PRESS RELEASE - 11 December 1998
'Halt the meat subsidy madness' says Viva!
Today the Dunn Clinical Nutrition Centre at Cambridge University published research in the British Medical Journal confirming the link between meat eating and cancer. Up to 80 per cent of all breast cancers and bowel cancers could be prevented if people improved their eating habits, it claims. It goes on to say that the emphasis on meat and processed foods such as sausages, and the lack of fresh fruit and veg, is causing the nation major health problems.
"This study simply confirms many others by the British Medical Association, the American Dietetic Association and the World Health Organisation," says Juliet Gellatley, Director of Viva! "We've been telling the world for years that vegetarians are healthier, are hospitalised less and live longer - vegans even more so. Sometimes it has felt like trying to push water up hill so entrenched are attitudes and so powerful are the vested interests of the meat lobby."
"One of our big concerns is the negative role played by doctors, most of whom receive no nutritional training whatsoever," adds Ms Gellatley, "and the report acknowledges this. One optional half-day during their entire training is really a joke when so many people rely on them for advice. We are asking the British Medical Association to call for comprehensive nutrition training to be made compulsory in medicine degrees," concludes Ms Gellatley.
In light of the research findings Viva! is also asking the government why it subsidises the red meat industry and yet have not given Viva! a penny to promote the vegetarian diet. "After all, we are a charity, the meat industry is not!" Despite the fact that the beef industry created BSE, is the main cause of E coli poisoning and causes most breast and bowel cancers - it has been given at least £4.5 billion of tax payer's money to bail it out of crisis. Ms Gellatley says: "No other industries are cushioned in this way. If the tobacco trade was propped up by taxpayers there would be outrage and yet the government supports an industry which causes as much damage to health as cigarettes. When will the madness end?"
For further information contact:
Juliet Gellatley or Lesley Jeavons on 0117 944 1000.