Peer-reviewed publication affirms scientific evidence of livestock and meat benefits
A peer-reviewed edition of the scientific journal Animal Frontiers has confirmed meat’s critical role in society, building on scientific debate and evidence developed through the October 2022 International Summit on the Societal Role of Meat hosted by Teagasc in Dublin.
Animal Frontiers is the third most-cited journal in agriculture, dairy, and animal science.
The journal edition’s guest editors and authors are among the nearly 1000 signatories of a declaration warning that livestock systems are too precious to society to become the victim of simplification and reductionism.
Teagasc Assistant director of Research, Declan Troy welcomed the publication, saying: “Livestock farming supports the livelihoods of about one in six people on the planet. It supplies food, nutrition, income and more, to hundreds of millions of people and is of enduring cultural significance for many. Today’s publication shows that deploying scientifically-sound practices in animal agriculture is key to succeeding in the face of global health, climate, and development challenges.”
Experts who participated in the October 2022 Summit called for this major new analysis to inform public policies and recommendations related to meat production and consumption.
Dr. Alice Stanton of the Royal College of Surgeons of Ireland commented: “The peer-reviewed evidence published today reaffirms that the most prominent global study which claimed that consumption of even tiny amounts of red meat harms health (the 2019 Global Burden of Disease Risk Factors Report) is fatally scientifically flawed and should be retracted. In fact, removing fresh meat and dairy from diets would harm human health. Women, children, the elderly and those of low income would be particularly negatively impacted.”
Dr. Adegbola Adesogan, director of the University of Florida’s Global Food Systems Institute, noted: “Animal-source foods are superior to plant-source foods at simultaneously supplying several bioavailable micronutrients and high quality macronutrients that are critical for growth and cognitive development. Dietary recommendations to eliminate animal-source foods from diets ignore their importance, particularly the great need for these foods in diets of the undernourished in the Global South.”
Dr. Wilhelm Windisch of Technical University Munich, Germany further noted: “Farmed and herded animals maintain a circular flow of materials in agriculture, by using and upcycling large amounts of material humans cannot eat, turning them into high-quality, nutrient-dense food. One-size-fits-all agendas, such as drastic reductions of livestock numbers, could incur environmental and nutritional consequences on a massive scale.” The peer-reviewed edition of Animal Frontiers is available without charge here.