The milk industry has attacked a report which urges people to cut back on meat and dairy in the name of sustainability.
Dairy UK, which represents milk producers, said the report by Eating Better, a lobby group calling for less dairy consumption, was selective and misleading.
Dr. Judith Bryans, Chief Executive of Dairy UK, said: “Advising consumers to cut their dairy intake is wrong and unhelpful in helping the nation meet its nutritional requirements.
“We totally reject any assertion that dairy products are not environmentally sustainable.
“The dairy sector helps to feed the UK with efficient, predominantly grass-based milk production, high animal welfare standards, safe and nutritious foods.
“Consumers can keep dairy in their diets in the full knowledge that we take our environmental credentials very seriously as we strive to provide them with the tasty nutritious foods they know and love.”
Eating Better’s report outlines what it calls the “less and better” approach, putting forward eight principles that it believes will guide consumers to more sustainable choices.
It takes industrial livestock production to task, with Eating Better’s Executive Director, Sue Dibb, claiming the industry is “having a devastating impact on our health, animal welfare and the health of the planet.”
There are now fewer than 9,500 dairy farms in the UK compared with 13,000 a decade ago, and it has been predicted there will be fewer than 5,000 by 2025.