Over the weekend, a handful of prominent Republican politicians took to Twitter with alarming claims regarding a supposed proposal from President Joe Biden that would significantly limit the amount of red meat or hamburgers that Americans would be allowed to eat.
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott tweeted a photo of a Fox News graphic that stated the Biden Administration's “climate requirements” would cut Americans’ red meat consumption by 90 percent, limiting Americans to “one burger per month.”
“Not gonna happen in Texas!” Abbott tweeted.
“Idahoans also have beef with this agenda and for dinner!” Idaho Gov. Brad Little added in a retweet.
Former President Donald Trump's oldest son also weighed in on the Fox News graphic.
“I’m pretty sure I ate 4 pounds of red meat yesterday,” Donald Trump Jr. tweeted Saturday. “That’s going to be a hard NO from me.”
Despite the outrage from Republicans, the Biden Administration has not proposed such a ban on meat consumption.
The criticism popped up a day after Biden made a promise during a virtual Earth Day Summit with world leaders that the U.S. would cut fossil fuel emissions by between 50 percent and 52 percent by 2030.
While Biden’s goal is ambitious, the White House offered few specifics on how they planned to reach their goal.
So, where did all the speculation about beef consumption come from?
According to Snopes, a fact-checking organization, the controversy stems from a report in the Daily Mail, a British tabloid. On Friday, the outlet published a piece that speculated how America could reach Biden’s thresholds.
The tabloid cited a 2020 study by the University of Michigan Center for Sustainable Systems, which estimated that if half of animal-based foods were replaced with plant-based alternatives, and beef consumption fell by 90 percent, dietary emissions would drop by 51 percent.
While the study itself noted that it was not designed to show the impact of diet changes on the environment, the Daily Mail included it as a policy suggestion in its piece.
From there, the claim took on a life of its own. Rep. Lauren Boebert, R-Colorado, was one of the first to conflate the Daily Mail suggestion as a legitimate Biden Administration policy. Fox News then created a graphic for a news segment about the Daily Mail's piece and misleadingly labeled it as "Biden's climate requirements."
In addition to Snopes, CNN and The Washington Post have debunked the claims.