EPHA joins a letter co-signed by 12 organisations calling on the European Commission to refrain from using public money to promote meat consumption. It comes as a reaction to European Commissioner Phil Hogan’s pledge to put 15 million Euros aside to foster meat intake in the EU.
The letter points out that the planned measure is in direct contradiction with the EU’s climate change, public health, environmental sustainability and animal welfare objectives. In light of the COP22 negotiations in Marrakech, the European Union should be pressing for the need to foster a transition towards sustainable healthy diets, rather than spend money to achieve the opposite results.
Nikolai Pushkarev, Policy Coordinator Food, Drink & Agriculture at EPHA: “On all accounts, Europe doesn’t need more meat consumption. Current eating patterns high in processed and red meat are incompatible with preventing dangerous climate change and contribute to unhealthy diets, which are risk factor No. 1 for the total burden of disease and premature death in the EU. Intensive livestock production systems also too often overuse antibiotics, adding to the spread of drug resistant bacteria (AMR). Furthermore, boosting demand for meat is an ill-advised measure to support farmers, who now suffer from low prices as markets are in structural oversupply. Rather than fostering the treadmill of ever higher production, the sector’s added value would benefit from a reorientation towards lower volumes and higher quality.