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Farmers force BBC to remove ‘biased’ show about meat production from iPlayer 

Farmers force BBC to remove ‘biased’ show about meat production from iPlayer

  • Corporation admitted analysis on programme fell below impartiality standards
  • Programme was judged to have given viewers a partial analysis on farming 
  • National Farmers Union complained that BBC made it seem like UK beef was farmed using ‘intensive methods’ used in the US and South America 

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A BBC documentary about the environmental damage caused by meat production was removed from iPlayer yesterday after farmers claimed it was biased.

The corporation admitted the analysis offered on the BBC1 programme Meat: A Threat To Our Planet? ‘fell below the BBC’s standards of impartiality’.

The programme, presented by Liz Bonnin, was judged to have given viewers a ‘partial analysis of the impact of livestock farming’ based ‘almost exclusively on intensive farming methods’.

Miss Bonnin had visited farms in the United States and South America for the broadcast last November. 

A BBC documentary about the environmental damage caused by meat production was removed from iPlayer yesterday after farmers claimed it was biased

The National Farmers Union complained, pointing out that most beef on sale in the UK came from British farms using less intensive methods. There were also concerns that different viewpoints were not aired on the show.

At one point Miss Bonnin asked ‘should we just stop eating meat?’ and ended the programme with a ‘call to action’.

NFU chief Minette Batters said: ‘Today’s result provides true vindication on the points we made.

‘British farmers are rightly proud of the work they do to rear quality livestock and care for the environment and they were angry and hurt by the false impression of UK livestock farming the programme created for the viewer at home.’ 

The corporation admitted the analysis offered on the BBC1 programme Meat: A Threat To Our Planet? 'fell below the BBC's standards of impartiality'

The corporation admitted the analysis offered on the BBC1 programme Meat: A Threat To Our Planet? ‘fell below the BBC’s standards of impartiality’

The programme, presented by Liz Bonnin, was judged to have given viewers a 'partial analysis of the impact of livestock farming' based 'almost exclusively on intensive farming methods'

The programme, presented by Liz Bonnin, was judged to have given viewers a ‘partial analysis of the impact of livestock farming’ based ‘almost exclusively on intensive farming methods’

She added: ‘UK grass-based systems are incomparable with the intensive feedlot style systems shown on the programme, and it is fantastic to see that being recognised today.’

The BBC complaint unit said: ‘As a result, viewers received a partial analysis of the impact of livestock farming on the global environment and biodiversity, based almost exclusively on intensive farming methods and of limited application to the choices open to UK consumers.

‘In the judgement of the ECU, this fell below the BBC’s standards of impartiality in relation to controversial subjects.’ The finding has been reported to the Board of BBC Content and ‘discussed with the programme-makers concerned’.

Further complaints about accuracy in the programme were not upheld.

A BBC spokesman said ‘we note the findings’ as it emerged the programme had been taken down more than a month before the 12 month period it would usually be kept on iPlayer for.

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk


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