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WHO pulls support from EAT-Lancet initiative

According to the BMJ (British Medical Journal), the World Health Organisation pulled out of sponsoring a launch event for the EAT-Lancet report on healthy and sustainable diets after Gian Lorenzo Cornado, Italy’s ambassador to the United Nations, questioned the health and economic impacts of the report’s largely plant-based diet recommendations.

Walter Willett and Johan Rockström, co-chairs of the EAT-Lancet Commission, responded that moving towards the EAT-Lancet dietary recommendations would mean that more people have access to sufficient nutrition than today.

They also argue that it is inaccurate to say the report’s recommendations would cause economic depression in the livestock sectors of developing countries, because within the report’s guidelines, dairy and red meat consumption could actually rise in some developing areas relative to today.

The original press release from the ambassador’s office can be read here: Press release on the launch of the EAT-Lancet Commission Report on Healthy Diets from Sustainable Food Systems (Geneva, 28 March 2019).

Read media coverage here: WHO pulls support from initiative promoting global move to plant based foods (British Medical Journal) and here World Health Organization drops its high-profile endorsement of the EAT-Lancet diet (New Food Economy).

See also the FCRN’s summaries EAT-Lancet: healthy diets from sustainable food systems and Reactions to the EAT-Lancet Commission, and the Foodsource chapter What is a healthy sustainable eating pattern?

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