It's time we stopped crying wolf

The World Cancer Research Fund is at it again - this time playing on the fears of parents in a way some might describe as opportunistic and distasteful

No-one would suggest feeding young children a daily diet of processed meat products, but the Food Standards Agency's (FSA) advice is that they can form part of a balanced diet.

The WCRF seems hellbent on attacking the meat industry, despite organisations like the FSA pointing out there is limited evidence to back their claims.

This report has been recycled a number of times over the last 18 months: the lack of reaction to the first publication seems only to have spurred the WCRF on, and to target children and generate unnecessary fear is a publication too far.

Meat, even processed meat, has an important role in the human diet and as long as we eat sensibly there are few issues. Everything in moderation is sensible advice.

The danger of constant woolly warning messages from groups like WCRF is that when something serious is discovered, consumers will simply switch off and ignore it. Too many people have cried wolf recently.

So, WCRF, for all our sakes, wait until you have something useful, and realistic to say before going on the campaign trail.

Meanwhile, it was interesting to see the Brazilian's squaring up to European farmers after a period of relative quiet. It appears that some statements - particularly the IFA's comments - have pushed them over the edge.

While I sympathise with farmers who wish to compete on a level playing field, I object to naked market protectionism and suggest those without subsidy throw the first stone...

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