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Appendix to the Australian Dietary Guidelines: Dietary Guidelines through an environmental lens submission

This submission reflects the views of
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General Comments

Any reference to diaetary guidelines can no longer ignore food accessibility and producibility and, most important, the effect that particular foods have on the environment with particular focus on global warming gas contributions. Not to do so creates a dangerous situation in which the consequences of food choices beyond that of nutrition are ignored to our ongoing peril as a species.

For example, if a particular food will provide adequate nutrition and yet does not have a high carbon footprint, it should be promoted ahead of one which does.

For this reason the Appendix should not be scrapped but treated as a natural codicil to what would otherwise be food choices based solely on nutrition.

It is now clear that animal agriculture is a major contributor to both environmental degradation and to global warming. For this reason the draft Dietary Guidelines do not go far enough in advising consumers as it does not make clear that reducing animal products is by far the most significant way that Australians can reduce the negative environmental impact of their food choices.

Given that there has been so much debate about the merits of a carbon tax to reduce Australia's carbon footprint, it is extremely short-sighted - not to say counterproductive - to ignore or excise environmental impacts of food choices from official recommendations. Indeed, these should have been taken into account when developing the guidelines. This is an extremely urgent and time-sensitive issue which deserves more than a mere appendix.

Page reviewed: 4 February, 2013