False Environmental Claims Jeopardise Beef Production

AUSTRALIA - Frustrated cattle farmers say "enviromaniacs" are making false claims about the industry's environmental credentials.
calendar icon 13 October 2009
clock icon 1 minute read

EnviroWeek, which runs until 17 October, is being promoted in schools and the community by celebrities such as Ron Barassi and Magda Szubanski.

The website for EnviroWeek states that it takes 15,500 litres of water to create one kilogram of beef, and encourages people to "go vegetarian" to save the environment reports The Age.

AgForce Cattle president Grant Maudsley said the claims by "enviromaniacs" were "extraordinarily misleading".

Mr Maudsley said it takes between 27 and 540 litres of water to produce one kilogram of beef.

"The truth is that beef producers are the real environmentalists, doing on-the-ground conservation work every day with real results," the western Queensland grazier said.

"Consumers are being routinely misled by exaggerated claims from groups who seem to have an ideological opposition to the farming of animals."

Mr Maudsley told The Age that the methane production of cattle through burps and farts was also being misrepresented.

The Enviroweek site says 22.1 kilograms of methane is produced by cattle, to produce one kilogram of beef.

Mr Maudsley said Australia's grazing industry is the one, if not the only, sector of the Australian economy to reduce its output of greenhouse gases, cutting them by seven per cent between 1990 and 2006.

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