A New Zealand farming leader has dismissed a call for the world to give up producing and eating meat as a scare tactic.
A former World Bank economist, Lord Stern, says farming meat is a waste of water and creates a high level of greenhouse gases.
He told The Times newspaper in London that people are increasingly concerned about the carbon emissions of food production and he predicts meat eating will become socially unacceptable.
Federated Farmers says the comments are designed to stir up anxiety ahead of a UN conference on climate change in Copenhagen in December.
President Don Nicolson urges people to sift facts from fiction. He said he's witnessed events such as oil shocks, the Cold War, Y2K and SARS - that were all promoted as "the end is nigh".
He implored people "to separate the wheat from the chaff".
Meanwhile, Meat & Wool New Zealand economist Con Williams says UN figures, suggesting livestock emissions make up 18% of all greenhouse gas emissions, have been proven to be wrong.