Beef checkoff calls for action against anti-meat rhetoric

by Bryan Salvage
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CENTENNIAL, COLO. — Recent media reports have focused on humane animal handling practices in the meat and poultry industry as well as the industry’s environmental impact. While most beef and dairy producers work the land and cattle in environmentally sound and caring ways, many of the attacks are not based on facts or science but rather unfounded charges and emotional pleas, the beef checkoff charges.

As a result, the beef checkoff is urging beef producers to tell their story. Starting Nov. 16, the checkoff-funded issues and reputation management team is working to organize a one-week ‘food fight’ to activate beef producers and dairy farmers to speak up and help Americans learn the truth of the matter. "You need to get your voice heard in the debate and put a face on your industry," the beef checkoff told producers in a news release.

Although the beef checkoff shares scientific results of research about beef products and safety, more needs to be done against the onslaught of Internet and other electronic platforms that allow anti-meat forces to instantly spread information. In most cases, people delivering the anti-beef messages don't know what it’s like to be a farmer or rancher, and they are contributing to the ignorance about how beef producers raise their food, according to the beef checkoff.

"We cannot leave consumers on their own to dig through the clutter and draw their own conclusions," read a statement from the checkoff. "And checkoff-funded research shows consumers have faith in producers — so your stories represent one of the best ways to show consumers the truth about how you raise your animals."

The beef checkoff is urging U.S. beef producers to send e-mails and letters to the editor, post on Facebook and Twitter, place ads in local newspapers or online and to send other ideas and messages they might want to deliver.

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