It is incomprehensible that the Norwegian Institute of Bioeconomics would raise such criticism.
Revised dietary recommendations for the Nordic countries (NNR) has been put up for consultation. Nibio (Norwegian Institute for Bioeconomics) is highly critical and has repeated the criticism in a series of media reports.
Here is the answer.
1. The customer is the Nordic Council of Ministers
The committee behind the recommendations has been appointed by the Nordic Council of Ministers. It was the Nordic Council of Ministers that decided to incorporate environmental aspects for the first time into the NNR report.
The NNR has been repeatedly criticized by Nibio, an administrative body under the Ministry of Agriculture and Food for its emphasis on Norwegian agricultural policy and the degree of self-sufficiency and food security.
2. The report assesses the food system, not the agricultural policy
NNR provides scientific advice on health-promoting and climate-friendly diets to authorities, who will then prepare specific nutritional advice for the Nordic and Baltic countries.
Agricultural methods, food production and degree of self-sufficiency are outside the scope of NNR’s mandate.
3. The diet affects the environment beyond our country’s borders
Nibio has repeatedly criticized NNR for assessing the global environmental consequences of our food consumption.
The reason for assessing local and global environmental impacts is that more than half of the food we eat is imported.
4. Nibio gets it wrong with incorrect claims
Nibio’s critiques are not very helpful because they are critical of out-of-state conditions and consistently contain untrue claims.
NNR has recruited approx. 350 external international researchers – many at the intersection of nutrition, health and the environment. High scientific quality in the environmental field is confirmed by large research grants from international research funds after tough competition.
In addition, NNR recruited approx. 40 pure environmental worlds. Nibio believes that these experts do not have enough expertise on the environmental impact of the food we eat. We vehemently depart from this claim.
Udon Korsath, Anne Kirsti Bakken, Arne Bredalen and Per Stalnack of Nebio in Aftenposten claim that the NNR report deviated from normal scientific quality assurance procedures. This is also not true
5. The report is based on peer-reviewed knowledge summaries
The report is based on 62 comprehensive summaries of knowledge examining thousands of scientific studies. All knowledge abstracts are reviewed by independent experts and published in scholarly journals.
The main report is also subject to review by some of the world’s leading researchers in this field from the USA, Canada, England and France.
It is incomprehensible that Nebio would raise such criticism.
6. The report is available for consultation on scholarly input
All 62 Knowledge Abstracts and the main report have also been put up for public consultation for further professional input as NNR wants a democratic process open to all subject matter experts.
All entries received will be screened and posted.
7. Scientific advice for health authorities
The overall objective of the NNR is to prepare high quality scientific advice for the health and food authorities of the Nordic and Baltic countries.
The final NNR report will be published in June 2023.
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