Doctors, activists urge PM Modi to promote plant-based diet | India News

NEW DELHI: In the wake of Covid-19 pandemic and rising concerns over environment and public health, several doctors, activists and animal welfare groups on Thursday urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to promote plant-based food options and regulate meat, egg and dairy industries.
In a letter to the prime minister, several doctors as well as activists pointed out that as the coronavirus outbreak was traced to a meat market in China’s Wuhan, such a threat prevails in meat production facilities and markets in India too.
“The doctors’ call has been supported by animal welfare groups People For Animals (PFA), Ahimsa Trust and Mercy For Animals (MFA) who have sent an urgent letter today to the prime minister. The groups’ letter points out that a significant amount of research by global bodies such as EAT Lancet, World Economic Forum, the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization, among others have concluded that increased production and consumption of animal-based foods is detrimental to public health and the environment.
“While Covid-19 has been traced to a meat market in Wuhan, the conditions in such places are similar to any meat production facility and market in India,” said Gauri Maulekhi, an animal rights activist from PFA.
Several prominent and reputable medical professionals have also issued advisories stating that plant-based/vegetarian diets are safer and more sustainable compared to consumption of meat, eggs, and dairy products.
Dr Pankaj Chaturvedi from Tata Memorial Hospital said, “There is ample evidence from research to prove the role of different forms of meat in causation of several chronic diseases such as type-2 diabetes, coronary heart disease, coronary heart failure, stroke etc.”
Increased meat consumption also leads to increased water usage, deforestation, water pollution and greenhouse effect, ultimately leading to global warming, he added.
Maulekhi said it is time that the Eat Right Campaign initiated by the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India highlights and promotes consumption of plant-based diet for public health, food security and sustainability.
“Virulent disease outbreak, including the current global pandemic have been traced to meat markets and production facilities time and again. The current intensive production practices of egg and meat production gravely impact public health,” she said.
Countries such as Canada, Germany, China, and others have even recommended an increased consumption of plant-based foods, and limited consumption of meat, dairy and eggs in their national guidelines, the letter said.
“India is already taking numerous steps in the right direction, particularly through the FSSAI’s ‘Eat Right India’ campaign which has highlighted the necessity to bring healthy, sustainable, and safe food to the forefront of Indian diets.
“Incentives, subsidies, and public distribution schemes should be developed so as to ensure that malpractices in animal farming such as overcrowding and administration of non-therapeutic antibiotics are not encouraged,” it said.



[Source :Times of India]

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