Dutch Government Places Historic Limit on Meat

Citizens of the Netherlands urged to drastically limit meat consumption and replace with vegan sources of protein.

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For the first time in Dutch history, government-funded group Nutrition Centre placed a limit on the amount of meat it recommends its citizens to consume. The recently published Dutch dietary guidelines indicate that consumers should eat no more than two servings (a total of 17 ounces) of meat per week, citing the high-carbon footprint of animal agriculture as the motivation behind the new recommendation. Furthermore, Nutrition Centre urges citizens to replace meat with protein-rich nuts and pulses. The Netherlands joins many countries around the world—including Sweden and most recently the UK—that have released dietary guidelines that slash recommendations for the consumption of animal products. While early versions of the US Dietary Guidelines contained recommendations against the consumption of meat based on both health and environmental concerns, the meat industry successfully lobbied the committee of scientists responsible for compiling the final guidelines to pull back its original recommendations—with the Director of Union of Concerned Scientists’ Food and Environment saying “the way that this has played out shows that there are clear politics behind it.”