New York Initiates Lawsuit Against JBS, World’s Largest Meatpacker

JBS USA Location (Credits: JBS USA)

The state of New York has initiated legal action against the US arm of JBS, the world’s largest meatpacker, alleging deceptive practices regarding its climate objectives, notably its goal to achieve net zero carbon neutrality by 2040.

Letitia James, New York’s attorney general, filed the lawsuit, contending that JBS USA had consistently promoted sustainability claims that could mislead consumers into thinking they were supporting environmentally friendly practices by purchasing its products, particularly beef.

According to James, the company’s “environmental greenwashing exploits the pocketbooks of everyday Americans and the promise of a healthy planet for future generations.”

Contrary to its assertions, the lawsuit argues that JBS “has had no viable plan to meet its commitment to be net zero by 2040.”

New York seeks remedies, including disgorgement of profits gained through deceptive practices and penalties for violations.

Responding to the allegations, a JBS spokeswoman expressed disagreement with the attorney general’s portrayal of the company’s sustainability commitments.

She affirmed JBS’s dedication to collaborating with stakeholders globally to address environmental concerns while meeting the growing demand for food.

JBS, controlled by Brazil’s Batista brothers, holds a dominant position in the global beef market, operating in the US, Australia, and Canada. Its US operations alone have the capacity to process substantial volumes of livestock weekly.

The company’s plan to list its US arm on the New York Stock Exchange faces opposition from environmental groups, citing concerns over links to Amazon deforestation. Additionally, a bipartisan group of US senators has urged scrutiny of JBS’s environmental assertions.

JBS Foods Logo (Credits: JBS)

The lawsuit highlights JBS’s significant greenhouse gas emissions and emphasizes the environmental impact of beef production, which is a leading source of greenhouse gases among major food commodities.

The legal action references a JBS advertisement in the New York Times and statements by the company’s US CEO regarding its net zero commitment, portraying these as deceptive advertising practices.

Glenn Hurowitz, CEO of Mighty Earth, underscored JBS’s environmental impact, citing deforestation and methane emissions, calling attention to its substantial climate footprint.

Nate O'Hara
Nathan is a seasoned commerce writer with a passion for unraveling the intricacies of the business world and distilling them into engaging narratives. During his academic journey, he delved deep into subjects like economics, marketing, and entrepreneurship, honing his analytical skills and developing a keen understanding of market dynamics.