MEPs have “failed to recognise” the need to drastically change eating habits at schools, says Olga Kikou of CWF

Responding, Olga Kikou, Head of Compassion in World Farming EU, (pictured) said: “MEPs have voted to downplay the drastic change we need to see with our diets.”

She added, “We can’t have our kids overeat on animal products in school, and then expect them to grow up with healthy eating habits and live within the planetary boundaries, in a planet that is already burning.”

Kikou went on, “If schools were to continue to fail with this education, school canteens should at least give students the choice of plant-based meals and milks. MEPs now failed to recognise even this need.

“The bar is obviously quite low in the Agriculture Committee. We can only hope the rest of the Parliament will be more ambitious when they vote on the file later this year.”

In their recommendations on how the EU should change its funding for school meals, adopted on 22 March, the Parliament’s Agriculture Committee is said by the group to have “not only failed to acknowledge the need for plant-based meals and milks – it even stated that there should be educational campaigns to promote milk and dairy products.”

The group, in a statement, added, “In light of the climate emergency and our diets heavy on animal protein, it is mind-boggling that such a position was adopted.”

The European Commission is currently reviewing the EU scheme that supports the distribution of fruit, vegetables, milk and certain milk products to schoolchildren, from nursery to secondary school.

As part of the process, the group called on the EU to revise the scheme in order to shift dietary habits towards healthier and “more sustainable foods and engrain these dietary habits in future generations.”

It says, “The position of the European Parliament’s Agriculture Committee, however, does not go far enough for the EU to reform our food systems, as outlined in the Farm to Fork Strategy and the European Green Deal.”

CWF campaigns for farm animal welfare and sustainable food and farming. With over one million supporters,it has representatives in 11 European countries, the U.S., China and South Africa.


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