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Meat And Dairy Corporations Could Soon Beat Oil As World's Worst Polluters

By Kristin Hunt

Bad news, bacon fans: meat and dairy producers are poised to become the globe’s biggest polluters. According to a new report from GRAIN and the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy (IATP), the 35 largest meat and dairy corporations could take that title “within the next few decades” unless they dramatically reduce production.

The research found that the five biggest corporations — Tyson, Cargill, JBS, Dairy Farmers of America, and Fonterra — already contribute more greenhouse gas emissions annually than ExxonMobil, Shell, or BP. And they’re doing very little to change that. GRAIN and IATP report that only half of the top 35 meat and dairy companies have announced any concrete emissions targets, and that most fail to report their emissions accurately. 

“The industrial livestock and dairy sectors are major contributors to climate change, but they have generally escaped scrutiny because they either don’t collect information about their impacts, or they don’t take credible action on the basis of what they know,” Oliver De Schutter, a former UN special rapporteur on the right to food, says in the press release.