New York sues major beef producer over greenwashing claims

By Rebekah Alvey | 02/29/2024 01:47 PM EST

The state attorney general accused JBS of activity that “exploits the pocketbooks of everyday Americans.”

New York Attorney General Letitia James speaks outside New York Supreme Court.

New York Attorney General Letitia James (D). John Lamparski/AFP via Getty Images

New York’s top attorney has filed a lawsuit alleging that a major beef producer has misled the public about its greenhouse gas emissions.

JBS USA, a subsidiary of one of the world’s largest beef producers, has claimed it will achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2040 — but it has not calculated its total emissions, and the company plans to ramp up production, which will likely increase its carbon footprint, according to the lawsuit filed Wednesday in the New York Supreme Court.
lawsuit filed Wednesday

“As families continue to face the daily impacts of the climate crisis, they are willing to spend more of their hard-earned money on products from brands that are better for the environment,” said New York Attorney General Letitia James (D) in a press release. “JBS USA’s greenwashing exploits the pocketbooks of everyday Americans and the promise of a healthy planet for future generations.”


The Brazil-based company has made its net-zero goal part of its marketing strategy, with no viable plan to reach that target, according to the lawsuit. The filing says JBS has said it made the pledge without calculating the majority of its emissions from its supply chain, including those from deforestation in the Amazon.