EPA deletes tweet about Meat Free Mondays after farmer complaints

EPA deletes tweet about Meat Free Mondays after farmer complaints

# Environmental Protection Agency

EPA deletes tweet about Meat Free Mondays after farmer complaints

The tweet encouraged people to “cut down your red meat intake” and “try veggie recipes”.

THE ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION Agency (EPA) has deleted a tweet it shared which encouraged people to reduce their consumption of red meat.

The tweet, which was posted yesterday, urged people to “cut down your red meat intake” and “try veggie recipes” in order to be “healthier, wealthier and more fabulous”.

It also stated that 10% of meat purchased is thrown out and encouraged people to reduce their meat intake slowly by trying “veggie lunches” and “Meat Free Mondays”.

The tweet included an image of Samantha Jones, a character from the television programme Sex and the City. Intended as a meme, it shows her smiling with the words “the planet when you reduce your red meat intake” below.

Agricultural groups, including the Irish Farmers Association, had criticised the tweet after it was shared.

In a statement, a spokesperson for the EPA said that the agency has “a responsibility to provide the public with advice on any measure that may help to protect and sustain our environment and lower carbon emissions”.

“We regularly share sustainable options on social media platforms that some people might like to explore and, from time to time, this includes advice on food and food waste,” the spokesperson said.

The EPA acknowledged that the tweet was “open to interpretation”. 

“Our intention was to share helpful advice, not to cause any confusion, but we acknowledge how it may have been perceived differently,” the spokesperson continued.

“Therefore, we decided to remove the tweet to avoid any unnecessary attention on what is a complex area. We are engaging with agricultural groups on this and we are confident that the engagement will bring clarity for all.”

In a statement to The Journal, a spokesperson for the Irish Farmers Association confirmed that it had raised an issue “about the message from the EPA”.

“The agency has since deleted the tweet and we look forward to meeting EPA next week,” the spokesperson said.

Meanwhile, Irish Cattle and Sheep Farmers’ Association (ICSA) president Dermot Kelleher has called on the EPA to clarify whether it is comfortable with being involved in what he called “overtly political campaigns”.

“ICSA was taken aback to see a blatant anti-meat crusade on the EPA social media platforms in the past few days,” Kelleher said.

He said that “dishing out dietary advice” is not an area the EPA should be getting into given their role as a “trusted scientific referee”.

“The tweet might well be acceptable from a vegan or vegetarian lobby group. However, in the context of a body charged with environmental regulation, and key data measurement in respect of climate and water, it really isn’t good judgement to be seen to be actively campaigning against Irish livestock products.”

A Green Party councillor has since tweeted the exact tweet as a response to the episode.

Ready to be healthier, wealthier and more fabulous? Cut down your red meat intake.

1. Reduce food waste: We throw out about 10% of the meat we buy.

2. Reduce your red meat consumption slowly: veggie lunches, Meat Free Mondays etc.

3. Be more adventurous – try veggie recipes 🥕 https://t.co/HwE1GMogdw pic.twitter.com/ZoPzALtSDz

— Cllr Oisín O’Connor (@OConnorOisin) August 28, 2023

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