The USDA has removed a controversial online newsletter encouraging its employees to embrace the “Meatless Monday” campaign. “One simple way to reduce your environmental impact while dining at (USDA’s) cafeterias is to participate in the “Meatless Monday” initiative,” according to the unauthorized newsletter.

“An item in a USDA internal online newsletter about Meatless Monday was not cleared and now has been removed," according to a statement from the National Pork Producers Council (NPPC). “USDA does not endorse "Meatless Mondays."

The newsletter was removed Wednesday after a flurry of objections from livestock groups, including the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA).

“USDA was created to provide a platform to promote and sustain rural America in order to feed the world,” said NCBA President J.D. Alexander in a statement prior to the removal of the newsletter. “This move by USDA should be condemned by anyone who believes agriculture is fundamental to sustaining life on this planet.”

The newsletter assailed the livestock industry while linking it to climate change. “The production of meat, especially beef (and dairy as well), has a large environmental impact,” it said. “According to the U.N., animal agriculture is a major source of greenhouse gases and climate change. It also wastes resources.”

Sen. Jerry Moran, R-Kan., was quick to call on USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack to explain the comments found in the newsletter. In a delivery on the Senate floor, Moran asked if it was USDA policy to  discourage consumption of "American grown meat,” according to a Fox News report. Read more.