Fact Check: The US Is NOT 'Planning To Ban Meat By 2023 To Combat Climate Change'

Fact Check

  • by: Uliana Malashenko
Fact Check: The US Is NOT 'Planning To Ban Meat By 2023 To Combat Climate Change' Recycled Rumor

Did the United States introduce a plan in November 2023 to ban meat consumption nationwide? No, that's not true: The claim implying that New York City's Mayor Eric Adams was somehow involved in a purported federal incentive is not supported by any evidence confirming the existence of such a plan. This is a variation of a previously debunked claim.

The claim appeared in a post published on Instagram on November 23, 2023 (archived here). The caption opened:

Where is everyone moving next? 🤔

The text in the shared image continued:






This is what it looked like on Instagram at the time of writing:

Screen Shot 2023-11-27 at 9.41.51 AM.png(Source: Instagram screenshot taken on Mon Nov 27 14:41:51 2023 UTC)

The shared picture showed New York City Mayor Eric Adams, a self-described vegan [who was caught eating fish in public (archived here)].

A similar post published by the account @wealthymindds mentioned in the caption as a source contained a second slide with the footage of Adams saying:

Food is the third biggest source of City's emissions -- right after buildings and transportation. But all food is not created equal. The vast majorit...majority of food that is contributing to our emission crisis lies in meat and dairy products.

The Adams administration expanded his predecessor's incentives that established meatless days in the city's public schools by converting Fridays from vegetarian to vegan days, but the new lunch menu did not get great reviews, as reported by Politico (archived here.)

Vegan Fridays were part of a broader approach (archived here) to reduce New York City's carbon footprint by cutting down the city's budget on buying meat in general and beef in particular. In April 2023, Adams committed (archived here) to decreasing the city's food-based emissions by 33 percent in the next seven years.

However, the total ban on meat has never been reported to have been incorporated into the New York City strategy (archived here), and Lead Stories debunked a related claim in the spring of 2023. As of this writing, no credible sources wrote that street hot dogs (archived here) or meat tacos (archived here) have been outlawed in this locality.

Furthermore, as New York City's mayor, Adams doesn't have the legal jurisdiction to single-handedly prohibit meat consumption nationwide.

The claim that is the focus of this fact check is not entirely brand-new. For example, Lead Stories previously wrote that, contrary to online rumors, 14 U.S. cities did not sign a World Economic Treaty to ban meat.

In March 2023, the National Climate Task Force first established (archived here) by President Joe Biden in 2021 published its most recent report. But it discussed flood management, not a meat ban.

The long-term U.S. strategy published in 2021 to outline ways of reaching net-zero greenhouse emissions by 2050 and signed by Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John Kerry did not say anything about total prohibition of meat.

A Google search across the White House website (archived here) finds zero matches for the term "meat ban."

A search across different federal bills on the website of Congress (archived here) did not produce any results, either.

A Google search limited to government websites (archived here) did not show a single page mentioning "nationwide meat ban" and "climate change" at once.

As of November 27, 2023, there were no credible media reports (search archived here) discussing the purported plan to ban meat at the federal level.

Other Lead Stories fact checks about meat can be found here.

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  Uliana Malashenko

Uliana Malashenko is a New York-based freelance writer and fact checker.

Read more about or contact Uliana Malashenko

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