New report ‘dangerous for the future health of our people’

Independent TD Michael Fitzmaurice has said that a new report into sustainable food systems is “dangerous for the future health of our people”.

The report, commissioned by scientific journal The Lancet, made a series of recommendations on dietary changes which would have far-reaching consequences for Irish agriculture.

The report was compiled by around 20 food scientists from around the world; however, Fitzmaurice said that this does not necessarily give the report a scientific grounding.

This isn’t the World Health Organisation. It’s 20 scientists, from the thousands of scientists around the world. 20 scientists can come up with anything.

Speaking to AgriLand, Fitzmaurice defended Ireland’s agriculture industry, saying: “We are one of the most efficient producers in Europe, if not the world, of beef, sheep produce, dairy produce, agricultural produce full stop.

“If someone is doing something the best, the advice would be for them to keep doing it,” he added.

Fitzmaurice also criticised the Taoiseach Leo Varadkar for his comments earlier this week, where he said he was reducing his own meat consumption to reduce his carbon footprint.

“What Leo Varadkar says represents Ireland around the world, and he would be sacked if he was the CEO of a private company,” argued Fitzmaurice.

We are renowned for our quality and efficiency. Do you look at us, or do you look at countries like Holland, where cattle are in sheds all the time?

Fitzmaurice echoed much of what has already been said in response to this report, arguing that meat is an essential part of a healthy diet.

“People who don’t eat meat do not get enough Vitamin B12 and Vitamin D, which can lead to depression, osteoporosis, and ill-health in general,” he said.

Concluding, Fitzmaurice said: “Parents should be trying to get a balanced diet for their children. Reports like this are dangerous for the future health of our people.”