The European Parliament has recently suggested to the EU to promote a plant-based diet and reduce meat consumption to prevent cancer.
After Coronary related issues, Cancer is Europe’s second-biggest killer disease, with 3.7 million cases and almost 2 million deaths per year. This means that at least a quarter of the world’s cancer cases worldwide despite being only an eighth of the world’s population.
The Special Committee on Beating Cancer (BECA) member, the Oncologist Véronique Trillet-Lenoir, called this strategy “historic, both in terms of its ambition and its objectives, and in terms of the resources it will provide. The EU will finally be able to fight effectively, together, against the health inequalities that persist within the European Union and respond to the needs of millions of Europeans affected by this disease”.
The new strategy changes the focus from using and testing new drugs to preventative research which includes promoting a balanced, plant-based diet to replace meat, ultra-processed foods, and foods high in sugar, high in sodium, and saturated fat.
Animal products and especially meat are very important in the European diet, with carcinogenic foods such as different kinds of salami, sausages, and frankfurters which are deeply rooted in the European culture.
The WHO classifies processed meats such as sausages, salami, frankfurters, and bacon as highly carcinogenic.
Colon cancer is one of Europe’s most common cancers and leads to the highest number of deaths, scientists found that changing to a healthy diet is a preventative measure. Diets high in fiber and legumes and low in animal protein and fat increasingly lower the possibilities of getting cancer.
European Commission and the Member States are considering implementing a front-of-pack nutritional label to facilitate informed, healthy and sustainable choices to the consumers
The new strategy also recommends a larger investment in non-animal testing to the pharma and cosmetic industry to replace obsolete animal testing, citing technological advances in mathematical modeling, artificial intelligence, and digital tools to get more reliable conclusions.
In 2017, nearly one million animals were used for medical testing in the EU. 95% of cancer drugs are tested on animals and not approved, being that the reason that many researchers consider animal testing statistically redundant.
Scientific research shows that carcinogenicity testing, specifically using mice for tests, is not sufficient f to conclude for human health hazard assessments.