People are being urged to ensure that the information they are listening to regarding food and nutrition is accurate, by Irish Farmers’ Association (IFA) president Joe Healy.

Healy was speaking on RTÉ Radio 1’s Morning Ireland this morning in relation to the launch of the Meat and Dairy Facts initiative, which involves the IFA, along with a number of other agricultural and food organisations.

When asked if the UN is wrong to recommend a reduction in meat and dairy consumption in developed countries, including Ireland, Healy said:

“No they’re not wrong – but I would always say where you go to is the WHO [World Health Organisation].

If you want advice on proper food; proper nutrition; proper diet; you go to the WHO. The food pyramid that’s there – that highlights what people should eat at various stages of their life, whether they are young people, teenagers, or adults.

“And if you go to that and make your diet and choices based on that, that differs sometimes from a lot of the reports that are out there and they’re the wrong information.

“What Meat and Dairy Facts is about is getting the right information out there.”

The IFA president said: “We’re encouraging people to use the facts. There have been a lot of misleading ‘facts’ out there.”

He added that meat and dairy are “good nutritional products” and are “necessary in a balanced diet”.

We have always said it should be about choice and balance. We would say it is up to us to ensure that consumers have the facts out there.

The president added that the aim of the initiative is to “rebalance some of the wrong information that’s out there”.

When pushed on what “wrong information” he was referring to, Healy said:

“There’s lots of wrong information out there over the years; we’ve seen various reports where the information is misleading; we’ve seen various advertisements where the information is misleading.”