The first edition of ‘The Role of Red Meat in Healthy Australian Diets’ was published in February 2001 and has been a useful, evidence-based report on red meat and health for health professionals, the food industry and consumers. In the light of the release of the new Nutrient Reference Values and of the changing patterns of chronic diseases, notably obesity and type 2 diabetes, the preparation of a second edition of the report was commenced in 2007.

Leading nutrition academics were commissioned to write concise reviews on a range of topics relating to the role of red meat in human nutrition, in diets at different life stages, and in the prevention and management of chronic disease. In addition, insight into the environmental footprint of the meat industry was sought to inform debate on this important topic in the years ahead. A perspective on the dietary attitudes of Australian consumers was also sought.

The papers received were peer-reviewed by an Editorial Committee and their recommendations were communicated to the authors. Revised manuscripts were then edited for style and consistency by Linda Tapsell before final editing, review and acceptance by the Supplements Editor of Nutrition & Dietetics, Malcolm Riley.

During its deliberations, the Editorial Committee requested that Meat & Livestock Australia provide information relating to red meat production practices for inclusion in the report. This statement appears as an appendix.

Meat & Livestock Australia offered honorariums to all members of the Editorial Committee and to all authors. Professor Caterson and Ms Chapman declined an honorarium. As an observer from the National Heart Foundation, Barbara Eden did not receive an honorarium.