By, Nina Teicholz

The EAT-Lancet Report published last week, with headlines globally, stated that to save both planetary and human health, the world’s population needed to cut back dramatically on red meat and other animal products. The prescription is very close to a vegan diet.

News Flash (updated Feb 4th and Feb 7th)

Questions were raised as to whether the EAT-Lancet report underwent external peer review. According to Rosemary Stanton, a well-known nutritionist and supporter of the report (though not an author), the EAT-Lancet authors (who are dubbed “Commissioners”) themselves did their own peer review.. Rosemary Stanton also acknowledged that some of the references are incorrect (see tweet by Kurt Lass, below). Watch this space as we try to resolve the important question about peer review. (This paragraph updated for accuracy and further details on 2/5/19)

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The Lancet responds:

The Lancet responded in a tweet that the paper did undergo independent, external peer review. Thank you, Lancet, case closed.

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Report Based on Fundamentally Weak Science

This report is disturbing on a number of fronts. Most importantly, its diet lacks the backing of any rigorous science. Indeed, it does not cite a single clinical trial to support the idea that a vegan/vegetarian diet promotes good health or fights disease. Instead EAT-Lancet relies entirely on a type of science that is weak and demonstrably unreliable, called epidemiology. This kind of science has been shown to be accurate, when tested in rigorous clinical trials, only 0-20% of the time.[1][2] One wouldn’t bet on a football team with such poor odds, so why bet on the public health this way?

Even the most recent U.S. Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee, which clearly favored a vegetarian diet and recommended it to the entire U.S. public, found, in their review of the scientific evidence, that the power of this diet to fight any nutrition-related disease was “limited”— the lowest rank given for available data.

In the same vein, there is no rigorous (clinical trial) data on humans to show that red meat causes any kind of disease. This data can been seen in a 2-pager that The Nutrition Coalition published last week, in tandem with the EAT-Lancet report.

A One-sided Commission and No Disclosure of Potential Conflicts of Interest

The EAT-Lancet commission was portrayed as the product of 37 scientists from around the world. However, in reality, the authors represented a very narrow range of opinions: 31 out of the 37 (>80%) had established published records as being in favor of vegetarian/vegan or anti-meat diets !

This include…


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