The Courier & Advertiser (Fife Edition)

Farm leaders slam Blue Peter scheme


Farm leaders have accused the BBC of adopting an antimeat agenda, after popular children’s programme Blue Peter launched an environmen­tal initiative encouragin­g children to swap meat for vegetarian alternativ­es.

The National Beef Associatio­n (NBA) has accused Blue Peter of running a “one-sided” initiative following the launch of its green badge scheme and described the BBC as the “Beef Bashing Corporatio­n”.

UK farm levy bodies – the Agricultur­e and Horticultu­re Developmen­t Board (AHDB), Quality Meat Scotland (QMS) and Hybu Cig Cymru/Meat Promotion Wales (HCC) – have also written an open letter condemning the initiative.

Blue Peter’s green badge initiative encourages children to be environmen­tally friendly by following three pledges

– – power, plastic for two weeks. These include switching off electrical devices, rather than leaving them on standby; using a lunchbox instead of plastic food wrap; and planting and looking after pollinator­friendly plants.

The initiative also encourages those trying to achieve the badge as a group to adopt one supersized pledge, which includes the option to “choose a couple of vegetarian meal options during your two weeks as part of a healthy balanced diet”.

NBA chief executive Neil Shand has written to BBC director general Tim Davie to complain about the scheme.

“The Blue Peter remit appears to be to encourage children not to eat meat without giving any positive balanced view on the benefits of meat, either to their health, to local industry or to countrysid­e and plant management, or any negative view on how fruit, vegetables or other plant food – and their correspond­ing air miles – might impact the environmen­t,” said Mr Shand.

He described the views presented by Blue Peter and the green badge initiative as “unbalanced, and – at worst – irresponsi­ble” and called for a meeting with Mr Davie to discuss the NBA’s concerns.

Meanwhile, in their open letter, the chief executives of AHDB, QMS and HCC criticised Blue Peter claims that “reducing the amount of meat you eat, especially beef and lamb, is better for the climate than reducing the amount you travel in a car”.

The levy body chiefs described this claim as “incorrect, misleading and based on widely debunked data” and said: “This type of unbalanced reporting risks compromisi­ng the integrity of the red meat produced in the UK to the consumers of the future.”

They called for the BBC and Blue Peter to “reconsider their one-sided messaging” and asked for UK red meat industry leaders to get the opportunit­y to meet with the head of children’s programmin­g to share informatio­n about the positive message around red meat.

A BBC said: “We

Blue Peter up meat.

“That was made clear both on the show and on our website, which has been updated to reflect that buying seasonal food or local grass-fed meat can also make a difference to climate change.

“There are also other pledge options to choose from to earn a green badge such as switching off lights or using reusable water bottles.” spokeswoma­n are not asking viewers to give

 ??  ?? UNHAPPY: Industry chiefs described the BBC as the “Beef Bashing Corporatio­n” due to its Blue Peter green initiative.
UNHAPPY: Industry chiefs described the BBC as the “Beef Bashing Corporatio­n” due to its Blue Peter green initiative.

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