A meat and health campaign launched 18 months ago by the British Pig Executive, in conjunction with the English and Welsh beef and lamb organizations, has turned “very negative” press coverage on red meat to a positive.

Before launching the campaign, an audit of press coverage showed five negatives to every one positive, but now there are 5.5 positive to every 3.5 negative. “This is a fantastic result and will help to change perceptions of red meat generally," said health and education manager Nicola Wilde, who is coordinating the campaign. "Far too often red meat was being demonized unfairly, and there was a danger consumers would be swayed by it."


Over the last 18 months the campaign spoke to 90 key opinion-forming journalists and scientists. "Some of the change can also be attributed to sending out Meat Advisory Panel fact sheets to those journalists who are identified as being 'off beam' in terms of giving the correct scientific facts," said Wilde. "It’s just been a case of never giving up.” The Meat Advisory Panel is a new group of healthcare professionals, scientists and researchers who provide independent and objective information about red meat and its role as part of a healthy, balanced diet.

A meat and health website also contains a section on a healthy diet and lifestyle aimed at the general public.