Barbecue season is approaching, and meat-loving Norwegians are wildly excited.

Close to 400 international researchers in the fields of health, environment and nutrition will put an end to that, writes NRK.

The joint Nordic expert group believes that, for the sake of the environment, we should eat far less than 350 grams of red meat a week. They go even further and claim that eating more is dangerous to your health.

– In the scientific literature, there is a large consensus that a shift in the diet to a more plant-based diet, with less animal foods, will be very good for health, says project manager for NNR2023, Rune Blomhoff.

In addition, Blomhoff says that less meat is good for the environment.

Less meat consumption will also help to solve the climate and environmental challenges.

But two Norwegian researchers and the Center Party disagree.

For the Center Party and Food and Agriculture Minister Sandra Borch, limiting meat production in Norway is out of the question.

I have no ambition to reduce the demand for Norwegian meat, says Borch.

Blomhoff says the response from Food and Agriculture Minister Sandra Borch is surprising, and believes Norway stands out.

The Nordic ministers have given us an assignment, then she says that she does not want to listen to the conclusions in the report, says the professor, pointing to the contrast with other Nordic countries:

We are getting a lot of positive comments in the consultation that is currently underway. Resistance to reducing meat consumption is almost without exception coming from the Norwegian side. I think it is startling that politicians try to comment on a purely scientific report, before it is finished, he says, referring to the dietary advice from the joint Nordic expert group, known as NNR2023, which is now out for consultation.

Two Norwegian researchers withdrew from the NNR2023 research project.

Audun Korsæth and Arne Bardalen from the Norwegian Institute for Bioeconomy (Nibio) thought the scientific level was too low and did not want their names on the report.

The assessments are not sufficiently adapted to the conditions we have here in the Nordic countries when it comes to food production. There is also the methodology used, which we are critical of, says Korsæth.

They have only presented what is negative in connection with livestock production, leaving out what is positive, such as less pesticides, less erosion and that it is better for biodiversity, says Korsæth.

Project manager Rune Blomhoff believes Korsæth and Bardalen have misunderstood.

They criticise us for not doing anything outside our mandate and say that we conducted poor research. Then they have misunderstood the mission, he concludes.

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