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Mitloehner: Burger King campaign is ‘premature, misguided’

Dr. Frank Mitloehner

Burger King’s new marketing campaign on how it plans to reduce methane emissions from cows is drawing fire from many different directions.

University of California-Davis air quality specialist Dr. Frank Mitloehner says, for starters, Burger King’s claim that lemongrass will reduce methane emissions in cows by 33 percent is “premature” because the research hasn’t been peer reviewed.

“They quoted two sources. One is a UC-Davis study that was conducted by a colleague of mine who had inconclusive findings—so he did not confirm those reductions,” Mitloehner says. “The other study was a study from Mexico, and investigators there had not published that research yet. So those claims are not based on anything published in the literature. That’s disconcerting and premature.”

As for the campaign’s focus on cow flatulence, Mitloehner says it is not only factually inaccurate, it also turns an important climate topic into a joke.

“They’re trying to be funny by making this discussion about cow farts and have then been quoted as cow farts being a key contributor to climate change. That’s just making an important topic, which is greenhouse gases and their impact on the climate, a laughingstock—and themselves too, by the way, because nobody takes them seriously.”

Mitloehner says he does give Burger King some credit for trying to address the issue of methane emissions. But, in a blog post, he says their marketing campaign is “misguided” and “a bit juvenile”.

AUDIO: Dr. Frank Mitloehner

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