February 10, 2019 |

Industry Disputes EAT-Lancet Report Recommendations

AFIA: "Disingenuous claims ... does the public a disservice"

The EAT-Lancet Commission on Food, Planet, Health, comprised of more than 20 experts, is releasing a report that offers recommendations for people to greatly reduce their meat and dairy consumption to benefit both their health and the environment, suggesting, among many other claims, that the land used to grow feed for animals can instead be used for other purposes.

Being launched worldwide in 20-plus cities, the report is expected to “set specific, numerical targets for national dietary guidance that align optimal nutrition with planetary boundaries, defining a safe operating space for humanity.”

The report is expected to provide many policy recommendations on how national leaders can achieve the dual goal of a healthier citizenry and cleaner environment through a series of disincentives, such as taxes on meat.

The meat and dairy industries dispute the report’s recommendations, saying their products deliver important nutrients and can be part of healthy diets.

“Let’s call the EAT-Lancet Commission’s report what it is – yet another organized attack on animal agriculture that is not reflective of the current and accurate science on the industry’s substantial sustainability advances," says American Feed Industry Association's President and CEO Joel G. Newman.

Newman says AFIA agrees with the report’s authors that there is a need to continue producing sufficient food that both feeds our growing population and protects the planet.

"Unfortunately, the commission made three critical and erroneous assumptions: that there is consensus on the science behind their recommendations; that the advance of new technologies will not contribute to further reducing the environmental impact of animal protein production; and that all sources of protein provide equivalent nutritional value for human diets," he says.

AFIA says the animal food industry has been working with farmers and ranchers, the scientific research community and other global partners on bringing new technologies and enhanced nutritional formulas to the marketplace, significantly reducing the animal agriculture industry’s environmental impact, while providing animals with optimal nutrition and health.

"The animal food industry is doing even more than ever before in benchmarking its environmental footprint and providing data to farmers and ranchers so they can make better decisions," says Newman.

"Unfortunately, the report’s calls to return to primarily an ‘agrarian lifestyle’ will undo years of research and innovation, while likely keeping nutritious and high-quality protein and dairy products out of the hands of the people who need them the most," he continues. "The commission’s disingenuous claims, focused against animal agriculture, does the public a disservice by not discussing realistic, scientific solutions to addressing tomorrow’s food and environmental challenges.”

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