EU to Stop Promoting Red and Processed Meat in Newly Published Cancer Plan?

This week, the EU Commission published a new plan to fight cancer, stating a commitment to encourage a “shift to a more plant-based diet, with less red and processed meat and other foods linked to cancer risks and more fruit and vegetables.” Compassion in World Farming says to vegconomist that an earlier leaked version was more ambitious and indicated a phasing out of the promotion of red and processed meat.

Between 2016 and 2019, the EU allocated EUR 138.7 million to advertising campaigns promoting meat and meat products, including the controversial “Beefetarian” campaign.

CIWF says that this is nevertheless a good step in the right direction and will hopefully help with cancer prevention as well as the obvious other benefits in terms of animals and the planet. The charity states that the EU Commission is finally changing course: “To build on this, the EU now needs to take a more holistic approach and step up the promotion of plant-rich diets in upcoming laws and policies.”

EU Commission

Olga Kikou, Head of Compassion in World Farming EU, comments: While last year the Commission watered down ambitious wording regarding meat reduction in the ‘Farm to Fork’ strategy, it is now taking a more confident step in the right direction, although it is not fully there yet. We applaud Health Commissioner Stella Kyriakides and those working on this important work for the health of EU citizens. In this path, the EU can do better by taking a more holistic approach to improving our diets, besides tackling tobacco and alcohol use. This can be done, for example, by overhauling the upcoming revision of marketing and advertising rules.

“If the EU is to truly deliver on its commitments to improve our health, the lives of animals and save our one and only planet, then targets for reduction in the consumption of ALL animal products – not just red and processed meat – are necessary, accompanied by targets for an increase in consumption of plant-based foods.

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