RED MEAT has been the victim of 'information terrorism', unfairly and dishonestly condemned as a threat to human health.

That is the conclusion of a bombshell scientific report that dismantles the last five years of anti-meat propaganda, and questions the motives and the money behind the modern demonisation of livestock farming.

Compiled by an international group of scientists, led by Professor Alice Stanton of the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland, the paper 'Consumption of Unprocessed Red Meat Is Not a Risk to Health' is a direct challenge to the 'Eat Lancet' report that put red meat at number 7 in the international list of dietary 'threats' to health.

The Stanton report pulls together multiple peer-reviewed studies of unprocessed meat consumption and concludes quite the opposite, finding time and again that red meat is not a contributory factor to ill-health – at the same time identifying areas in recent anti-meat studies where there had been 'an inexplicable transformation of the background data in the statistical evidence used', that produced an abrupt 36-fold upping of meat's supposed toxicity.

In particular, the evidence for red meat being classified as a cancer agent was condemned as having come from a single scientific publication that suffered from 'technical shortcomings that violate widely accepted scientific standards', and was further marred by an 'undisclosed conflict of interest' involving its author.

National Farmers Union Scotland president Martin Kennedy described the Stanton study as a 'gamechanger', saying that politicians must now pay attention, and ditch the simplistic 'red meat bad' assumptions they had previously been spoon-fed.

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"We need to get this report and its conclusions picked up and understood by politicians and the public – we have a duty to make sure that people in the future don't miss out on the nutrition and enjoyment offered by red meat because policy has been influenced by people with a hidden agenda."

In particular, Scotland’s Good Food Nation Bill, which will introduce a legislative requirement on health boards and local authorities to make good quality, healthy, local food available to all, is set to make significant progress in 2022 – and the union wants Scottish red meat to be an important part of that menu, with its health benefits properly recognised.

“For some considerable time the red meat industry has been taking a pounding from many ill-informed individuals and organisations that fail to fully understand the huge benefits the livestock industry brings to Scotland," said Mr Kennedy. “One of the biggest and most concerning issues of recent times has been the incessant drive to reduce red meat consumption for the apparent benefit of our health," he said, noting that support for such claims often came from those who stood to make a 'serious amount of money' from factory manufactured red meat alternatives.

"The truth is, the Scottish livestock sector produces a healthy source of protein and vitamins, in an environmentally sustainable way. We need policymakers to recognise that livestock are vital to the physical and economic health of our nation."

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