Anger at McCartney broadcast

07 May, 2010

The meat industry has hit out at the BBC for airing an interview on the day of the general election with Sir Paul McCartney over his Meat Free Monday campaign.

Industry leaders pointed out that McCartney, a committed vegertarian, was continuing to use disputed UN FAO figures to back up his claims that meat eating was damaging to the environment.

A spokesman for the National Beef Association said: “The BBC may want to avoid bias on election morning but it is a pity to then put on air a different form of bias – and to compound that by transmitting wrong information from a 2006 FAO report which has been corrected by the author.”

McCartney told the Today programme on Radio Four that the idea for his campaign came about “with the UN saying that livestock is a bigger demon to global warning than the whole of the transport industry put together. This wasn’t coming from a vegetarian society but the UN”.

He went onto claim the campaign “wasn’t a veggie idea, it’s a planet idea”.

Nick Allen, EBLEX sector director, said: “On a day when allowed reporting of the proper news was restricted, it was sadly inevitably that an old story would be recycled with out of date information. Paul McCartney obviously missed the coverage on the BBC a few weeks ago of the fact that the United Nations admitted that comparisons between emissions from transport and from livestock production in its report could not be directly compared.

“As we have said before, the issue of livestock and climate change is a complex one which the English meat industry is already addressing head-on. Simplistic, celebrity-endorsed campaigns, such as Meat Free Mondays, only serve to muddy the waters and distract public attention from the real debate with glib, but unreliable, sound bites.”





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