Vegetarians International Voice for Animals

Vegan Children Some of the Healthiest in the World

Release date: 
Monday, February 21, 2005

The BBC is failing in its supposed role as a public service broadcaster, says the Vegetarian & Vegan Foundation ([url=http://www.vegetarian.org.uk]VVF[/url]), after giving widespread publicity to a seriously flawed, unscientific piece of propaganda claiming that vegan children risk damaging their health by excluding meat. The claim, made by Lindsay Allen of the US Agricultural Research Service, was given prominent billing by BBC News on-line and featured on the Jeremy Vine show and Ken Bruce shows on BBC Radio 2. It concerned Paul McCartney so much that he made a rare phone-in to the Jeremy Vine show.

"One meaningless study on 544 malnourished children raised chiefly on a starchy, low-nutrition corn and bean diet has no relevance to children in the West' says Tony Wardle, Associate Director of the VVF. "Yet it commands major media coverage with almost no counterview, despite having been made by the organization which supports and promotes the mass factory farming of animals. This is not good journalism and it is extremely bad public service broadcasting.

'the VVF reports regularly on the growing volume of science showing the link between animal products and the collapsing health of our children and is largely ignored. Sensationalism is clearly more news-worthy than science. The truth is that meat, dairy are junk foods are destroying our children's health. The facts are':

"Well-planned vegan and other types of vegetarian diets are appropriate for all stages of the lifecycle, including during pregnancy, lactation, infancy, childhood and adolescence. Appropriately planned vegetarian diets are healthful, nutritionally adequate and provide health benefits in the prevention and treatment of certain diseases.' These "certain diseases' are the killer epidemics of today " heart disease, strokes, cancers, diabetes etc.

This is the view of the world's most prestigious health advisory body, the American Dietetic Association and Dietitians of Canada, after a review of world literature. It is backed up by the British Medical Association:

"Vegetarians have lower rates of obesity, coronary heart disease, high blood pressure, large bowel disorders, cancers and gall stones.'

The World Health Organization thinks similarly: "Diets associated with increases in chronic diseases are those rich in sugar, meat and other animal products, saturated fat and dietary cholesterol.'

For further information contact Tony Wardle or Lee Jerome on 0117 970 5190.