BBC NEWS Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific
BBCi NEWS   SPORT   WEATHER   WORLD SERVICE   A-Z INDEX     

BBC News World Edition
 You are in: Health  
News Front Page
Africa
Americas
Asia-Pacific
Europe
Middle East
South Asia
UK
Business
Entertainment
Science/Nature
Technology
Health
Medical notes
-------------
Talking Point
-------------
Country Profiles
In Depth
-------------
Programmes
-------------
BBC Sport
BBC Weather
SERVICES
-------------
EDITIONS
Wednesday, 14 August, 2002, 10:08 GMT 11:08 UK
Vegetarian shock tactics slammed
Roast dinner
Claims of early death for meat-eaters were rejected
An animal rights pressure group has been ordered to stop making "alarmist" and "unsubstantiated" claims about the risks of eating meat.

A leaflet published by a Brighton-based vegetarian pressure group earlier this year suggested that meat-eaters are more at risk of dying from heart disease, stroke and other diseases.

But the Advertising Standards Authority has ruled that the claim was unduly alarmist and offensive.


The unsubstantiated health claims were unduly alarmist

Advertising Standards Authority
It said there was insufficient evidence to support claims that meat eaters were more likely to die from "killer diseases".

The leaflet, published by Vegetarians International Voice for Animals (VIVA!), featured a picture of a sausage on a fork.

Big claims

It included the caption: "The Great British Banger...makes your heart go Pop! One in three men and one in four women will die of heart disease. The British sausage is perfectly designed to help them on their way."

On the reverse side was a picture of a slaughtered pig. It stated: "Eating animals is one of the main reasons why heart disease, clogged arteries, high blood pressure and strokes are at epidemic proportions."

It continued: "Vegetarians, on the other hand, are much less likely to develop these killer diseases and face the prospect of living longer than meat eaters - largely because of the protective effect of vital nutrients found only in fruit and vegetables."

The ASA said that while it accepted that there was evidence to suggest an "affluent diet" increased the risks of chronic diseases there was no evidence to indicate that eating meat had a similar effect.

Inadequate evidence

In a statement, the ASA said: "The advertisers had not supplied adequate evidence to show that eating animals caused the listed diseases or that vegetarians were much less likely to develop the listed diseases.

"The Authority considered that the claims exaggerated the likelihood of eating meat in a balanced diet causing the listed diseases."

It added: "The unsubstantiated health claims were unduly alarmist."

VIVA! had argued that the claims were justified. However, research papers submitted by the group to back up its stance was deemed to be inadequate.

But the group, which has been ordered to change the advertisement, criticised the decision.

A spokesman told BBC News Online: "We provided them with hundreds of pieces of scientific evidence all of which showed that vegetarians had less risk of cancer, heart disease and other diseases."

See also:

28 Jun 01 | Health
05 Jul 00 | Health
Internet links:


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Links to more Health stories are at the foot of the page.


E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more Health stories

© BBC ^^ Back to top

News Front Page | Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East |
South Asia | UK | Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature |
Technology | Health | Talking Point | Country Profiles | In Depth |
Programmes