In an open letter to the corporation, the UK’s three meat promotion bodies, AHDB, QMS and HCC, claimed that information given out in the programme that eating meat was worse than travelling by car was “incorrect, misleading and based on widely-debunked data”.
They added: “This unbalanced reporting risks compromising the integrity of the red meat produced in the UK to the consumers of the future.”
Stressing that the BBC had a responsibility to provide an impartial argument, they said the show had used simplistic methods using global data which was not representative of the UK’s red meat industry and urged that the practices of the British red meat industry, which they said was amongst the most sustainable in the world, be highlighted.
In a separate complaint, the National Beef Association (NBA) went further, claiming that the BBC had stooped to new depths in attempting to direct children in a way that could be harmful to their health and growth.
NBA chief executive Neil Shand said attempts to influence the diet of young children away from valuable food sources was a continuation of personal agendas by some within what he termed the “Beef Bashing Corporation”.
A BBC spokesperson said: 'We are not asking Blue Peter viewers to give up meat”, adding i website had been updated to reflect that buying seasonal food or local grass-fed meat could also make a difference to climate change.