New York AG Letitia James Sues Beef Producer Over Climate Change

New York Attorney General Letitia James filed a lawsuit against meat producer JBS USA Food Company.

The lawsuit alleges that the meat producer was “misleading the public” about its environmental impact.

“As families continue to face the daily impacts of the climate crisis, they are willing to spend more of their hard-earned money on products from brands that are better for the environment,” Attorney General James said in a press release.

“When companies falsely advertise their commitment to sustainability, they are misleading consumers and endangering our planet. JBS USA’s greenwashing exploits the pocketbooks of everyday Americans and the promise of a healthy planet for future generations. My office will always ensure that companies do not abuse the environment and the trust of hardworking consumers for profit.”

According to the complaint, JBS claimed it would “achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2040,” a statement that was “unsubstantiated and confusing to consumers.”

The lawsuit seeks a $5,000 fine per violation of General Business Laws.

James announced the suit on X, writing, “I’m suing @JBSFoodsUSA, the world’s largest beef producer, for misleading the public about its environmental impact. “The beef industry is one of the largest contributors to climate change, and JBS has falsely advertised its commitment to sustainability and endangered our planet.”

Earlier this month, a think tank warned that the push for net-zero climate emissions threatens the food industry.

“To better appreciate the true costs that American farms and households will likely pay for the Biden administration’s net-zero policies and objectives, The Buckeye Institute’s Economic Research Center developed a model corn farm that must play by the government’s new carbon emissions rules,” the report says. “The farm’s operational costs, as expected, all rose significantly. Diesel fuel needed for trucks, tractors, and combines became more expensive. As did propane needed to power grain dryers and heat barns. And prices for the nitrogen fertilizer needed to grow crops rose, too.”

The institute noted that to achieve net-zero climate targets, the Biden administration “agreed to reduce America’s emissions by 50-52 percent by 2030 and to reach economy-wide net-zero [greenhouse gas emissions] by 2050.”

“Achieving the administration’s desired decarbonized economy will require aggressive climate emission reduction policies that drain and replace fossil fuels from every sector of the U.S. economy,” the report stated. “The Biden administration has already begun implementing stringent regulatory policies designed to dramatically reduce carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from the oil, natural gas, and chemicals industries, and the administration’s looming rule on ‘environmental, social, governance’ (ESG) reporting threatens to force carbon compliance onto every other emission-intensive industry.”