Irish Cattle & Sheep Farmers Association (ICSA) president Edmond Phelan has said that the EAT Lancet report exposes the “complete hypocrisy and hidden agendas behind the report”.

The report by the EAT Foundation, backed by the Strawberry Group fund, was designed to be the “first full scientific review of what constitutes a healthy diet from a sustainable food system”.

It discourages eating from “unhealthy” food sources, including red meat. The strawberry group is a fund controlled by Petter Stordalen, who has now invested in Thomas Cook Airlines, Scandinavia.


This has angered Phelan, who said: “How can the EAT Lancet report have any credibility when one of its major backers is now buying an airline specialising in discretionary tourism travel?

"It is hypocritical in the extreme to have a multi-millionaire investor lecturing ordinary people that they have to virtually eliminate livestock products from their diet while he resurrects an airline company owned by Thomas Cook which went into liquidation recently.

"This is part of a wider pattern where the climate change debate has been hijacked to divert attention from fossil fuels and blame meat instead.”

War on meat

He slammed the report as being part of a war on meat, as the report suggested that moving to an overwhelmingly plant-based diet would be a “major game changer on climate change” and that it was an urgent challenge for humanity. The Strawberry Group, along with two other investors, will hold 40% of the airline.

“It is now more clear than ever that people should ignore the extreme vegan ideology and the anti-meat agenda,” said Phelan.

“It is obvious that someone who invests in an airline is not fit to lecture people on giving up meat nor should they be allowed undermine livestock family farms, where farmers produce healthy, nutritious food to the highest animal welfare standards.”

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