News

International scientists gather in Dublin to clear the air on meat and dairy science

James Nason, 17/10/2022

FOR many years, the story of how meat and livestock contribute to personal health and wellbeing and ecologically balanced landscapes around the world went largely unreported.  It was once widely understood.

But times have changed. Coordinated campaigns harnessing selective science and emotive invocations, amplified by social media, have been successful in turning the once extreme view that people and policy makers should abandon meat into the situation today where some countries are formally legislating to reduce livestock numbers.

Many in the global livestock sector have watched on with growing concern as a rising tide of anti-meat and dairy commentary focuses public attention on emissions produced while ignoring the key “other side of the story”.

That is the biogenic cycle of grazing systems which helps to sequester carbon in soils, helps to offset other emissions, and means livestock emissions cycle and don’t accumulate in the atmosphere over hundreds and thousands of years as other emissions sources do. Beef  is often singled out as the greatest source of food-related methane emissions, but the important balancing point that it is also one of the nutrient dense largely often goes unreported.

The old fashioned notion of common sense suggests that ideological campaigns which have to ignore evidence to make their case are ultimately doomed to fail.

But, just the same, it wasn’t long ago that the thought of newsreaders holding a straight face while reporting that a cow is worse for the planet than a car would have also seemed inconceivable.

Dublin summit

Concerned that a dramatic increase in ideological approaches is displacing fact-based decision making, a large group of  independent scientists from all over the world has organised to meet in Dublin this week for a high-level summit in an urgent global effort to clear the air.

The scientists behind the summit are advocating a return to solid evidence-based policy, and the launch of a formalised international effort to counter the rising influence of incomplete science on global policy.

Adding to their conerns is an increasing trend of Government resourcing for livestock research reducing dramatically around the world, and young academics increasingly questioning whether there is a future in meat science.

Meat production and meat consumption are a pivotal source of nourishment globally, and play a large role in ecological and economic systems.

The scientists point out that meat production must continuously evolve with the best technologies available in order to maximise its benefits and minimise undesirable impacts.

“Given the importance and scale of meat production, the respective agricultural, industrial, governmental and educational actors need to continuously strive to earn their societal license to operate,” the organising scientists explain in the summit overview.

“It is critical that we clearly understand what the objective scientific evidence is saying.

“The subject is too important to be influenced by ideology and incomplete or false description in public discourse.”

Almost 200 people will attend the summit, including independent globally-leading scientists, and senior industry leaders industry leaders and Government representatives from Australia, Ireland, England, Scotland, the United States, Canada, Brazil and across Europe.

Beef Central has also been invited to participate in the summit in Dublin and will be reporting on outcomes in coming days and weeks. The visit has been undertaken at our own expense.

The organisers also emphasise that the summit has been conceived and organised by independent scientists and is not sponsored by the meat industry.

Its purpose is to bring leading scientists from across many relevant disciplines together to present, debate and achieve a comprehensive synopsis of the scientific insights on the role of meat in society, and to communicate the best science available on animal agriculture and meat consumption to indus

try, Governments and policy makers.

The summit itself and the resulting synopsis will focus on the best available science in three areas:

  • The Role of Meat in Diet and Health;
  • The Role of Meat in a Sustainable Environment
  • The Role of Meat in Society, Economics, and Culture

The outcome is intended to be the development of a clear, scientific, evidence-based understanding of the impact of livestock production and consumption on societies across the globe.

  • Presentation-based sessions will be made available to attend online – register at this link 

 

 

 

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Comments

  1. Richard Wright, 19/11/2022

    Having said the public perception of the beef industry is a disaster, The financial services sector still regard cattle are nothing but meat. Even the breed societies have come to realize that in the event of foreclosure the best genetics with its inherent fertility counts for nothing. Haynes ruled that until the banks are made accountable and transparent for their inappropriate behavior they cannot be trusted. Help.

  2. Richard Wright, 19/11/2022

    Keep up the good work but the public perception of the beef industry is even worse than the health issues. The financial services sector recently questioned by the Royal Commission undertaken by Justice Hayne collected evidence to the effect that all breeding cattle are regarded as nothing but meat. Even the breed societies have come to realize that in the event of foreclosure the best genetics with its inherent fertility counts for nothing. Haynes ruled that until the banks are made accountable and transparent for their inappropriate behavior they cannot be trusted. Help.

  3. Michelle Finger, 22/10/2022

    Thankyou Beef Central, your efforts are greatly appreciated.
    MLA have done a terrible job at education & marketing in these key areas.

  4. David Andrews, 18/10/2022

    Well done Beef Central on attending the Dublin conference and setting the record straight on “good beef is good for you”. To that end may I commend https://goodbeefindex.org/ as a way of re-energising farmer to consumer links, with an evidence-based beef quality measurement and authentication service. Bringing together the production, eating and environmental aspects of beef quality for the consumer.

  5. John Shawyer, 18/10/2022

    Well done Beef Central on attending this summit. Hopefully some “strong” push back and “facts” are put on the tabel in Dublin in relation to the complete nonsense that is spruked about the impact livestock and meat production has on on Climate.
    You could read “Green Murder” by Ian Plimer before you attend the conference and have a quick look at this Youtube link re – Why Eating Less Meat Will Not Save The Planet.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sGG-A80Tl5g

  6. Mike Introvigne, 17/10/2022

    Thanks to the Beef Central team for reporting on this important meeting. While you will be reporting to the converted how can the outcomes of this meeting be reported in the mainstream media. Much of the mainstream media are beholden to the purveyors of the mistruths we are faced with, they will never consider reporting on information that does not fit their climate catastrophe theory.

  7. Peter Dunn, 17/10/2022

    Well done, well done and very well done, to those behind the independent (as in no meat industry sponsorship) organisation of this Dublin summit, and to Beef Central for attending at its own expense to report the outcomes.
    The significance of this potential commencement of a fight back against hitherto overwhelming woke misinformation about the beef industry cannot be overstated.
    The danger of course is that the woke community, as it regularly and competently does, will swamp the gathering and sway opinion.
    Please, please, may this not happen.

  8. Richard Rains, 17/10/2022

    This is the best news that I have heard for a long time. I believe that we remain far too reactionary and allow others to control the discourse, which is all too often, not in our favour.
    You are absolutely correct when you say….“The subject is too important to be influenced by ideology and incomplete or false description in public discourse.”
    James Nason, congratulations to you and Beef Central for taking the initiative to be a part of this Summit. It is important to have independent science to back a campaign that should be global, not local (as 70% + of our red meat is sold on the global market, not just in Australia).
    Please remember, it is the consumer who needs permission to eat red meat.
    We look forward to reading the positive outcomes from this all-important Summit.

  9. John Wyld, 17/10/2022

    The continuing problem is how to get the right message to the general public, especially the yoinger generation, who are now convinced that cattle are a problem.
    We need a united, co-ordinated and well funded campaign to dispel the damaging propagada.

  10. Joanne Rea, 17/10/2022

    We look forward to your reporting of this event Beef Central.

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