Academics' climate impact studies influenced by meat and dairy funding

A new report highlights the influence of the meat and dairy industries on academic research regarding livestock's climate impact.

Anna Phillips reports for The Washington Post.


In short:

  • The study focuses on research centers at the University of California at Davis and Colorado State University, funded largely by the livestock industry, and their efforts to downplay the need for reduced meat and dairy consumption.
  • Academics are accused of acting more as industry spokespeople than independent researchers, promoting technological solutions to emissions without advocating for reduced livestock production.
  • Significant industry funding, including a $2.9 million donation to UC Davis's CLEAR Center, raises concerns about bias in research and public discourse on livestock's environmental impact.

Key quote:

"The notion that I am downplaying the importance of livestock on climate is absolutely not acceptable to me."

— Frank Mitloehner, UC Davis professor

Why this matters:

This article raises questions about the objectivity of studies critical to our understanding of environmental health and underscores the importance of scrutinizing the sources behind influential research, especially when it concerns public health and climate change policies.

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