“Scaremongering” on meat no help, say EU ag bosses

Better information and less “scaremongering” about red meat consumption is needed to tackle the issues around climate change and meat production, according to officials from the European Commission.

During a meeting with Eblex, a spokesman for the Directorate General for Agriculture and Rural Development said it was not the job of the EU to dictate what consumers eat, such as telling them to eat less red meat.

And João Almeida da Silva, of DG AGRI, also reiterated the position that fact-based information about the greenhouse gas (GHG) impact of different production methods is better than “scaremongering about meat eating”.

However, he told the Eblex delegation that agriculture still had an important role to play in tackling emissions.

The comments came during a series of meetings organised by Eblex at the European Commission, covering climate change, the CAP, trends in beef and sheep production and the TSE roadmap.

Research published by the EU’s Joint Research Centre of the European Commission earlier this year showed that the emissions from livestock were estimated to be responsible for around 9.1% of all emissions in the EU, under half of the disputed figure quoted by the FAO Livestock’s Long Shadow report of 2006.

According to Eblex, a review of the FAO report is due out later this year and is expected to suggest beef production, for instance, is more reasonably responsible for around 3% of GHG emissions.

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