Seaweed in cattle feed could reduce methane emissions from beef cattle as much as 82%, according to a new paper from researchers at the University of California (UC), Davis.

Read more here

Many of the meat replacement products on the market are not actually a replacement for meat at all, or are in some other way unhealthy, according to a survey carried out by the consumer group Test Achats. 

More and more people these days are looking for alternatives to meat, whether they adopt a fully vegan/vegetarian lifestyle or are simply looking to cut down on their consumption of meat.

The market has responded, with a growing number of products tailor-made for people who want to eat less meat but still have the feeling of eating meat. 

The trouble is, however, that many such products – meat-free burgers or meatballs, for example – are no substitute for meat from a nutritional point of view. 

Test Achats examined 37 different types of ready-made meat replacement products like hot dogs, burgers and mince, and looked at how healthy the product was in itself, as well as how effective it would be as a replacement for meat. 

Among the findings: many such products contain added saturated fat, brought in to try to mimic the texture and mouth-feel of actual meat. But saturated fat is unhealthy in itself, in quantities above 10g per 100g of meat.

Read more here

There is an ongoing conversation in consumer spaces about beef’s contribution to climate change. In many circles, beef is being painted as a villain that can be minimized and/or eliminated to help solve global climate issues. On the ground, as cattle producers, we know this isn’t accurate. In fact, we know it’s an outrageous lie that’s being used to sell consumers a fake meat product they don’t want or need and one that won’t do anything to solve climate problems. The reality is that we know cattle can be a part of the solution. We know that pasture and rangeland, through proper management, can actually reduce the amount of carbon and more than offset the short-lived methane emissions of our cattle.

Read more here

Un grupo de profesionales ha participado como ponentes en un webinario organizado por la European Livestock Voice en el que se han analizado las tendencias actuales en materia de bienestar animal.

La primera en intervenir ha sido .a gerente del equipo de la granja del Eurogroup for Animals, Inês Ajuda, que explicó que la salud animal, el bienestar y la capacidad de expresar comportamientos naturales y apropiados están interconectados y los 3 pilares deben incluirse cuando se habla de bienestar animal.

Trine Vig Tamstorf, asesora principal de políticas para la salud y el bienestar de los animales del Consejo Danés de Agricultura y Alimentación, que representaba al sector europeo de comercio de ganado y carne en este debate, agregó que el bienestar animal es una prioridad absoluta para los agricultores, no solo porque los animales son su fuente de ingresos, sino también porque es parte del ADN de su trabajo. Esto debe establecerse como la base de todas las discusiones.

Read more here

Livestock play a vital role in sustainability, but great care must be taken when developing and using metrics to ensure they are based on balanced evidence and proper scientific appraisal.

For example, scientists looking at the effect livestock consumption is having on the planet often use the single measure of carbon dioxide production per kilogram of food produced.

But this is not a fair comparison, as 1kg of beans is completely different to 1kg of beef in the nutrients it provides.

Read more here

The European Commission is pumping €3.6m into a new campaign designed to ‘strengthen the knowledge and competitiveness’ of the European beef sector.

Read more on Food Navigator

The sustainability of livestock and aquaculture production is a key business driver for the European feed industry. FEFAC has been assisting its members in providing animal nutrition solutions that help to increase the sustainability of livestock farming operations, from the respective environmental, economic and social perspectives. Substantial progress has been achieved already over the past decades, but clearly, there are still many challenges for the livestock sector that require the continued European feed industry involvement and support.

FEFAC publication highlighting the key ambitions of the EU feed industry in the light of the implementation of the FEFAC Vision 2030:

The United States and Europe share a great history, a history that goes back centuries and will continue for centuries to come. 

This shared history has seen the advent of new technologies that have transformed life and bettered the human condition.

Read more on the EU Observer

Cattle put out to graze as part of a two-month trial.

Read more on The Telegraph

Entre les messages récurrents concernant la nocivité d’une surconsommation de viande et la visibilité donnée aux actions des organisations antispécistes, les médias traditionnels maintiennent une forte activité sur les sujets du flexitarisme et du véganisme. Bonne nouvelle pour les éleveurs : ce discours a très peu d’influence sur le grand public.

Read more on Web-Agri

With livestock ‘getting blamed for everything from cancer to climate change’, the British Meat Processors Association has launched a new website to promote the environmental benefits of eating beef and other animals.

Read more on Food navigator

‘2021 will be a difficult year’: Meat analyst concerned for poultry, beef, and pork markets in Europe

Industry should be prepared for a ‘massive global financial crash’, says Gira Meat Director Rupert Claxton, who does not expect poultry, beef, and pork markets to be back at pre-COVID levels by next year.

Read the full article on Food Navigator

Lockdown proved that more of us want to buy British – with beef and chicken top of the shopping list

In a relatively short space of time, the coronavirus pandemic has drastically altered the way we eat and shop for food.

Read full article on The telegraph website

‘It is paramount the UN ensures a discussion on livestock that is based on facts’

The Global Roundtable for Sustainable Beef (GRSB) is writing today to voice our concerns over the misleading claims contained within the United Nations (UN) Act Now campaign, specifically regarding the “Eat Less Meat” initiative.

Read more on Beef Central website

Meat levy would hit vulnerable shoppers, dietitian says

A proposed levy on unhealthy meat products has been rejected by experts as failing to tackle obesity and health issues and limiting options for vulnerable consumers.

Read full article on Food Manufacture

Europe must resist attempts to use coronavirus as a Trojan horse against animal agriculture

Of all the businesses and enterprises impacted by the coronavirus outbreak, Europe’s farms are among the most vulnerable – and the most essential. At a time when demand for safe, affordable food is spiking, the pandemic has restricted access to agricultural workers, as well as disrupting processing operations on livestock farms.

And on top of these pressures, farmers are also facing attempts to use COVID-19 to influence EU policy and undermine animal agriculture by falsely linking the outbreak with modern farming practices, which are often maligned and poorly understood.

From a business perspective, this is unhelpful, but from a scientific perspective, this is entirely misguided. Coronavirus – like SARS, Ebola and almost three quarters of infectious, animal-borne diseases – was not created on a farm, but most likely originated in wildlife.

Read more via Euronews

Genetically modified cows are currently being used by an American biotech firm to produce human antibodies that subdue SARS-CoV-2, the pathogen causing Covid-19 – with plans to start clinical trials this summer.

SAB Biotherapeutics, a US firm based in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, genetically alters dairy cows so that certain immune cells carry the DNA that allows people to make antibodies.

That modification “enables the animals to manufacture large quantities of human antibodies against a pathogen protein injected into them”, the company claims.

Read more on AgriLand website

Greenhouse gas emissions by large herbivores are not a phenomenon these days. Professor Pulina clarifies this issue, and reveals a noteworthy aspect: if we eliminated all farms and animals were free to graze in nature, their contribution to greenhouse gases would be exactly the same.

It seems paradoxical that in a world where thousands of tons of greenhouse gases from cars, planes, ships, power plants, factories, landfills, rice fields, etc. are discharged into the atmosphere every day, we want to blame the flatulence of farmed herbivorous animals for the greenhouse effect and climate change, a completely natural phenomenon with very ancient origins.

Read more on Carni Sostenibili

Not everybody can thrive on vegan or vegetarian diets

One of the key visions set out in the European Commission’s Farm to Fork Strategy – which was published last month and is set to pave the way for the formation of the next Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) – is an intention to transition EU food consumption trends towards “a more plant-based diet with less red meat”.

In the document it is clearly stated that this food shift is being proposed on environmental, health and sustainability grounds.

Dr. Frédéric Leroy of the Food Science and Biotechnology Department at Vrije Universiteit Brussel – whose research primarily deals with the ecological aspects and functional roles of bacteria in foods, with a specific focus on animal products – has offered his perspective on such a proposed dietary change and its potential impact on animal agriculture throughout the bloc.

Read the full article on Agriland webiste

There has been a rapid digital transformation in the global agricultural sector over the last few months because of COVID-19. Farmers and other key industry players are more acutely aware of the need for sustainable and efficient farming practices. “Empowering farmers and the industry with a connected, AI driven platform is a necessity for the future of food production. The COVID-19 outbreak has brought into sharp focus the weaknesses in our food system that is disconnected and faces threats from climate change and a dwindling labor workforce. With the support of our top-class investors, customers and partners, we are well positioned to democratize access to our technology to millions of farmers across the globe”, says Yasir Khokhar, CEO of Connecterra.

Read more on EU-startups website

Coronavirus: est-il possible d’être contaminé en consommant de la viande?

Depuis maintenant plusieurs jours, les “clusters” dans les abattoirs se sont multipliés partout dans le monde, tout comme sur le territoire français. Dans les Côtes-d’Armor tout d’abord, où 69 cas positifs ont été confirmés, puis dans le Loiret où 34 employés ont également été testés. Au total, une centaine de personnes, dans ces deux foyers, ont été atteints du Covid-19, sans qu’aucun cas grave n’ait été signalé.

Pour autant, la consommation de viande animale semble sans risque pour l’homme. Comme le signale l’Anses, l’Agence nationale de sécurité sanitaire de l’alimentation, de l’environnement, et du travail, plusieurs études ont été effectuées sur différentes espèces: porcs, canards, poulets, a qui le coronavirus a été inoculé de manière expérimentale. Les conclusions sont claires, les animaux ne sont pas réceptifs à la maladie.

Read more on BFM TV website

Authorities urged to support struggling meat sector post-coronavirus

More than 65 organisations and individuals across producer, veterinary, research, and academic sectors have co-signed a letter calling for more support in the global meat sector in the wake of the coronavirus crisis and urging authorities to refute claims that the crisis stemmed from the livestock sector.

Read more on Euractiv website

Meat eaters have better mental health than vegans and vegetarians, study claims

Researchers in the US conducted a review of 18 studies representing 160,257 participants examining the relation between the consumption or avoidance of meat and psychological health.

Read the article via Food Navigator

Why EU wants more grass-based farms

EU Ministers for Agriculture this week backed grasslands, crop rotation, reduced tillage, direct sowing, afforestation and agroforestry, as the ways to maximise carbon sequestration on agricultural land.

Read the article via The Conversation

“No, Livestock farming is not responsible for Covid-19!” An Oped by Bernard Vallat

 It would be advisable that the investments needed to strengthen the biosecurity of our livestock and wildlife should be broadly eligible for Community grants under the Green Deal. 

Read this Op-Ed by Bernard Vallat in l’Opinion (FR)

‘Meat is part of a sustainable world’: Professor Louise Fresco

Professor Louise Fresco used the prestigious City Food Lecture in London to argue in favour of the shift towards flexitarian and reductionist diets. But she warned against doing away with meat consumption altogether.

Read the article via Food Navigator

Livestock grazing is vital ‘interference’ to boost biodiversity, new Plantlife study finds

Livestock grazing has a crucial role to play in addressing a dramatic decline in biodiversity-rich wildflower meadows, according to a prominent botanist who warns that totally abandoning land to nature will do more environmental harm than good.

Read the full article on the Yorkshire Post website


Advocates urge the public to eat less meat to save the environment. 
A key claim underlying the associated arguments is that globally, meat production generates more greenhouse gases than the entire transportation sector.
In this article Frank Mitloehner, Professor of Animal Science and Air Quality Extension Specialist, University of California, Davis sets the record straight on meat and greenhouse gases.

Read the article via The Conversation

Opinion: The latest flip-flop on red meat uses best science in place of best guesses

The recent ‘turnaround’ on advice about read meat consumption made big headlines recently with people questioning how nutrition advice can flip so apparently easily?

This opinion piece in the LA Times by investigative journalist Nina Teicholz outlines the view that some nutrition recommendations have been based on a type of weak science that experts have unfortunately become accustomed to relying upon. The recent papers question that “iffy science”.

Read the full opinion piece on the LA Times.

Why we shouldn’t all be vegan

After decades in which the number of people choosing to cut out meat from their diet has steadily increased, the alarmist and pressure-filled headlines continue to support arguments that the world needs to change the way that it eats.
In this article Martin Cohen, Visiting Research Fellow in Philosophy, University of Hertfordshire and Frédéric Leroy, Professor of Food Science and Biotechnology, Vrije Universiteit Brussel take on the question of whether the world should consider going vegan.

Read the article via The Conversation

Cars or livestock: which contribute more to climate change?

What we choose to eat,  how we move around and how these activities contribute to climate change is receiving a lot of media attention. In this context, greenhouse gas emissions from livestock and transport are often compared, but in a flawed way.
In this article Anne Mottet and Henning Steinfeld from the UN FAO outline the pitfalls of simplification when looking at greenhouse gas emissions from livestock.

Read the full article via News Trust