COVID19: EU citizens food safety concerns at rise

BRUSSELS, 15 April 2020 – “In light of the Covid-19 pandemic, we call on EU leaders to urgently steer the EU towards sustainable and resilient food systems. We were one of 40 environmental, health and animal welfare NGOs to send the EU Commission an open letter, urging it to act without any further delays in overhauling its food and farming system. Now more than ever, the EU needs to mitigate the risk of new pandemics and to encourage healthier diets.

“Covid-19 has strikingly brought to light some of the dysfunctions of our current globalised and unsustainable food systems, including the link between the increased emergence of zoonoses and intensive animal farming and the lack of regard for other species which has consequences worldwide.

“Now more than ever, the EU needs to create resilient food systems and diminish the risk of new pandemics.

“The loss of habitat and the exploitation of wildlife through hunting and trade lie at the heart of this latest pandemic. Protecting the environment, restoring biodiversity and making significant reductions in the production and consumption of animal products are urgently needed to bring a true shift towards sustainable food production and humane farming systems. Intensive animal farming, high stocking densities and confining animals in small cages put us all at great risk for the spread of disease. Our societies simply cannot afford another pandemic. We must put an end to intensive farming, now.

“The Farm to Fork Strategy is the way to do it!” Olga Kikou, Head of Compassion in World Farming.

“During these times of crisis, it has become crystal clear that our diets are particularly inept to deal with major health threats. Diets heavily reliant on animal products are linked to serious health issues. Intensive animal farming is linked to the emergence of superbugs and the development of anti-microbial resistance leading to the inability of our medicines to deal with them efficiently. Let’s mend this broken system. Let’s bring forward a food and farming revolution via the Farm to Fork Strategy. Let’s promote healthier, plant-rich foods!” Kikou added.

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