The “science” of animal lobbying

The “science” of animal lobbying

European agribusiness lobbyists are exploiting a document called the Dublin Declaration to pressure the EU against measures to reduce meat consumption in health and sustainability policies: this was revealed by an investigation by Unearthed, Greenpeace’s investigative journalism team, according to which on Although the statement was signed by scientists, it was drafted by groups and consultants from the livestock industry. In Italy, in particular, the Dublin Declaration has been widely promoted by the Carni Sostenibili, which brings together three trade associations: Assocarni, Ass.i.ca. And Unitedalia.

The Dublin Declaration, published by Irish state agriculture agency Teagasc in October 2022, says animal farming is “too valuable to society to become a victim of simplification, reductionism or bigotry” and highlights the nutritional and environmental benefits resulting from meat consumption. In addition to receiving widespread media coverage, the document has also been used to put direct pressure on the European Commissioner for Agriculture, Janusz Wojciechowski, who is said to be looking for “scientific support to counter the Green Deal and EU plans to reduce animal populations.” arose.” So much so that his team described the Dublin Declaration as “the first usable scientific contribution received during the four years of the Committee’s work.”

At the World Meat Congress in the Netherlands in early October, the lead author of the Dublin Declaration, Dr. Per Ederer (an agri-food consultant and “financial economist” who defines veganism as “an eating disorder requiring psychological treatment”), revealed to an audience of Livestock industry leaders say they are “aggressively” using “scientific tools” such as the Dublin Declaration to pressure politicians on meat and livestock policies. “According to the most reliable scientific research, livestock farming uses 83% of the world’s agricultural area to produce only 18% of the calories we consume, and generates 60% of agricultural greenhouse gas emissions. In Europe, the livestock sector is responsible for approximately 90% of agricultural ammonia emissions into the atmosphere and 80% of nitrogen diffusion. “These are the concrete realities that the meat industry is trying to hide,” said Marco Contero, agriculture director at Greenpeace EU. “Continuing to oppose the necessary reduction in meat production and consumption means supporting deforestation, which is causing massive biodiversity loss and exacerbating the climate crisis, eliminating small and medium-sized European farms at a rate of a thousand per day.

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Emails, minutes of meetings and other documents obtained through document access requests filed by Greenpeace reveal that the Dublin Declaration began as a position statement for the meat industry, was written by consultants from the agri-food sector and was used by public relations agencies and lobby groups to block European policies to protect health and the environment. .

* Greenpeace Italy

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