Doctors dismiss an animal rights group's claim that eating meat is just as dangerous to human health as smoking.
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) is calling on the Queensland government to sue meat and dairy firms, as it has said it might tobacco firms, over the health costs their products cause.
PETA says that like cigarettes, meat and dairy products have been linked to heart disease and cancer, as well as obesity and diabetes.
When asked if PETA thought cigarettes were just as dangerous to human health as eating meat, a spokeswoman told AAP: "I think that would be a fair call."
"Oh dear," Australian Medical Association president Dr Steve Hambleton said upon hearing the claim.
"That's a sensationalist comment, a throwaway line that should also be thrown away."
He said tobacco was the only product that was likely to kill the consumer when used as the manufacturer intended, and meat didn't fall into the same category.
A zoologist looking at humans would find meat was part of the correct diet, he said.
"You can survive without it, but our physiology and anatomy, the way we are constructed, is to be omnivores."
"That is meat, fruit, vegetables and water."
"We're designed to eat the stuff."