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Cutting Meat, Milk Intake Will Not Lower GHGs

by 5m Editor
23 March 2010, at 10:40am

US - Reducing meat consumption will not impact climate change, according to a paper published recently by researchers from the University of California.

Citing a report from Agence France-Presse, the American Meat Institute (AMI) reports a leading air quality expert saying that consuming less meat will not reduce our greenhouse gas (GHG) production.

Frank Mitloehner, a professor at the University of California-Davis, delivered his remarks during a conference of the American Chemical Society in California.

He is the author of the published study, 'Cleaning the Air: Livestock's Contribution to Climate Change', which asserts that despite often-repeated claims, it is simply not scientifically accurate to blame livestock for climate change. The study was published in the peer-reviewed journal Advances in Agronomy.

Proessor Mitloehner traces much of the public confusion over meat and milk's role in climate change to a 2006 United Nations report, entitled 'Livestock's Long Shadow', which he says overstates the role livestock play in greenhouse gas emissions.

These statements are inaccurate, yet their wide distribution through news media have put us on the wrong path toward solutions, Professor Mitloehner said.

He added: "We certainly can reduce our greenhouse-gas production, but not by consuming less meat and milk… but by increasing efficient meat production in developing countries, where growing populations need more nutritious food."

Reference

Pitesky M.E., K.R. Stackhouse and F.M. Mitloehner. 2009. Clearing the Air: Livestock's Contribution to Climate Change. Advances in Agronomy, 103: 1-40. doi:10.1016/S0065-2113(09)03001-6

Further Reading

- You can view the abstract (free of charge) and the full report (fee payable) by clicking here.