Universiteit Leiden

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Institute of Environmental Sciences (CML)

Academics requesting retraction of FAO report that misrepresents their research

Paul Behrens (Leiden University) and Matthew Hayek (New York University) have responded to an FAO report on livestock pathways which misrepresented the potential for dietary change to reduce emissions from the food system. The authors have sent a letter to the FAO calling for an urgent retraction on the basis of numerous framing, methodological, and data errors.

The errors, which arise in part from a misuse of Behrens' and Hayek's previous analyses, result in the FAO estimating an emission reduction between 6 to 40 times lower than the scientific consensus. Multiple modelling studies using different approaches find that dietary change is the largest opportunity for reducing many environmental pressures from the food system.

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