The Dublin Declaration: The Call from The Scientific Community for An Evidence-Based Debate on Meat

On Wednesday, October 19, Teagasc – The Irish Agriculture and Food Development Authority – hosted an important international event in Dublin about meat production and consumption. “The Societal Role of Meat – What the Science Says” was the topic of the two-day summit. Several world-leading international experts gathered in the Irish capital to discuss the importance of meat in today’s society and the various debates surrounding meat production and consumption.

All summit attendees with academic and scientific credentials were invited to endorse the evidence base presented by signing the ‘Dublin declaration of scientists on the societal role of meat’. This declaration aims to give voice to the many scientists worldwide who research diligently, honestly and successfully to achieve a balanced approach to the future of animal agriculture.

Today’s food systems face an unprecedented double challenge: to increase the availability of animal-origin foods to help satisfy the unmet nutritional needs of an estimated three billion people in poorer areas, with regard at the same time to biodiversityclimate change and nutrient flows, as well as animal health and welfare within a broad One Health approach.

For this reason, livestock systems are too precious to society to become victims of simplification, reductionism or zealotry, and they must progress based on the highest scientific standards. For that, scientists are asked to provide reliable evidence of nutrition and health benefits, environmental sustainability, socio-cultural and economic values, and solutions for the many necessary improvements. This is the purpose of the Dublin Declaration, taking into account the importance of livestock for human health, the environment and socio-economic aspects.

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