Debunking new dietary guidelines pushing ‘red meat’ consumption

Published 30/09/2019

Doctors, scientists and public welfare groups unite to debunk new dietary guidelines pushing consumption of ‘red meat’

Undertaken by NutriRECS, multiple health institutions dubbed the research as  ‘bad science’ 

The recent release of a new set of suggested dietary guidelines published in the ‘Annals of Internal Medicine’ has set much of the health and public welfare community in a frenzy. Suggesting new nutritional guidelines, the study states that Americans can continue red and processed meat consumption at current levels.

The conclusions of the meta-analysis are in contradiction to the data in the original reports which were used as a baseline. The original study did not advocate for maintaining the current high level of meat consumption.

Processed meats have been classified as Group 1 carcinogens (cancer causing) since 2015 by the World Health Organisation(WHO), meaning there is sufficient evidence that shows processed meats increase the risk of cancer. Red meat is also classified as a Group 2A carcinogen (meaning probable agent) by WHO. Several other groups have shared guidelines to either limit or cut out red meat consumption completely. Similarly, studies from institutions like Harvard School of Public Health have repeatedly stated that reducing red meat and consuming more whole grains and vegetables may reduce the risk of premature death.

Multiple organisations, including Friends of the Earth, Greenfaith, Center for Biological Diversity, True Health Initiative, communities of renowned doctors, food and agriculture experts and public health and welfare groups are unanimous in their dismissal of the study. Lasse Bruun, Global Director of 50by40, a collective impact organisation working with 30+ strategic partners states that “Leaving out critical research in their study and choosing the data they want, the reporting is largely unreliable. It is imperative that we steer clear of clouded judgment and remember that NutriRECS is not a governmental body, and that the guidelines are suggestions, and poor ones at that.”

Moving out of a United Nations climate week that raised the stakes on the issue of meat consumption – 50by40 and its partners also noted that alongside health, the link between climate change and red meat is backed by strong data. Protecting our climate, biodiversity and general animal welfare were also strong reasons to cut down on red meat consumption. Kari Hamershlag, Director of Food and Agriculture at Friends of the Earth also shared that ‘We shouldn’t be fooled by highly flawed studies. The science is clear: a diet with less meat and more plant-based foods is better for our health and the health of the planet.’

Quotes to consider

“Faith and spiritual communities globally recognize that the Earth is a sacred trust and that promoting human health is a moral duty.  We are concerned that this study recommends dietary practices that are harmful to people and planet; we urge spiritual groups to educate their members about plant-based diets as a faithful way to build healthy communities on a flourishing planet.”

Fletcher Harper, Executive Director, GreenFaith.

“These absurd recommendations are guidelines for how to accelerate climate change, food insecurity and a public health crisis. No amount of cherry-picked data can change the fact that high levels of meat consumption are a threat to people, wildlife and the planet.”

Stephanie Feldstein, Population and Sustainability Director, Center for Biological Diversity

Unhealthy lifestyle behaviors are a leading cause of chronic illness, with more than 80 percent of deaths resulting from noncommunicable diseases. Reports that claim to disprove accepted science, while proving nothing are an irresponsible threat to progress, and a public health concern.

Jennifer Lutz, Executive Director – True Health Initiative
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Notes: 50by40 is a global, collective impact organisation working towards a fair, healthy and compassionate food system.To know more about us contact us at hello@50by40.org or shweta.sood@50by40.org.

Lasse Bruun, Global Director 50by40, will be available for sound bytes or a telephonic interview.
Jennifer Lutz, Executive Director, True health Initiative will be available for sound bytes or a telephonic interview.

Date of Release: 09/30/2019
Time : 17.00 PM EDT
Name : Shweta Sood
Contact Information: +91 9971756327