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Politics Fact check: False claim ties Biden's climate plan to reducing meat consumption

20:50  27 april  2021
20:50  27 april  2021 Source:   usatoday.com

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The claim: Biden's climate plan will limit American's meat consumption to one burger per month

President Joe Biden wants to pass a climate agenda, but progressives want him to go bigger. © USA TODAY President Joe Biden wants to pass a climate agenda, but progressives want him to go bigger.

Users on Facebook are sharing articles that claim President Joe Biden's climate plan will require Americans to reduce their meat consumption to one burger per month.

On April 22, Biden announced a plan to reduce U.S. greenhouse gas emissions, with a goal of 2030 emissions being half the level of 2005.

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The Latest: Tracker credits Biden summit on emissions gap

  The Latest: Tracker credits Biden summit on emissions gap WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on President Joe Biden's global climate summit (all times local): 9:10 a.m. An analysis shows President Joe Biden’s climate summit and the run-up to it cut the so-called emissions gap, a crucial measurement used to see if the world can limit global warming, by about one-eighth. Climate Action Tracker is a group of scientists who monitor nations’ pledges of carbon pollution cuts. It calculated that targets announced since last September cut about 12% to 14% from the emissions gap. © Provided by Associated Press FILE - In this Tuesday, Feb.

The headline of the article shared on social media reads: "NEW: Biden's 'Climate Change' Plan Will Try to Limit You to Only One Burger Per MONTH."

Trending Politics, a self-described conservative commentary website, shared the article on April 25 but the Facebook post appears to have been deleted. The same or similar claims have been posted by others on Facebook.

The claim was shared as fact and attacked by many Republican politicians.

USA TODAY reached out to the user for comment.

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Biden has released few details about the specifics of his plan. But we know putting Americans on a strict diet of less meat isn't part of it.

Claim based on 2020 study unrelated to Biden

Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack told reporters, "there is no effort designed to limit people's intake of beef coming out of President Biden's White House or USDA."

Fact check: No, Biden is not trying to force Americans to eat less red meat

  Fact check: No, Biden is not trying to force Americans to eat less red meat Republican members of Congress, Fox News personalities and other prominent right-wing figures are falsely claiming that President Joe Biden is trying to force Americans to eat far less red meat. © Evan Vucci/AP President Joe Biden speaks to the virtual Leaders Summit on Climate, from the East Room of the White House, Thursday, April 22, 2021, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci) "Joe Biden's climate plan includes cutting 90% of red meat from our diets by 2030. They want to limit us to about four pounds a year. Why doesn't Joe stay out of my kitchen?" Colorado Rep. Lauren Boebert wrote on Twitter on Saturday.

The claim originated at The Daily Mail, which published a story connecting Biden's plan to a 2020 study from the University of Michigan.

The study focuses on changes in greenhouse gas emissions solely from our diet. Researchers estimated diet-related greenhouse gas emissions would decrease to 51% by 2030 if beef consumption decreased by 90% and the consumption of all other animal-based foods decreased by 50%. The beef decrease would result in each person eating four pounds of beef per year.

But that's purely a hypothetical. And one that has no connection to Biden's plan.

The study was published in January 2020, a year before Biden took office. At the time, Biden was still campaigning for president and seeking the Democratic nomination, which he got in June 2020.

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The study doesn't mention Biden's climate plan or his administration. In fact, it says it's based "on a number of simplifying assumptions," and explores a "hypothetical reduction" of animal-based foods, and their impact on greenhouse gas emissions.

Fox News Corrects False Claim That Biden Is Coming For Your Burgers

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Martin Heller, one of the authors of the study, told USA TODAY the study wasn't developed to be considered as a policy recommendation, and it isn't connected to Biden's plan.

"Our study merely identifies opportunities for emissions reductions that are possible from changes in our diet," Heller wrote in an email. "By no means does it suggest that these changes in diet would be required to meet climate goals."

Reaction to study

Republican members of Congress and other conservative figures reacted strongly to the study's findings, taking as a fact that the Biden administration will require the drastic reduction of beef consumption.

Rep. Lauren Boebert, R-Colo., tweeted Saturday: "Joe Biden's climate plan includes cutting 90% of red meat from our diets by 2030. They want to limit us to about four pounds a year. Why doesn’t Joe stay out of my kitchen?"

Two GOP governors, Greg Abbott from Texas and Brad Little from Idaho, also took to Twitter to state their opposition. They shared a FOX News graphic that cited the Michigan study and the Department of Agriculture as sources supposedly verifying the claims.

President Biden's first 100 days: What he's gotten done

  President Biden's first 100 days: What he's gotten done President Joe Biden has moved fast since his January 20 swearing-in, signing a $1.9 trillion Covid relief bill into law less than two months into his term and issuing more executive orders so far than his three predecessors. © Genaro Molina/Los Angeles Times/Getty Images A first-grader works on an English exercise on the first day of class in Los Angeles on April 13, 2021. Those efforts have paid off, with the administration reaching the milestones of 200 million coronavirus shots delivered and vaccine eligibility opened to everyone 16 and over before Biden's 100th day in office.

The Agriculture secretary in fact said the exact opposite. And Fox News has issued an on-air correction.

Our rating: False

Claims that Biden's climate plan will require Americans to reduce their meat intake to one burger per month are FALSE, based on our research. The study the claims are based on was not developed as part of Biden's plan, one of the authors told USA TODAY. The secretary of agriculture confirmed the same thing. The study's findings that greenhouse gas emissions would decrease to 50% by 2030 if beef consumption decreased by 90% is a hypothetical and not meant to be taken as a policy recommendation, according to the study authors.

Our fact-checking sources:

  • USA TODAY, April 22, 2021, At Earth Day climate summit, Biden promises 50% reduction in US greenhouse emissions
  • Politico, April 26, 2021, Biden isn't banning meat, USDA chief says
  • The Daily Mail, April 22, 2021, How Biden's climate plan could limit you to eat just one burger a MONTH, cost $3.5K a year per person in taxes, force you to spend $55K on an electric car and 'crush' American jobs
  • University of Michigan, Center for Sustainable Systems, January 13, 2020, Implications of future US diet scenarios on greenhouse gas emissions
  • The White House, April 23, 2020, Remarks by President Biden at the Virtual Leaders Summit on Climate Session 5: The Economic Opportunities of Climate Action
  • Lauren Boebert, April 24, 2021, tweet
  • Greg Abbott, April 25, 2021, tweet
  • Brad Little, April 25, 2021, tweet
  • Fox Business, April 23, 2021, Kudlow: Biden's investment 'assault' is a 'middle class assault'
  • Justin Baragona, April 26, 2021, tweet

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Joe Biden isn't going to take away your burgers (opinion)

  Joe Biden isn't going to take away your burgers (opinion) It's just a ludicrous rumor cooked up by American conservative politicians (and their media confederates), who have proven themselves less and less interested in engaging on policy questions on the merits, instead trying to distract with make-believe culture war claims that have no bearing on leadership and legislation-- from "cancel culture" to "wokeness" to, now, red meat, writes Jill Filipovic.First things first: Joe Biden isn't going to take away your hamburgers.

Our fact check work is supported in part by a grant from Facebook.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Fact check: False claim ties Biden's climate plan to reducing meat consumption

Fact check: Biden's speech had an estimated 26.9 million viewers .
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