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Nutrition and health: "Europe enhances the Mediterranean Diet"

Filiera Italia: "No to the unjustified penalization of meat and cured meats"

"The food supply chain is deeply convinced that the nutritional aspect represents one of the cornerstones of cancer prevention, and that a healthy and varied diet, associated with a healthy and non-sedentary lifestyle and conscious and informed consumption methods, are the basis of the general well-being of the organism”, thus Luigi Scordamaglia, managing director of the Italian sector, spoke this morning at the meeting of the European plan for the fight against cancer entitled “What contribution of the agri-food chain”. In ten years (2009-2019) in our country the centenarians have gone from 11 thousand to over 14 thousand, those aged 105 and over have more than doubled, from 472 to 1,112, with an increase of 136%. Italy is first in Europe followed by France for longevity. "The Italians always maintain the high ranking for life expectancy compared to the 36 OECD countries, together with Japan - says the managing director - above all thanks to their diet based on the principles of the Mediterranean diet, for this reason we are strongly concerned from some trivialization, or worse criminalization, of individual foods with the intent of influencing the food choices that every consumer citizen must make".

And to be at the center of these unjustified controversies are often found meats and cured meats. "Spurious arguments that do not take into account that the real more general problem is the lack of distinction between use and abuse". Real consumption of meat in Italy is extremely balanced if we consider both in qualitative and quantitative terms. In quantity, the real consumption of red meat of the different species is equal to 76 grams per day, below the quantity recommended by WHO / IARC, in the USA, for example, almost double it is consumed. "Also in terms of quality, we remind you that in many countries it is allowed to use natural hormones as growth promoters and that processed products contain high quantities of chemical ingredients not used in our excellent cured meats", says a press release. "This is what makes the difference Italy boasts, in short, a unique dietary model, and research agrees in indicating diets low in fiber in much greater proportions as sources of risk from a food point of view than diets containing excesses. of meat which, however, are not part of our balanced food model”, says Scordamaglia.

"Those who today attack meat and natural livestock products in general, often propose synthetic and artificial products such as fake meat and fake cheese as a healthy alternative", say Filiera Italia. "In addition to underlining that this is a disinformation campaign that is supported by significant funding (over $ 3.1 billion was invested in fake meat in 2020 alone), it would be useful to remember that no serious study or experimentation has been carried out on the safety of such products which, given the level of ultra-transformation and synthesis to which they are subjected, should be subjected to the same clinical trials and approval processes envisaged for drugs”, continues Scordamaglia.

And they add from Filiera Italia: “the Commission therefore has a great responsibility when it is reviewing the policy of promoting agricultural products”. "It is understandable to wish for a transition to a diet with more fruit and vegetables in order to strengthen the contribution to sustainable production and consumption that cannot be shared, instead to generally wish for a diet with less red meat and cured meats, because not only is there the risk of unnecessarily damaging a a sector that at European level is worth 170 billion euros, but above all because there is also the risk of inducing unbalanced dietary behaviors by encouraging dangerous fashions to the detriment of natural food”, concludes Scordamaglia.

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EFA News - European Food Agency