McDonald’s recently found itself on the losing end of a legal fight over a misleading ad about its meat, according to an animal advocacy group.
The ad, which claimed that the beef used in the popular Quarter Pounder burger was sourced sustainably, was not entirely accurate.
Animal Justice, an animal law advocacy organization, claimed McDonald’s was exhorting customers about its Quarter Pounder hamburger through the ad, prompting an investigation by federal authorities.
In fine print, McDonald’s admits that the beef used in the Quarter Pounder is only 30% sustainably sourced. The Canadian Roundtable for Sustainable Beef is the organization that certified McDonald’s. Animal Justice also claims this group is guilty of washing consumers green on beef.
Animal Justice asked the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) and the Competition Bureau to investigate the ads.
“Beef is not green, and trying to mislead consumers into thinking otherwise may be false advertising, which is illegal,” said Camille Labchuk, attorney and CEO of Animal Justice.
“Raising cows for food is a major factor in man-made climate change, as well as in water pollution and loss of biodiversity,” he added.
According to Animal Justice, which cites estimates from a science-based emissions report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), animal agriculture produces about 14.5% of global greenhouse gas emissions. This is roughly the same as the entire transportation sector.
Due to the investigation, which was conducted by the CFIA, as well as a conversation between the CFIA and the fast food giant, McDonald’s stopped running the ad.
Update: In a statement to Daily Hive, McDonald’s says, “We are proud of our longstanding commitment to Canadian suppliers, ranchers and farmers who are working to improve sustainability practices in the way beef is produced.”
“From his careful stewardship of the land and animals to implementing leading livestock husbandry practices that help minimize environmental impact, we believe that our foods, including the 100% Canadian meat used in our beef patties, they can be produced in a way that farmers and communities, animals and the planet thrive. “
“To that end, we have been a member of the Canadian Roundtable for Sustainable Beef (CRSB) since 2014 to ensure we meet our commitment to support sustainable beef farming and production.”