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Red and processed meat in the context of health and the environment: many shades of red and green. Information brief

There is growing international consensus that food systems transformation is important to address the challenges of malnutrition in all its forms, the burden of noncommunicable diseases (NCDs), environmental sustainability, increasing inequality and ensuring the welfare of workers and animals.

This information brief synthesizes the evidence on the role of red and processed meat production and consumption in health and environmental outcomes, and in different social and political contexts. It does not give consumption recommendations, but, rather, represents the first stage in a scoping process that could lead to World Health Organization (WHO) guidance on the role of red and processed meat in healthy diets from sustainable food systems. It also provides a brief overview of potential interventions to optimise health/environmental outcomes.

This information brief may also be used to inform the development of commitments and policy action on climate change and food systems at the 28th Conference of the Parties of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP28) in late 2023 and beyond.

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