The Center for Consumer Freedom posted a commentary that criticizes the Physician’s Committee for Responsible Medicine for their latest The Cancer Project “stunt” featuring a commercial against processed meats in schools.
In a post to its Health Facts and Fears blog, the American Council on Science and Health (ACSH) has criticized the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine’s (PCRM) attack on processed meats in school meals. After noting that PCRM is a “misleadingly” named group of “animal rights activists”, the post concludes:
While no responsible nutrition professional would advocate feeding children processed meats in large amounts every day, moderate amounts won’t harm them — and who can go to a ballgame and resist the hot dogs that make the day complete? Lighten up, PCRM. The reports you cited are certainly not the final word on cancer causation, and it is not necessary to go vegan in order to be healthy.
The Center for Consumer Freedom posted a commentary that criticizes the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine not only for advocating vegan diets for children, but also for “capitalizing” on the recent death of former White House press secretary Tony Snow for political gain.
Agribusiness Freedom Foundation
by Steve Dittmer
June 30, 2008
The Humane Society of the U.S. (HSUS) has implied that a packer violated national school lunch meat supply rules apparently just because the packer sometimes bought cattle at an auction market at which an alleged HSUS video showed downer cattle being mistreated.
Akin to branding everyone who drives down a certain street as wrongdoers just because some people commit crimes on that street, HSUS could easily find itself the target of a lawsuit for their stunt at a news conference last week.
HSUS has evidently decided that kids and the national school lunch program is an emotional key they can use in attacking America’s beef production system. But after months of undercover surveillance, unable to establish links between its auction videos and the school lunch program, HSUS concocted an elaborately contrived propaganda stunt at a media conference to suggest a “link,” even after admitting that is has no evidence.
In true tabloid-style, sensationalist fudging, HSUS referenced its video clips allegedly obtained at a livestock market in Portales, N.M. showing sick and/or injured animals - “downers” — being improperly handled at the market. Then it recounted the Hallmark/Westland case of a slaughter facility mishandling animals and allegations that downer animals entered the supply chain of Hallmark’s school lunch contract. HSUS then mentioned that Caviness Packing of Hereford, Tx. sometimes buys cattle from Portales and that Caviness’ Palo Duro division is now the largest school lunch ground beef provider since Hallmark is out of business — for which HSUS takes credit.
All this under a subheadline reading, “Offenders Include Suppliers to the National School Lunch Program.”
Of course, HSUS does not mention that even in the Hallmark case, the recall was based on the potential that some downer cattle that had passed initial inspection were slaughtered for the school lunch program — not proof made public that any did. HSUS also referred incorrectly to Palo Duro as the top school lunch program supplier.
Kansas City Star
By DAN THOMSON
June 10, 2008
Animal welfare and husbandry are cornerstones of raising efficient, healthy cattle. Today we have often confused animal welfare with animal abuse. Distinction between the two is imperative for the beef industry and beef consumers.
Kansas State University is improving the communication among producers, regulatory officials, veterinarians, nutritionists and consumers with the International Beef Cattle Welfare Symposium that took place from May 28 to 30.
We are excited that more than 250 people from around the world attended, with even more people signed for a live Webcast.
Strong interest demonstrates that people in the beef cattle industry are interested in understanding more about cattle welfare and how these practices will improve our industry biologically and economically.
We are fortunate that they came to Kansas to discuss the future directions for best practices and the future of cattle health and well-being.
No one cares more about cattle than beef producers. The health and well-being of their animals impacts profitability and is part of providing safe, wholesome food. Anybody who has been associated with raising livestock understands firsthand the connection ranchers and beef producers have with the cattle they care for daily.
Elko Daily Free Press
By DAN L. GRALIAN
May 23, 2008
As a livestock producer, I am not an “animal rights activist.” But, I am an advocate for proper care and handling of livestock - and for that matter all animals in general.
When the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) released a film they had taken with a hidden camera of a “downer” cow being abused by employees of the Hallmark/Westland packing plant in California, we all said it was deplorable but an “isolated” incident.
As it turns out, we were wrong.
As part of the organization’s ongoing investigation, the HSUS sent camera carrying undercover investigators to four livestock auction barns in four states - Maryland, New Mexico, Texas and Pennsylvania.
They selected the Texas auction barn because they had received a complaint. They had long-standing concerns about the Pennsylvania facility and the New Mexico auction barn was chosen for its close proximity to the feedlots. Maryland was selected because it was close to Washington, D.C.
The HSUS claims it found cases of downer cow abuses at all four locations. And I believe the HSUS. I saw the photographs it posted on its Web page. In one case in Westminster, Md., a downer cow was left lying unattended outside a sale barn area even after they closed for the night. The next day the HSUS investigator called the local humane society to dispatch the animal with a firearm and put her out of her misery.
You can see this footage and more on the Web site www.hsus.org.
I am embarrassed! I am ashamed! And I am outraged!
By Joanna Pearlstein
May 19, 2008
The path to virtue, we all know, begins with organics. Meat, milk, fruit, veggies — organic products are good for our bodies and good for the planet. Except when they’re not good for the planet. Because while there may be sound health reasons to avoid eating pesticide-laden food, and perhaps personal arguments for favoring the organic-farmers’ collective, the truth is that when it comes to greenhouse gases, organics can be part of the problem.
Take milk. Dairy cows raised on organic feed aren’t pumped full of hormones. That means they produce less milk per Holstein — about 8 percent less than conventionally raised cattle. So it takes 25 organic cows to make as much milk as 23 industrial ones. More cows, more cow emissions. But that’s just the beginning. A single organically raised cow puts out 16 percent more greenhouse gases than its counterpart. That double whammy — more cows and more emissions per cow — makes organic dairies a cog in the global warming machine.
How about that burger? Organic beef steers take longer to achieve slaughter weight, which gives them more time to emit polluting methane. And if you’re eating hamburgers made from grass-fed cattle, don’t award yourself any prizes just yet. While pastured beef offers some environmental benefit — these cows don’t require carbon-intensive corn for feed, and the land they graze stores carbon more efficiently than land used for crops or left alone — they’re burping up nearly twice as much methane as cattle fed grain diets, according to the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization. If you really want to adopt a climate-friendly diet, cut out meat entirely. Researchers at the University of Chicago showed that the meat-intensive diet of the average American generates 1.5 more tons of greenhouse gases per year than the diet of a vegetarian.
But even organic fruits and veggies are a mixed bushel: Organic fertilizers deliver lower-than-average yields, so those crops require more land per unit of food. And then there’s the misplaced romanticism. Organic isn’t just Farmer John; it’s Big Ag. Plenty of pesticide-free foods are produced by industrial-scale farms and then shipped thousands of miles to their final destination. The result: refrigerator trucks belching carbon dioxide.
Organic produce can be good for the climate, but not if it’s grown in energy-dependent hothouses and travels long distances to get to your fridge. What matters is eating food that’s locally grown and in season. So skip the prewashed bag of organic greens trucked from two time zones away — the real virtue may come from that conventionally farmed head of lettuce grown in the next county.