WASHINGTON — The new “Meat MythCrushers” campaign was launched May 3 by the American Meat Institute in conjunction with the American Meat Science Association in an effort to reconnect Americans to modern food production and to disprove myths associated with meat and poultry today.

This campaign centers on a new website, http://www.meatmythcrushers.com/, which features science-based information and resources in response to some of the most popular meat and poultry myths held by consumers. Topics such as food safety, production methods, nutrition and animal welfare are covered, as identified by an AMI consumer poll conducted by Harris Interactive.

“When the U.S. Department of Agriculture was created by Congress in 1862, it was called ‘The People’s Department’ because nine out of 10 Americans lived on a farm,” said Janet Riley, AMI senior vice president of public affairs. “Today, fewer than 5 percent of Americans live on farms and the majority are separated from farming by multiple generations. This means that for many people, the news media, books and movies are their sources for information about how America’s food is produced. By using scientific experts, we hope this campaign will help educate people about the miracle that our modern food production system really is.”

Featured on the website are 12 videos with AMSA academic experts debunking the myths for consumers in a clear and comprehensible manner, according to a news release. A companion brochure, including detailed references to support statements, is also available on the website.

“When it comes to food and agriculture, answers to questions about food safety, nutrition or animal welfare, some of the ‘conventional wisdom’ commonly found on the internet and in popular media often isn’t the ‘accurate wisdom,’” said Thomas Powell, Ph.D, AMSA executive director. “We hope this campaign will highlight for consumers that animal and meat science departments at universities can be useful resources when information seems confusing or unclear. The scientists at these institutions have committed their careers to keeping our food supply safe, nutritious and sustainable.”

A Meat MythCrushers Facebook page, http://on.fb.me/eTuuAG, was also launched May 3. It is designed to serve as a forum to encourage dialogue about these meat and poultry myths. A new myth will be featured and discussed on the page each week for the next three and a half months.