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Got Beef? City in Netherlands will be first to ‘ban meat ads’

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The United Nations has declared meat is harmful for the environment and the Dutch city Haarlem in the Netherlands will “ban most meat ads from public spaces because of the climate impact” beginning 2024, reports the BBC.

The motion was drafted by the green political party GroenLinks, and drafted by Ziggy Klazes, a councilor, who told the Trouw newspaper “Meat is very harmful to the environment. We cannot tell people that there is a climate crisis and encourage them to buy products that are part of it.”

The UN has declared livestock generates more than 14% of all man-made greenhouse gases, including methane. The government for the city with a population of 160,000 has not yet “decided whether sustainably produced meat will be included in the ad ban.”

The progressive Amsterdam and The Hague have already banned advertising for the aviation and fossil fuel industries, noted the BBC. “Beef produces the most greenhouse gas emissions, which include methane. Lamb has the next highest environmental footprint but these emissions are 50% less than beef” the report added.

Opposition has begun. The BBC writes:

The backlash from the meat industry was swift.

“The authorities are going too far in telling people what’s best for them,” said a spokesman from the Central Organisation for the Meat Sector.

The right-wing BVNL party called it an “unacceptable violation of entrepreneurial freedom” and said it “would be fatal for pig farmers”.

“Banning commercials from politically born motives is almost dictatorial,” Haarlem BVNL councillor Joey Rademaker said.

Herman Bröring, a law professor from the University of Groningen, said the ban could infringe on freedom of expression and lead to lawsuits from wholesalers.

About 95% of people in the Netherlands eat meat, but more than half do not eat it every day, according to Statistics Netherlands.

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