A.M.I. defends processed meat on national news

by Meat&Poultry Staff
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WASHINGTON — A recent Harvard School of Public Health study linking processed meats with an increased risk of heart disease and diabetes was disputed by Janet Riley, American Meat Institute (A.M.I.) senior vice-president of public affairs, on World News Tonight with Diane Sawyer last night.

“I'm a little concerned that consumers are getting another case of nutrition whiplash,” Ms. Riley said. “Americans are starting to tune out because one week red wine's good for them, the next week, not so much. One week it's oat bran, the next it's maybe not.”

Also appearing on the segment was Harlan Krumholz, professor of medicine and epidemiology at Yale University School of Medicine. He agreed that moderation of both processed and unprocessed meats contributes to an overall healthy diet.

“This study doesn’t suggest that people should panic if they had a processed meat for lunch or be concerned that they have to cut it out completely,” Krumholz said.

To view the clip, visit: http://abcnews.go.com/WNT/video/skip-dog-burger-10682708.

An extensive quote from the A.M.I. Foundation was also included in a CNN story on the report, which highlighted the meat industry's view, which is different than what was reported in the study.

The CNN piece quoted A.M.I.F. saying, “Meat contains protein, amino acids and essential nutrients like iron and zinc that are the keys to good health and this is just one study from a wealth of research that has clearly demonstrated processed meat is a healthy part of a balanced diet.” The segment was widely picked up by affiliates across the country.

To watch the CNN clip, visit: http://www.cnn.com/video/#/video/health/2010/05/18/hm.meat.risks.cnn?hpt=T2

A.M.I. also provided a statement refuting the study’s findings and a copy of its video, “Processed Meats: New Stories about Old Myths,” to TV Globo, the largest broadcaster in Brazil and Latin America. The story ran on TV Globo’s morning news show on May 19: http://bit.ly/9vQhtZ.
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