Italian campaign to prevent WHO sponsorship of EAT-Lancet report lands on international media

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LONDON/GENEVA, APRIL 12 – The Italian campaign to prevent that the WHO would sponsor an event that encourages a diet that severely limits meat consumption has been picked up by international media. After an article on the British Medical Journal, the Daily Mail and Reuters reported on the story following the decision of the World Health Organization to withdrew the sponsorship. OnuItalia was the first to report on the sponsorship withdrawal.
The UN body at the end of March planned to sponsor the launch of the scientific group, which is behind the controversial “health diet of the planet.” The adoption of the project of the EAT-Lancet Committee on Food, Planet and Health is vital to feed the world’s population, without destroying the environment while improving the health of millions, scientists said. But the World Health Organization (WHO) has stopped sponsoring the event after widespread criticism because “there is no scientific justification” for everyone in the world to adopt a standard diet.
Reuters reports that “the views of the Italian Ambassador to the United Nations in Geneva appear to have played a role”. Permanent Representative Gian Lorenzo Cornado wrote to The WHO asking whether the global campaign to promote the diet, which could cause the loss of millions of people working in the agro-industry, should be supported. Cornado also warned that a global shift to a vegetarian diet could lead to an end to traditional foods around the world.
The World Health Organization (WHO) told the BMJ that its nutrition director, Francesco Branca was still a participant in the EAT-Lancet event. But his views do not necessarily reflect the official positions of the Organization, according to a statement issued by it. “I congratulate the World Health Organization (WHO) for withdrawing support from this non-scientific, plant-based initiative,” said Dr. Asim Malhotra, heart specialist at the National Health Center (NHS). Two researchers from the EAT-Lancet committee argued that their report “provides the most recent scientific evidence of the importance of healthy diets.” They said there was “no place” in the controversial report, first published in the Lancet, citing something about the central control of the diet.
The EAT-Lancet campaign organizes many events around the world, hoping to promote the transition to plant-based diets. Its report, prepared by 37 experts from 16 countries, indicated that states (in the future) could adopt laws, subsidies and sanctions to help them commit to diet and help save the planet.
The “planet-wide diet” reveals a radical shift away from meat, sugar and dairy products, and is replaced with vegetables, beans, nuts and pulses. Experts say this will prevent about 11 million premature deaths around the world by 2050 by reducing obesity, heart disease and type 2 diabetes. (@OnuItalia)