The European Parliament has taken on a new resolution to combat cancer. Currently, Europe accounts for a quarter of the world’s cancer cases and has 1.3 million cancer-related deaths each year.

This new comprehensive plan calls for the EU Commission and Member States to encourage consumers to reduce meat consumption and eat a healthier plant-based diet to reduce cancer risks.

The Parliament’s new resolution comes shortly after the EU’s launch of a 4 billion euro Beating Cancer Plan.

The resolution aims to emphasize the role of a healthy diet and show how cancer risks can be reduced by eating a sustainably produced plant-based diet, such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and legumes.

This resolution will:

  • emphasize the need to address the overconsumption of meat, processed products, and products high in sugars, salt, and fats.
  • encourage and help consumers make informed, sustainable, and healthy decisions. This would mean the adoption of a mandatory uniform of EU front-of-pack nutritional labels based on solid and independent scientific evidence.
  • support fiscal measures to make fresh food more affordable and accessible to the public.
  • call for comprehensive nutrition campaigns and nutrition counseling in primary healthcare.

Senior director of public affairs for Human Society International/Europe, Dr. Joanna Swabe, commented,

“There is mounting scientific evidence that the consumption of meat and dairy products can have a detrimental impact on human health. The World Health Organisation warns that processed meats are carcinogenic, that red meat probably increases your risk of bowel cancer and that eating the equivalent of less than two slices of bacon a day increases your chance of colorectal cancer by 18%. So it is extremely welcome to see the European Parliament acknowledging the risk factors associated with animal products and the protective benefits of eating a more plant-based diet. Alongside reducing climate change emissions and sparing animals suffering on factory farms, the human health advantages of eating more plant-based foods present another compelling reason to transition Europe to a more resilient food system.”

The measure also calls for a more considerable investment in non-animal biomedical test methods. Non-animal research methods are far more efficient and reliable and would replace testing on animal models in cancer research.

In 2017, nearly one million animals were used in cancer research in the EU, and animal use continues to increase despite the inaccuracy between animal data and human use.

Following animal trials, there is only a 5% likelihood of a researched drug being approved for humans. So the majority of drugs that are tested fail to have an impact on patients.

The resolution stresses the importance of investing in non-animal research, increasing efficiency, and reducing unnecessary experiments on animals. It also emphasizes that non-animal testing for the carcinogenicity of environmental chemicals should provide more relevant information than animal-based methods currently used.

This will enable us to take measures to limit exposure to cancer-causing chemicals.

The Humane Society is urging the European Commission and Member States to take note of the message in this resolution and take steps to promote the protein transition and grant funding for the development of non-animal testing research methods.

Sign this petition to add warning labels to meat products

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