Gabriola Vegeteers

Lawsuit Aims to Ban Processed Meat From California School Districts

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Back in 2015, a body of experts convened by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), part of the World Health Organization (WHO), found—after looking at over 800 studies—that processed meat is “carcinogenic.” Unsurprisingly, meat industry trade associations like the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association and the North American Meat Institute were quick to pan the finding, and claim that it “defies common sense.”

But now, a year and a half after the controversial report was released, a non-profit advocacy group is using the IARC report as the basis for two lawsuits against the Los Angeles and Poway, California school districts. Last Wednesday, the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine—which promotes a vegan, plant-based diet—filed the lawsuits, which claim that serving processed meat to students violates the California education code’s requirement that all food served have the “greatest nutritional value possible” and be of the “highest quality.”

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