Pork: A National Health Hazard

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Islamic Medicine
Staff member


Researchers at the University of Ottawa have linked pork consumption with cirrhosis, a chronic degeneration of the liver.

In a study of 16 nations with readily available statistics for consumption of pork, beef, alcohol, and fat, Dr.Amin Nanji and Dr. Samuel French found a CORRELATION between eating pork and the incidence of cirrhosis of the liver- an even higher incidence when both pork and alcohol were consumed. No connection was found between cirrhosis and beef consumption....The researchers said that the way in which pork consumption 'might cause or enhance' cirrhosis remains a mystery. Yet the team concludes that cirrhosis mortality directly relates to the amount of pork consumed. Cirrhosis of the liver is one of the 10 leading causes of death in the U.S.


" A risk factor is a health behavior or personal characteristic that has been associated with a particular disease. A cause and effect relationship DOES NOT have to be present in order to label a particular factor as a risk to health, but some form of statistical relationship between the risk factor and the presence of the disease in a given population group should be evident."

'Life time fitness and wellness' by Melvin H. Williams, Old Dominian University. (Chapter1, page 4).


"Pork may be infested with the round worm Trichinella Spiralis [Trichina], which are lodged in muscle tissue. The trichina may be transferred to humans if raw or inadequately cooked pork is ingested, and serious, sometimes fatal illnesses may result [Encyclopedia Americana, 1993. Vol 22, page 416- under "pork"].

"There is more likelihood of pork being contaminated by trichina in the United States than
in Europe [Encyclopedia Americana 1993, vol 22 under "Pork"].

"[Trichina] is the cause of human trichinosis, a widespread disease in various parts of the world. It is estimated that about 20,000,000persons are infected in the U.S. The infection is contracted by eating raw or improperly cooked pork or pork products, which contain encysted larvae, the immature worms...There is no effective treatment and the best preventive measures are proper meat inspection and thorough cooking of pork [Collier's encyclopedia, vol 22, page 468,
under "Trichina"]."

"Trichinosis is more common in Europe and the United States than in other parts of the world. In the United States, the incidence of infection [as detected by finding calcified cysts at autopsy] may be as high as 15 to 20 percent... There's no practical method of the large scale detection of trichinous pork, and the surest safeguard remains thorough cooking of pork [Encyclopedia Britannica, vol 11, page 920- 15th ed, 1990]."


"O believers, eat of the good things that We have provided for you and be grateful to Allah (God), if it is Him you serve. He has forbidden you carrion, blood, the FLESH OF THE PIG, and that which has been dedicated to other than Allah (God). But if anyone is forced by necessity without wilful transgression then he/she is without sin. For God is oft forgiving, Most Merciful. " Koran 2: 172-174

"Say: `I find not in that which is revealed to me anything prohibited to an eater that he/she eat except : carrion [i.e that which dies of itself], blood, the flesh of the pig- for that is indeed unclean [rijis in Arabic], or the abomination of that which has been dedicated to other than God. But who ever is compelled, neither craving nor transgressing , then Allah [God] is Forgiving, Merciful.'" Koran 6:145

The reason why Muslims are forbidden to eat pork is because it is harmful when consumed. It is bad for the human body [note the word Rijis- unclean in the verse above]

The Koran gives a better safeguard than thorough cooking: i.e not consuming pork at all!
The fact that thorough cooking is an inadequate safeguard is evident when we see the number of
people infected with Trichinosis. 15% to 20% of the U.S population infected with Trichinosis comes to between 35 to 50 million people. Indeed, the health hazard is big enough to compel any thinking person to stop consuming pig meat. These findings and statistics show the extreme
wisdom of the above Koranic verses.

The St. Louis Post Dispatch, November 1, 1990 had this headline:

This article which can be read in most big libraries that keep records, stated [and I quote]:

"EC [European Community] veterinary experts visited the United States for one of their twice yearly routine inspections in September. They were not satisfied with the post slaughter hygiene checks on carcasses and said that pork was not safeguarded against trichinosis, a worm whose larvae lodge in pig's flesh (1990 Reuters News Service)."

The use of the word "unclean [rijis]" for pig meat in the Koran should indicate the "revealed" nature of the book, being much ahead of its time. The same word is used above but centuries later. Pig meat consumption is disallowed in the Old Testament of the Bible also but the reason given is different- i.e swine doesn't chew its cud!

Let us all therefore, stop consuming pork. Even if symptoms of Trichinosis have not developed yet, continuing pork consumption increases the chances of developing such symptoms by further infection. Since many substitutes of pig meat are available, this reasonable decision shouldn't be difficult. Indeed, all those who consume pork are at great risk. The wide scale spread of infection [20 million to 50 million people in the U.S alone] should make us careful since no method exists for detecting trichina in pigs universally and no cure exists for treating Trichinosis which can be fatal. The safest and surest guard against Trichinosis is not thorough cooking of pork but complete abstinence from pork consumption as prescribed by the Koran.

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