Fact Check: WHO Director-General Did NOT Call For Global Transition To Plant-Based Foods

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  • Автор: Lead Stories Staff
Fact Check: WHO Director-General Did NOT Call For Global Transition To Plant-Based Foods Partial Change

Is World Health Organization Director-General Tedros Ghebreyesus advocating a global shift to a plant-based diet in a video? No, that's not true: Pointing to the significant impact of food systems on greenhouse gas emissions and global health, he emphasized the need to transform these systems by promoting healthier, more diverse and plant-based nutrition to mitigate climate change and reduce the burden of disease worldwide. In other words, he urged a partial change.

The claim appeared in a video (archived here) on the TikTok account @belvestnik.bel11 on December 27, 2023. The caption (translated from Russian to English by Lead Stories staff) read:

WHO Director General Tedros Ghebreyesus has declared for a global shift to a plant-based nutrition

This is what the post looked like on TikTok at the time of writing:

WHO Tedros.jpg

(Source: TikTok screenshot taken on Thu Dec 28 12:48:48 2023 UTC)

Russian-speaking media outlets, archived here, here (archived here), or here (archived here), spread this claim.

A search (archived here) for something the head of WHO says in this post -- "Food systems contribute to over 30 percent of greenhouse gas emissions, and account for almost one-third of the global burden of disease" -- found a video message from the official COP28 event (United Nations Climate Change Conference) organized by the Nordic Council of Ministers, Finland and WHO on December 11, 2023. The user took a clip from this video, starting almost from the beginning (the 0:17 mark). The video on TikTok has subtitles at the bottom of the screen in Russian as a translation of the WHO chief's words. The translation is accurate (as verified by Lead Stories staff). The WHO Director-General actually said:

Food systems contribute to over 30 percent of greenhouse gas emissions, and account for almost one-third of the global burden of disease. Transforming food systems is therefore essential, by shifting towards healthier, diversified and more plant-based diets.

Ghebreyesus did not advocate a wholesale switch to a vegetable-only approach, as the video on TikTok claimed in the caption. In the rest of the video, he suggests a shift to a healthier, more varied and plant-based diet.

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