularly concerned about the lack of transparency around how this data has been analysed and the way in which the new evidence review criteria has been determined.
"Therefore, on behalf of our levy payers, we will continue to push for transparency on this, to ensure the health impacts of red meat consumption are accurately depicted in science, policy and indeed society."
NPA chief policy adviser, Rebecca Veale said the pig industry body 'wholeheartedly supports' AHDB's actions on this.
"The Lancet's response to previous requests for clarity have not been good enough and we need to ensure that any claims on this hugely important topic are founded on sound science."