Beef 2021

Beef 2021: Beef industry must align against powerful attacks

James Nason, 05/05/2021

The sense that red meat industry is under attack from powerful and aligned forces, and urgently needs to better align its own resources and “get off the back foot”, has been a central and recurring theme at seminars at Beef 2021.

Dr Gary Fettke addressing an AgForce forum at Beef 2021 in Rockhampton on Tuesday.

Orthopaedic surgeon Dr Gary Fettke is an independent medical practitioner with no commercial ties to, or any financial interest in, the red meat industry.

At an AgForce forum at Beef 2021 on Tuesday, he explained that over the past 30 years he started seeing more and more complications arising from diabetes and lifestyle disease, that led to him having to perform amputations  which he believed should have been avoidable.

The further he delved into the science he said it became clear that diets high in sugar and refined carbohydrates were the underlying cause, diets that effectively reflect the recommendations of Australia’s (and most other developed countries’) official dietary guidelines.

He said he spent several years exploring the evolution of plant-based vegetarian guidelines, and has uncovered the extent to which powerful processed food corporations and anti-meat religious groups have influenced global dietary guidelines and policies universally in place today, which effectively demonise red meat while promoting increasing consumption of grain, sugar and carbohydrates.

In particular he outlined how the Seventh Day Adventist church and its associations with processed food companies Kelloggs and Sanitarium, the latter being the Australian company which makes Weet Bix and is owned by the Seventh Day Adventist church, have worked to influence global dietary guidelines to favour diets high in grain, sugar and carbobydrates and to gradually exlcude meat.

In the current version of the official Australian dietary guidelines, he said, “you almost need a search and rescue party to find meat”.

He also demonstrated the extent to which people with links to the church and vegan ideologies now dominate influential global policy organisations and lobby groups including EAT Lancet, the World Health Organisation and the World Economic Forum, all of which are actively advocating a global shift to plant based diets and away from animal protein consumption.

This was despite history showing humans were at their healthiest when diets before the agricultural revolution, urbanisation and the industrial revolution were predominantly animal-based, Dr Fettke said.

Plant-based foods provided a rich supply of non-essential carbohydrates but lacked the full spectrum of bioavailable essential proteins, healthy fats, minerals and vitamins. By contrast, beef covers all of those, particularly if you eat “nose to tail”.

Deep flaws in nutrition research based on the unreliable results of food questionnaires and the fact it is impossible to separate lifestyle from what you do and don’t eat had enabled beef to be demonised over time, he said.

The lack of conclusive data in nutritional research made it possible to justify claims rather than true outcomes.

“Statistical manipulation is rife with bias in nutrition literature.”

“Health claims against red meat are not in the ball park and never have been,” he said.

Unwittingly, vegan protagonists had become “the unknowing foot soldiers of the processed food industry and religious zealots”.

‘vegan protagonists have become the unknowing foot soldiers of the processed food industry and religious zealots’

Dr Fettke said he started speaking out in 2014 in lectures and on social media, urging people to reduce sugar, grains and carbs in their diets, but also replacing those poor nutritional energy foods with a substitute, red meat.

But his outspoken work to shine a light on how vested interests have led to the flawed dietary guidelines now in place soon led to a ruling by Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA) to ‘silence’ him from talking to his patients and the wider community about the health benefits of reducing sugar and processed carbohydrates, and reintroducing healthy natural fats back into their diet.

He fought the ruling and in 2018, after a four and a half year battle, was cleared by the National AHPRA medical board and the ruling to silence him was overturned.

Dr Fettke said there was no question that vegan propaganda was “holding beef industry at ransom”

“It covers a lot of areas – animal rights, environmental, water management, land use, as well as methane and this propaganda is highly organised and resourced.”

It ranged from highly evocative Netflix movies perpetuating long-debunked or discredited information, to campaigns of deliberate misinformation by companies such as the The Alternative Meat Company, also owned by Sanitarium.

One slide showed an Alternative Meat Company advertisment, central to which was a claim that 51 percent greenhouse gas emissions are attributed to ruminant livestock production. This was despite that claim having “been been retracted over and over again”, Dr Fettke said.

Red meat is ‘under attack’

“Red meat is under attack, it has been a long time,” he told yesterday’s forum.

“Plant based substitutes are taking market share and it is not based on science.

“It is based on corporate profit, and somewhat surprisingly, religious ideology.”

Mirroring a similar message to the cattle industry by US air quality scientist Dr Frank Mitloehner at the CQU Symposium at Beef 2021 on Monday, Dr Fettke urged the industry to be proud of its product and speak up.

‘You guys have got a good product, you know you are being screwed’

“You guys have got a good product, you know you are being screwed,” he said.

“Stick with what you know, stick with your product, defend it to the enth degree because if you don’t defend it you certainly won’t be defending it for your children.

“Just do it now, because it is EAT Lancet, World Health Organisation, World Economic Forum, it is all anti you guys.”

Red meat, green facts

There is work underway at an industry level to use facts and science as a tool to change the conversation about the red meat industry.

As one facet of that work, at Beef Australia this afternoon Meat & Livestock Australia will be launching a new resource, ‘Red Meat, Green Facts’,

“It is vital the red meat industry is transparent and proud of our ongoing achievements in caring for our land, animals and products, with the evidence to back it up,” MLA said in launching the resource.

“MLA has created Red Meat, Green Facts to do just that.

“It brings together clear, evidence-based messages to empower Australia’s red meat advocates on topics such as the environment, animal welfare, nutrition and plant-based fake meats.”

The printed booklet is available at MLA’s Beef 2021 trade site as well as online resources.

“We all need to do our bit”

At the same forum, innovative young beef producer and AgForce Cattle Board member Adam Coffey said it was becoming increasingly important all cattle producers “do their bit”.

“Why do so many of us leave it up to industry bodies to advocate solely on our behalf?

“It hasn’t worked that well, and it is far more genuine and effective coming from a producer.”

Read more from Adam’s presentation here.




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  1. Rae Rowe, 11/05/2021

    More than 10 years ago I went for a job interview with Sanitation (we think Rae meant to write Sanitarium, but Word prompt got in the way, Editor) and was told they were all vegetarians and would I be prepared to eat that way at company functions etc. It caught me off guard, can you even force people to eat a certain way? You definitely couldn’t force a vegan to meat for. Needless to say I didn’t get the job.

    How do they propose we grow and produce all these plants to sustain an entire planet? Are we to plough and disintegrate the entire soil microbiology time after time, spray everything continuously with chemicals so as not to have a stray weed, eat GM nutrient-less rubbish? It’s just not possible. How about they watch an Alan Savoury doco instead.

  2. Eric John Shaw, 10/05/2021

    I am not a producer but my parents and grand and great grand parents were all butchers as kids we often had eggs and meat 🥩 for breakfast lunch also dinner was often a roast I am 80+ not one of us four kids have had any problems I am anti greenies and all my families are all meat eaters fantastic article

  3. Phillip Hall, 10/05/2021

    Great read, some really important messages to get out there in that information. Much appreciated.

  4. RICHARD HAYWARD-KEEN, 09/05/2021

    Awesome. Its about time this was promoted about red meat. Well done.

  5. Elaine South, 09/05/2021

    Thankyou for this, just last night I read an article on inflammation due to processed grains and sugar. Perhaps the mouse plague and grain destruction and contamination could be a point to make vegetarians to reconsider the health benefits of their food choices!

  6. Shelley Uren, 09/05/2021

    Thank you! I had no idea that religion had such an invested interest in promoting misinformation about red meat, and is so proactive in spreading false information in order to fatten their hip pockets, although I can’t say I’m surprised, “religion” has a lot to answer for. Time to find alternative company’s that are more ethical in their behaviour.

  7. Alvaro Salvo, 09/05/2021

    The fight against the plant based/vegan/Adventist church combo has to be worldwide. This issue affects all meat producing countries . A worldwide organisation has to be created like the one the oil producing countries have, OPEC . AUSTRALIA,ARGENTINA,URUGUAY are excellent producers of good grass fed quality meats . They should form a big alliance to push back the anti science movement . At least this countries should sit down to plan a common strategy to defeat this “ combo “ of illness . They are taking control of our ancestral ways of eating . This has had and will have a horrendous impact on our health. There’s a common enemy, unite and fight

  8. Gary Martin, 08/05/2021

    Dr Fettke is spot on! The high carbohydrate revolution is causing a massive increase in disease. I have personally known a disproportionate number of high-carb vegetarians who developed cancer and other serious diseases in their 30’s, 40’s and 50’s, many of whom died while advocating a plant based diet. These people are honest and truly believe in their philosophy. The meat industry needs to get the science out there in a way that will indeed convince these poor victims of erroneous information.

  9. Bill Cameron, 07/05/2021

    If the aus Beef industry and the low carb movement can link up ,it will add a lot of sway to the push to redefine the Dietary guidelines. They have been hijacked by the plant based movement without any pushback for too long and to the detriment of the nation’s health.

  10. Tim Rees, 06/05/2021

    I’ve taken a very close look at the evidence used by the IARC (WHO) to condemn red meat and processed meat. Quite frankly, their conclusions are a disgrace. You can read it here if you like,

  11. Carnivore, 06/05/2021

    Look up agenda 2030. The goal is to make meat a luxury item instead of a staple part of the Australian diet. We have to push back. Check out Shawn Baker on Instagram.

  12. Norma Greeff, 06/05/2021

    Not only is red meat DELICIOUS , it is also HEALTHY

  13. Michelle Finger, 06/05/2021

    Excellent article, thankyou.

    What REALLY surprises me, is that anyone in a managerial position of the beef industry .. is surprised!
    How could they NOT know this stuff!?!
    I’ve known about the 7th Day Adventist nutters, Kelloggs & the corruption between Proctor & Gamble & the American Heart association, & also corrupt influence from the sugar industry on nutritional guidelines for I dunno, at least 10 years!!
    It’s not hidden!
    Anyone who questions the plant-based marketing claims – which are so ludicrous that they beg to be questioned – will surely stumble upon this information!
    Our leaders would have to be self-imposed mushrooms NOT to know this stuff! 🤯
    All of us – & especially our leaders – should keep an eye on our competitors & their claims, especially when they directly denigrate red meat!

    I guess I stumbled upon it as a Mum in charge of feeding kids, I was unhappy with the clearly unhealthy food pyramid nonsense being pushed on kids & looked into it a little.. only took one google search and BAM there it all it is, well documented & in plain sight.

    Our industry is asleep at the wheel, & has been for decades. It’s a disgrace.

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