From the Right



The Left's Beef With Beef

: Betsy Mccaughey on

New York State Attorney General Letitia James has a beef with beef.

This week James sued the JBS USA Food Company, the U.S. subsidiary of the world's largest beef producer, accusing it of "fraudulent and illegal business activities" and demanding "disgorgement of all profits and ill-gotten gains."

Disregard the inflammatory language. James' lawsuit is frivolous -- a mere publicity stunt.

James is using the state's legal apparatus to punish individuals and industries unpopular with the Left -- sacrificing the rule of law in the process.

If she can make the Empire State into a living hell for beef producers, she can do it to any other industry. Her politically motivated legal attacks will scare companies out of New York. Your business or job could be next.

Already, James has used the powers of her office to go after Donald Trump and the National Rifle Association. Now she's targeting a beef producer. What's next? Furriers, car dealerships, Big Pharma, pro-life groups, friends of Israel, companies that donate to Republicans?


Most of James' 38-page legal complaint is a rant against beef, not JBS specifically. "Beef has the highest total greenhouse gas emissions of any major food commodity, and beef production is linked to large-scale deforestation, especially in the Amazon rainforest."

New York is a long way from the Brazilian rainforests or even JBS's U.S. operations in Colorado. So how does she justify a New York lawsuit? She accuses JBS of fraud for telling New York consumers that the company aspires to be "Net Zero by 2040."

The fraud charge is ridiculous. Labelling chuck steak as filet mignon would be fraud because it would misrepresent the product being sold. But saying you aspire to be net zero 20 years from now is not fraud.

Half the world's 2,000 largest publicly listed corporations state that they aspire to be net zero by 2040, but very few have concrete plans on how to get there, according to Net Zero Tracker. The technology hasn't been developed to do it affordably. An aspiration is not a legal commitment.


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