Groups clarify US cattle's role in GHGs

by Meat&Poultry Staff
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WASHINGTON – The fourth installment of seven new myth-crushing videos, which attempts to set the record straight regarding myths associated with the environmental impact of meat production, was launched Dec. 6 by the American Meat Institute, in conjunction with the American Meat Science Association. Featuring Judith Capper, Ph.D., associate professor, department of animal sciences, Washington State Univ., this most recent video addresses an oft-cited quote from a 2006 United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) study claiming: “Livestock are responsible for 18 percent of greenhouses gases [GHG], a bigger share than transport.”

For several years, this error went largely unchallenged until Frank Mitloehner, Ph.D., at the Univ. of California Davis, examined the FAO claim and discovered the calculation was based on an unequal application of lifecycle assessments. The livestock sector’s true contribution to GHG emissions is around 3 percent, according to the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

“Beef has made an incredible contribution over the last 30 years,” Capper said. “Advances in management, nutrition, genetics, health welfare, all of these things have made our farms more productive, more efficient. … We’ve cut the total carbon footprint per pound of beef by 18 percent.” 

Capper’s video is the fourth of seven to be released on http://www.meatmythcrushers.com/.

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