CLAIM: Biden’s climate plan limits meat consumption by 90%; “Biden's climate plan could limit you to eat just one burger a MONTH”
The claim that President Joe Biden’s climate plan could limit meat consumption appeared in an article published by the Daily Mail in April 2021 and was repeated in numerous Twitter and Facebook posts. A version of this claim also appeared on Fox News, but the outlet recently apologized for airing misinformation. These claims received hundreds of thousands of interactions on Facebook and other social networks.
Although few specifics have been announced, Biden’s climate plan aims to cut US greenhouse gas emissions in half by 2030. The plan doesn’t include any statements about limiting meat consumption, contrary to implications made in the Daily Mail article. For example, the article includes a graphic stating “What will be required to meet Joe’s green targets: cut 90% of red meat out diet, only eat 4lbs a year”. However, the speculative claims made in the Daily Mail article aren’t based on Biden’s climate plan, but rather on an unrelated 2020 study from the University of Michigan on meat consumption.
As stated in a 22 April 2021 White House Fact Sheet, the climate plan aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in half by 2030 through investments in carbon pollution-free energy sources, reducing carbon pollution in transportation, and investing in carbon sinks, such as forests and agricultural soils. The plan also aims to cut emissions and reduce costs for families by upgrading the efficiency and electrification of buildings through heat pumps, induction stoves, and following modern energy codes.
According to an AP fact-check, “Martin Heller, one of the authors of the University of Michigan study, confirmed in an email to The Associated Press that there was no connection between the research and Biden’s climate plan”.
On April 26, 2020, the United States Department of Agriculture spokesperson said that there is no truth to the claim that Biden’s climate plan limits red meat consumption, in an article published by The Hill.
“This is a fabrication. There is no such effort or policy that exists by this Administration. It’s not a part of the climate plan nor the emissions targets. It is not real”
As reported in a Politico article, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack stated during a virtual briefing hosted by the North American Agricultural Journalists, “There is no effort designed to limit people’s intake of beef coming out of President Biden’s White House or USDA”.
- 30 April 2021: This post was updated to state that the Daily Mail article claimed that Biden’s climate plan could limit meat consumption.