Cancer Research has said it is ‘sorry’ farmers may reconsider their future support for the charity after it launched a ‘Veg Pledge’ campaign, which urges people to go meat-free this November.
Michelle Mitchell, the group’s chief executive, said the monthlong fundraising initiative could help participants discover new foods and recipes, but there was ‘no guarantee’ people’s diets would become healthier by going vegetarian or vegan.
Her comments were made in response to a letter from TFA boss George Dunn, who wrote to the charity in October to complain about the ‘ill-judged’, ‘inappropriate’ and ‘damaging’ campaign.
His letter read: “I know of many farmers who are regular supporters of your charity, either through direct donations or through the many fundraising events which occur throughout the farming community.
“However, sadly, many of those farmers will be thinking twice about their future support for the charity following the announcement of your Veg Pledge.
“I can only imagine your campaign has been designed to capitalise on the current anti-meat and dairy bandwagon which seems to be growing stronger on the back of illinformed commentary and spurious claims.”
In her reply, Ms Mitchell said Cancer Research’s health advice to reduce cancer risk had not changed and recommends people eat sources of protein such as fresh chicken, but cutting down on processed and red meat.
“I am sorry some [members] may now be considering whether they can continue with the support they provide to us,” she added.
“This is naturally disappointing and concerning.”
She also promised to use the TFA’s feedback to consider changes to future fundraising campaigns.