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Dairy must strive to find opportunities from its challenges

The international dairy industry must strive to find opportunities in the challenges it faces on health to secure its position as a trusted and valued producer of nutritious foods.

Speaking at the World Dairy Summit in Yokohama, Japan, Dr Judith Bryans, Chief Executive of Dairy UK, said: “We can be proud that the nutritional value of our products has long been quite rightly recognised by their inclusion in dietary guidelines around the globe.

“But we must never sit back and assume that this situation will endure automatically. The dairy sector faces more threats to the nutritional image of its products than ever before.

“In today’s world, rates of chronic disease are on the rise. At the same time the burden of malnutrition is increasing. Addressing these extremes is placing a huge burden on national healthcare systems as well as having a huge impact on the quality of life of those individuals who are affected.

“As a result regulators are looking for quick simple ways to meet public health targets. All too often this results in over simplistic messaging and initiatives based on single nutrients and in some cases, the use of outdated science by both public health authorities and NGOs.

“This over emphasis on single nutrients fails to recognise that people eat foods and that they eat these foods as part of a dietary pattern – and this presents the dairy industry not with problems but with opportunities.

“We must take the opportunity to promote our credentials as a nutrient rich food integral to a sustainable diet. We have the opportunity to innovate for health and develop products which address the specific needs of different age groups. All of this must be based on strong scientific evidence.

“The International Dairy Federation has a big part to play in helping the dairy industry ensure that it is at the forefront of developing and sharing the latest scientific information on dairy related nutrition, disseminating information and engaging in active advocacy.”

 

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