Non-vegetarian food does not cause COVID-19, says Minister – The Hindu

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Fisheries, Dairying and Animal Husbandry Minister Giriraj Singh intends to publicly demonstrate his daily routine of eating two eggs every morning, in a bid to add weight to the Centre’s urgent message that coronavirus infections do not spread through non-vegetarian cuisine.

False rumours are causing losses across the value chain of poultry, meat and fish production, threatening the livelihoods of more than 10 crore small farmers and affecting the nutrition of consumers as well, Mr. Singh told journalists on Friday.

He cited industry estimates that wholesale chicken prices have dropped from Rs. 100 per kg to Rs. 30 per kg over the last month, leading to losses of approximately Rs. 2,000 crore per day.

“I am not speaking on behalf of meat processing companies, but the small farmers who depend on this sector for their livelihood. Further up the value chain, maize and soyabean farmers will also be affected, as their products are used to make animal feed,” he said. “On the other side, 35% of the protein requirement of the country comes from this sector, so we must think of the nutrition impact as well.”

He cited the World Organisation for Animal Health and the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India, which have both vouched for the safety of easting meat, saying that there is no scientific evidence indicating that the coronavirus is transmitted from animals to humans.

“I myself eat two eggs every morning. I am thinking I will make a video of that to show that there is no danger, and no need to panic,” said Mr. Singh. He downplayed concerns that groups which promote a vegetarian lifestyle are using this opportunity to highlight the “danger” of meat products.

However, he admitted that there are concerns about the levels of sanitation and hygiene being followed in the production and sale of meat, poultry and fish in the country. The Centre is taking steps to promote hygienic markets and supply chains, especially in the fisheries sector, he said.

Source: Thanks https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/non-vegetarian-food-does-not-cause-covid-19-says-minister/article31003791.ece