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Danish Crown, Europe’s biggest pork producer, has admitted to violating marketing law and greenwashing with its “climate-friendly” label.

Danish Crown, one of the largest pork producers in Europe, just admitted that its claims of “climate-controlled” meat violated national marketing law.

Last month, Denmark’s Western High Court ruled that the company misled consumers by using the phrase “climate controlled” on its packaging. It specifically noted that the labels came from Danish Crown itself rather than an independent body.

The case was brought by two NGOs, the Vegetarian Society of Denmark and the Climate Movement Association, which claimed that Danish Crown’s accompanying ad campaign also qualified as greenwashing because of the phrase “more climate-friendly than you think.”

At the time, the court found that this second claim was backed up well enough to use legally. It cited data on Danish consumers incorrectly believing that pork emitted the same amount of greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs) as beef, which has a considerably larger impact.

However, Danish Crown has now released a statement acknowledging that both the label and the marketing slogan were used misleadingly. “Danish Crown accepts that, when we used the aforementioned statements, we did not comply with the requirements of the marketing law, and also accepts a ban on using these statements in any marketing going forward,” the company said.

Danish Crown admits using greenwashing

In a statement, Rune-Christoffer Dragsdahl, the general secretary of the Vegetarian Society of Denmark, welcomed Danish Crown’s statement as a “great victory.”

“Pork production is incredibly climate-damaging,” said Dragsdahl. “Not least because of the massive deforestation taking place to feed millions of pigs with soy. Instead, we should reduce meat production, plant more trees, and re-establish forests to buy us valuable time to halt the dramatic climate changes we are all facing.”

As noted by the Western High Court, pork does emit fewer emissions than beef, and more than chicken. However, all three animal proteins emit considerably more than equivalent plant-based foods. Furthermore, environmental factors such as pig lagoons mean that intensive pork production has other enormous, far-reaching negative effects on the planet.

The court has ordered Danish Crown to pay some of the legal costs incurred by the case, around €40,000 (just under USD $42,700).

The Danish government is currently debating whether to levy additional CO2 taxes on animal farming due to its high emissions, something that Danish Crown has opposed.

In the US, New York State is in the process of suing JBS – the single largest meat processing enterprise in the world – for greenwashing claims about its business practices.

JBS says it aims to reach net-zero GHG emissions by 2040, but simultaneously plans to increase its meat production, which critics believe are two mutually exclusive goals.

The Institute for Agriculture & Trade Policy (IATP) estimates that JBS reached 421.6 million metric tons of GHGs in 2021. (According to the EPA’s equivalencies calculator, that’s the equivalent emissions of approximately 47,372,566,670 gallons of gasoline.)

Original source: https://plantbasednews.org

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