A federal government minister has criticized the promotion of plant-based meat by CSIRO.
Agriculture Minister David Littleproud has been attacked by him on social media for marking CSIRO.
The national science agency provided dietary advice for children to choose plant-based foods based on red meat in a national campaign.
CSIRO launched a digital tuckerbox to encourage families to take on a “healthy and sustainable challenge”.
Online dietary advice from CSIRO “aims to make people think about making healthy and sustainable food choices and what they can eat in the future”.
Littleproud posted the following on Twitter and Facebook: “It is not CSIRO’s job to advertise, their job is to support all industries. Red meat is an important part of any balanced diet.”
It is not CSIRO’s job to advertise, their job is to support all industries.
Red meat is an important part of any balanced diet. https://t.co/ypqLmHY8ns
– David Littleproud MP (@D_LittleproudMP) August 20, 2021
“Tuckerbox,” she advises families to switch to plant-based meats.
“Instead of beef hamburger, how about it made from legumes?”
“Food scientists in Australia have developed a pie, minced meat and sausages that taste the same as meat,” advises the tuckerbox and then provides a link to plant-based foods.
Tuckerbox says lean beef is a nutritious source of protein.
“For our health and the health of our environment, we need to eat a moderate amount of meat.”
Families are advised “livestock to produce methane, mainly from their scratches, which is a powerful greenhouse gas”.
It is then said that research is continuing into a “kind of seaweed that scientists have discovered can reduce livestock emissions by a large amount when they eat them”.
Littleproud is not the minister responsible for CSIRO, this job belongs to the Minister for Industry and Science, Christian Porter.
His comments on social media drew a huge backlash.
“Excellent CSIRO work … it is clear that the Nationals want to return the Victor lawn mower and horse transport,” said Boris Bernie.
“Why can’t you all be kind and supportive of all kinds of farming,” Jacky Overington said.
“Australian scientists entering the large international vegetarian food market is a really smart idea for our wheat and vegetable farmers.”
The cow industry was also alarmed by the councils.
Red Meat Advisory Board Chairman John McKillop said Friday instructing children to replace meat products with vegan alternatives was a new low level for the taxpayer-funded agency.
“CSIRO’s public attack on 434,000 red meat and livestock workers in Australia is shameful as you receive research funding from industry,” McKillop said.
“It seems CSIRO is leading an agenda that goes beyond the competencies of a taxpayer-funded research organization.”
CSIRO was asked to respond to comments.
“I eat meat and always do, because vegans want vegetables to look like meat,” said Peter Huddy.
The launch of the online platform comes as CSIRO is under increased scrutiny for its promotion and investment in plant-based foods.
The investment fund, Main Sequence, left CSIRO with nearly half a billion dollars in funding which supports several plant-based companies, drawing criticism.
CSIRO says the tuckerbox relies on decades of research and innovation developed in partnership with the food industry, including adapting livestock and crops to our changing climate; improving the sustainability of how food is produced, processed and transported; increasing the nutritional value of food; and helping people make their diets healthier.
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The story that the Minister tells CSIRO to support all meat, not just plant-based products appeared for the first time on Farm Online.