AHDB pushes back on Chris Packham's 'propaganda' accusation

Monday, 29 January 2024

The new year saw the launch of our rebranded marketing campaign Let's Eat Balanced, and with it came accusations from Chris Packham – labelling it as "dangerous propaganda" that "goes against all scientific advice".

Posting on X (formerly Twitter) on 19 January, the BBC presenter tagged actor Richard Ayoade, who lends his voice to the latest TV ads, claiming he'd been conned by "this cynical and dangerous propaganda [which] is harmful beyond your worst nightmare".

As an evidence-based organisation, the allegation is hard to ignore. This is especially so because all the claims made within the Let's Eat Balanced campaign go through stringent checks by AHDB’s experts and are reviewed by the Advertising Standards Authority to ensure upmost accuracy and correctness. We play by the rules.

As a non-departmental public body, adhering to the evidence, governing guidelines and AHDB’s own legislative stature is paramount in retaining its integrity.

In response, we have highlighted our dedication to being evidence based, the failure by many to recognise the value of livestock in producing plant-based foods sustainability and invited Mr Packham on farm. Our door is always open.

We have also made a formal complaint to the BBC, as we feel it is important to raise the question about whether Mr Packham should be able to make such claims when regularly working for a flagship broadcaster that prides itself on its impartiality.

Let's Eat Balanced is a highly effective campaign which informs consumers of the health, production standards and environmental credentials of British beef, lamb and dairy.

Its messaging and claims are formed from best evidence and having best impact on consumer attitudes.

We are committed to protecting and promoting the reputation of British agriculture; read our raft of misinformation challenges for more details.

If you have anything you’d like our experts to check, email adcheck@ahdb.org.uk.