The North American Meat Institute (NAMI) sent a letter to New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio urging him to reverse his decision to implement ‘Meatless Mondays’ in more than 1,800 New York City public schools. The letter, written by NAMI’s president and CEO Julie Anna Potts, disputes claims made by policymakers justifying the decision and expressed concerns over the nutritional consequences this decision would have on New York City students. This new policy, Potts says, ignores nutritional benefits of meat and poultry products and notes the products are an affordable option for school cafeterias, compared to the plant-based alternatives. Potts also disputed claims that the decision was made for environmental reasons, citing EPA’s greenhouse gas emission reports and a USDA Agricultural Research Service (ARS) report attributing only 3.3 percent of GHGs to cattle production compared to 56 percent of GHGs to transportation and energy production. Potts urged the city to look closer at improving its utilization and efficiency in those areas and said no one should be denied the right to consume meat. “Meatless Monday is troubling because, besides lacking a scientific foundation, it is about denying choice," Potts said. "Those who choose to consume meat and poultry because it is a known and trusted source of affordable, wholesome, and delicious nutrition should not be denied that option based on bureaucratic fiat.”
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