European Parliament champions plans to reduce meat consumption to fight cancer

Author: Molly Pickering

Read Time:   |  17th February 2022

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The European Parliament has called on the EU Commission to promote healthy plant-based diets and reduced meat consumption in order to fight rising cancer cases

The European Parliament has endorsed a resolution to combat Europe’s rising cancer cases.

Plans for the Strengthening Europe in the fight against cancer campaign include promoting a healthy plant-based diet and reducing overconsumption of meat and ultra-processed foods.

Additionally, the plan also calls for greater investment in non-animal medical testing in cancer research.

Reducing European meat consumption to fight cancer

According to the WHO, Europe accounts for a quarter of the world’s cancer cases1.

With cases projected to rise to more, the EU has launched a 4billion euro ‘Beating Cancer plan‘.

The European Parliament has called on the Commission to encourage and help consumers make healthy and informed choices about food.

Plant-based whole foods are known to have nutrients that can help protect against cancers, particularly dark green, yellow, and orange vegetables2.

In addition, the EP recommends nutritional public campaigns, as well as nutrition counselling to be available.

Strengthening Europe in the fight against cancer also calls for reform of Europe’s animal testing in cancer research.

According to the report, just 5% of animal-tested drugs are approved for humans3.

In a statement, EP’s campaign underlines “that non-animal method for testing the carcinogenicity of environmental chemicals should provide more relevant information than the animal-based methods currently in use.”

Furthermore, this adopted resolution is non-binding, however, the European Commission is being urged to take notes.

Source: D3sign via Getty Images

Source: D3sign via Getty Images

“Two slices of bacon a day increases your chance of colorectal cancer by 18%”

In a statement, Dr Joanna Swabe, from Humane Society International, said: “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%.”4

Swabe added that they welcomed the EP acknowledgement of the risks associated with animal products.

Moreover, the Director of research policy for HSI’s Research & Toxicology Department, Helder Constantino, explained: “The EU Beating Cancer initiative has presented an excellent opportunity to promote and seek additional funding for more advanced and human biology-based research approaches.

“HSI welcomes the Parliament’s emphasis on the importance of investing in new, non-animal research technologies, such as next-generation computing and miniature human organoids.”

Want to read more? Find out vegans likely to live longer …

Feature image source: Oscar Wong via Getty Images



Written by

Molly Pickering

Molly is the Digital Executive and Podcast host at Anthem's Vegan Food & Living, she also works across other titles including Women's Running and Classic Pop to create affiliate content for the website. Starting out as a Digital Marketing Apprentice at Vegan Food & Living in 2021, within 14 months Molly was shortlisted for ‘Best Editorial Assistant’ at the BSME Talent Awards 2022 and won the BCS Special Recognition award for Digital Marketing Apprentice of the Year in 2022

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