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Kamala Harris co-sponsored a bill to protect workers at meatpacking plants from the spread of COVID-19.
Harris said the government should offer incentives and dietary guidelines to reduce the consumption of meat, but she didn’t say she wants to eliminate beef altogether.
Hundreds of Facebook users have shared a post that says that Kamala Harris, presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden’s running mate, wants to put an end to beef production.
The post shows a picture of meat and claims that the California senator worked with Democratic Sen. Cory Booker of New Jersey to go after animal agriculture.
"Kamala Harris wants to eliminate this right here. If you raise beef or eat beef, you can't vote (for) the Democratic Party this election. She has worked with Cory Booker on eliminating animal agriculture and is on record starting that meat is killing the planet. That shows her ignorance," the post says.
The post was flagged as part of Facebook’s efforts to combat false news and misinformation on its News Feed. (Read more about our partnership with Facebook.)
Despite what this post alleges, Harris hasn’t said she wants to eliminate beef.
In July, Booker, who is a vegan, introduced legislation to protect workers at meatpacking plants, which became deadly hot spots amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The bill would suspend waivers and rules that permit companies to ramp up production, and Harris was one of its cosponsors.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimated in July that 16,233 COVID-19 cases in 239 meat and poultry processing facilities were reported in 23 states across the country.
It’s not just Facebook users who are weighing in on Harris’ policy recommendations for meat consumption and production.
President Donald Trump’s YouTube account recently shared a video clip from Harris at a CNN climate change town hall during the Democratic primaries in September 2019. At an August 2020 speech in Iowa, Vice President Mike Pence criticized her town hall remarks and said, "We’re not going to let Joe Biden and Kamala Harris cut America’s meat."
But Pence’s statements were misleading. Here’s what Harris said at the town hall.
"As a nation, we actually have to have a real priority at the highest level of government around what we eat and in terms of healthy eating," Harris said in response to a question at the CNN town hall.
The agriculture sector contributed 10% of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions in 2018, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. Cattle produce methane, a potent greenhouse gas, as part of their digestive process, and the management of manure can also add to emissions.
Harris added that the government should create incentives and change dietary guidelines to reduce the consumption of red meat, as opposed to banning it altogether.
"I love cheeseburgers from time to time," Harris said.
A viral Facebook post says that Kamala Harris wants to eliminate beef.
Harris didn’t say that. She and Cory Booker support legislation that would prevent meatpacking companies from ramping up production, but they didn’t propose eliminating beef. Harris even said that she enjoys a cheeseburger every now and then.
We rate this post False.
Facebook post, Aug. 11, 2020
YouTube, Kamala says she would change the dietary guidelines to reduce the amount of red meat you can eat, Aug. 12, 2020
CNN, CNN’s climate crisis town hall, Sept. 5, 2019
Political Transcript Wire, CNN Climate Crisis Town Hall with Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA), Presidential Candidate, Sept. 5, 2020
Tweet by The Hill, Aug. 13, 2020
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Update: COVID-19 Among Workers in Meat and Poultry Processing Facilities, July 10, 2020
Environmental Protection Agency, Sources of Greenhouse Gas Emissions, accessed Aug. 14, 2020
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