ARLINGTON, VIRGINIA, U.S. — A new study calling for drastic reductions in meat and dairy products and for policy measures to disincentivize production of these food products is wrong and an attack on animal agriculture, said the American Feed Industry Association (AFIA).

“Let’s call the EAT-Lancet Commission’s report what it is — yet another organized attack on animal agriculture that is not reflective of the current and accurate science on the industry’s substantial sustainability advances,” said Joel Newman, president and chief executive officer of the AFIA. “We agree with the report’s authors that there is a need to continue producing sufficient food that both feeds our growing population and protects the planet.”

Newman said the commission, made up of 30 scientists trying to define a “healthy and sustainable” diet, made three critical and erroneous assumptions: that there is consensus on the science behind their recommendations; that the advance of new technologies will not contribute to further reducing the environmental impact of animal protein production; and that all sources of protein provide equivalent nutritional value for human diets.

‘The animal food industry has been working with farmers and ranchers, the scientific research community and other global partners — likely long before the report’s authors began touting a plant-based lifestyle — on bringing new technologies and enhanced nutritional formulas to the marketplace, significantly reducing the animal agriculture industry’s environmental impact, while providing animals with optimal nutrition and health,” Newman said.

Unfortunately, the report’s calls to return to primarily an ‘agrarian lifestyle’ will undo years of research and innovation, while likely keeping nutritious and high-quality protein and dairy products out of the hands of the people who need them the most, he said.