Last month, 24 Members of the European Parliament (including UK Green Party MEPs Molly Scott-Cato and Keith Taylor) asked the European Commission President and Commissioners to address the problem of unsustainable consumption of animal-based food in the EU.
In a letter, they stressed the need to reduce consumption levels by at least 30% by 2030 in order to help meet climate targets, reduce pressure on river basins and reduce the incidence of serious chronic health problems caused by such food.
They asked that food policy be linked to sustainability goals and made many recommendations, including producing dietary guidelines that address environmental, climate, health and animal welfare impacts; considering taxing meat and creating incentives for healthy plant-based foods; bringing transparency to the food industry’s lobbying practices; encouraging plant-based catering at EU events and in state schools and public bodies; funding relevant research; implementing awareness-raising campaigns; and considering a EU ban on the advertising of processed meat (classified by the World Health Organisation as carcinogenic, with red meat as a ‘probable carcinogen’).
They stressed that a recent poll shows that 95% of European citizens are concerned by the environment and feel the EU is not doing enough to protect it. They criticised Commissioner Hogan’s recent pledge to release an additional 15 million Euros per year to promote meat consumption and urged the Commission to take clear concrete steps that respect both scientific knowledge and climate commitments.
This initiative was supported by the Humane Society International. View the letter here.