Beef Production Facts—Keeping Consumers Informed
American consumers deserve to know the facts. Unfortunately, overall public perception regarding several of today’s most controversial issues appears to be deeply rooted in advocacy community-based scare tactics.
Here are the answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about U.S. beef production. Facts can be easily twisted into fiction. This Q & A provides American consumers with scientifically-proven facts in an attempt to debunk the myths that are being circulated. If your question is not answered here, please feel free to contact us.
From Carbon Monoxide (CO) to Mad Cow Disease to Depletion of the Rainforests to Air Quality, these are the most frequently asked questions.
Carbon Monoxide (CO) and Beef
Is Modified Atmosphere Packaging (MAP) technology safe?
Yes. Many food products—including some meat products—are packaged with a small amount of gas to maintain their fresh color and extend shelf life. From salad mixes to bottled water, the use of this modified atmosphere packaging (MAP) technology has been used safely for years.
Have there been any reports of American consumers eating MAP-treated meat and becoming sick?
No. There have been no reports of American consumers eating spoiled MAP-treated beef and becoming sick. All packaged beef, MAP-treated or not, contains a “sell-by-date” label. Consumers would be able to tell if the meat was spoiled by the bulging package, rancid odor or slimy texture. purchase thesis and get all the free time in the world so that you can relax and have fun!
How does Modified Atmosphere Packaging (MAP) technology affect meat?
MAP technologies don’t “add” color to meat. They don’t modify bacterial growth and don’t mask spoilage. They simply form a more stable color and avoid premature browning of meat due to oxygenation.
Mad Cow Disease
What is Mad Cow Disease?
Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE) is the Scientific name for Mad Cow Disease. It is a slowly progressive, degenerative, fatal disease affecting the central nervous system of adult cattle.
What causes BSE?
The exact cause of BSE is not known but it is generally accepted by the scientific community that infectious forms of a type of protein, prions, normally found in animals cause BSE. In cattle with BSE, these abnormal prions initially occur in the small intestines and tonsils, and are found in central nervous tissues, such as the brain and spinal cord, and other tissues of infected animals experiencing later stages of the disease.
Does BSE affect people?
There is a disease similar to BSE called Creutzfeldt-Jacob Disease (CJD) that is found in people. A variant form of CJD (vCJD) is believed to be caused by eating contaminated beef products from BSE-affected cattle. To date, there have been 155 confirmed and probable cases of vCJD worldwide among the hundreds of thousands of people that may have consumed BSE-contaminated beef products. The one reported case of vCJD in the United States is in a young woman who contracted the disease while residing in the UK and developed symptoms after moving to the U.S.
The Rain Forests
Why are cattle blamed for the destruction of rainforests?
The expansion of frontiers in places like Brazil is the reason the press has linked rain forests to beef production. Brazil’s military government offered a subsidy to help “populate its frontiers” for national security in the 1970s. Due to this ill-advised Brazilian government subsidy, portions of the Amazon rain forest were cleared for farmland in the 1970s and 1980s. Because grasses grown on rain forest soil make such poor cattle pasture, the subsidy was paid on only 1.5% of the Amazon’s rain forest area over a period of 16 years. The rate of deforestation slowed when the subsidy ended, but population growth and the need for modernization pressured the Brazilian government to allow infrastructure improvements which, unfortunately, may result in continued deforestation. write my essays
In places like Central America, nearly all of the rain forest land where cattle are being raised was originally cleared for crops, but was unable to support cropping. The already-cleared land was then converted to pasture for cattle grazing. The rain forests were not deliberately or specifically cleared to satisfy the beef requirements of American consumers.
“Seldom have forests been cut to pasture cattle, for a very good reason: cattle don’t generate more profit than trees.” —Dr. Dennis T. Avery, the Hudson Institute
Is there a relationship between U.S. beef consumption and tropical deforestation ?
Simply put—No. Less than 1% of the total U.S. beef supply in 2001 was imported from “rain forest countries,” i.e., South and Central America. The largest fast-food chains in the United States have long had policies against buying beef from rain forest countries. By no means is it necessary for cattle to graze deforested tropical land to meet the needs of American consumers.
Are the types of particulate matter generated through rural activities like agriculture damaging to consumer health ?
No. For over 30 years, health experts have agreed that the level of coarse particulate matter (coarse PM) in the air, or ‘dust in the wind,’ remaining in the air after most agriculture operations apply best practices to minimize dust does not present health concerns. In fact, agricultural dust has been excluded from regulation in the past because it is generally known to be harmless.
Is beef the primary reason for the high atmospheric methane concentrations which have nearly tripled since they began rising a century ago?
No. Landfills are the #1 source of methane emissions. Landfills, natural gas and oil systems and coal mining were responsible for nearly 2/3 of U.S. methane emissions in 2003. As for pollution and ozone depletion, the focus should be on total Greenhouse Gases. Methane produced by all domestic livestock accounted for less than 3% (2.5%) of the total U.S. greenhouse gas emissions in 2003. The EPA reported that in 2003 methane emissions from all sources of GHG only accounted for 9 percent. Additionally, methane emissions decreased 10% between 1990 and 2003.