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Labor must stop lecturing on diet, start supporting farmers

Leader of The Nationals David Littleproud said Labor needs to stop lecturing farmers and
start supporting them, ahead of the federal government incorporating environmental
sustainability into Australian dietary guidelines.
The National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) is due to update its guidelines
by the end of 2026.
Mr Littleproud said if the NHMRC changed its guidelines based on sustainability, they would
erode any currency of their recommendations because they’re health, not environmental
experts, and they should ‘stick to their knitting’.
Industry fears the developments are an overreach, with steak and lamb unfairly targeted,
and go beyond the policy intent of Australian Dietary Guidelines to provide
recommendations on healthy food. Mr Littleproud said the idea that consumers should eat
less steak and lamb and instead favour chicken, due to a lower carbon footprint, is driven by
ideology rather than common sense.
“Farmers need to be trusted as environmental managers and are already doing work
towards reducing emissions,” Mr Littleproud.
“The Labor government should back our farmers and put faith in them, not tear away their
income. Farmers are sustainable but continue to be the easy target to reduce emissions.
“Labor’s ideology doesn’t match the practical reality that people need to eat. Dietary
guidelines should be about food, not elitist agendas trying to control people.”
Northeast Victorian beef and lamb farmer Loretta Carroll said the idea was “just crazy”.
“This is a complete farce, it’s not realistic at all,” Ms Carroll said.
“Meat is one of the most important, staple foods and cutting it would actually have a huge
impact on the health of people. Meat is full of micronutrients that aren’t in other foods. This
idea shows the inability to look at the facts – they are not looking at the real science here.”

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