Posts Tagged ‘meat industry’

The legal basis for sustainability in the Dietary Guidelines for Americans

This week, the House Agriculture Committee is holding a hearing on the controversy surrounding the current update to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans. I have written about the meat lobby’s tactics previously, and in May submitted a letter on behalf of plant-based food companies supporting the recommendation to eat less meat and more plants.

Today I am releasing a legal analysis aimed at countering USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack’s claim that the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee went beyond the statutory authority in recommending that sustainability be incorporated into dietary advice. As my analysis shows, the USDA and HHS would be well within its legal authority to include sustainability. In summary:

    • A plain reading of the statute does not preclude sustainability;
    • The Congressional intent was to further a broad agenda on health;
    • Previous DGA versions included issues beyond “nutrition and diet”.

You can download and read the analysis here. Thanks to My Plate, My Planet for supporting this project.

Oct. 7 update: You can also read my op-ed on this topic, published in The Hill.

Tell the feds: “Yes to less meat, more plants”

Science and public health could finally prevail in federal dietary advice

Every five years the federal government updates the Dietary Guidelines for Americans. The idea is to help Americans eat right, while informing nutrition standards for food assistance programs such as school meals. The “Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee” (DGAC) has spent the past two years reviewing research and holding public hearings. The process is rigorous and the committee is not exactly radical.

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Why the Meat Industry is Freaking Out Over Pink Slime

Read my article for VegNews on why it’s time to pull the curtain back on Big Meat even further.

Pink Slime Outrage is Not a Vegetarian Plot

The debate over the use of so-called pink slime in ground beef, what industry refers to as lean finely textured beef, is heating up. Over the weekend, the meat industry hosted a massive picnic in Iowa (with what else, free burgers) to show its support for Beef Products Inc, maker of the filler. The event was held, fittingly, at the Tyson Events Center.

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BPI’s Response to Outrage over Ground Beef? 3 Governors and a T-shirt

In a surreal press conference yesterday, Beef Products Inc took its best shot at making up for its silence during weeks of public lashing over what has been dubbed “pink slime,” an additive in ground beef made through a high-tech process that BPI invented. (See my previous posts here and here.) The event came in the wake of major grocery chains announcing they would stop selling beef containing the filler.

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10 suggestions for female judges for NY Times’ “ethical meat” contest

Yesterday, I wrote about how the New York Times’ contest for meat eaters is great PR for the meat industry. Upon sending that missive to the Times, I had an email exchange with Ariel Kaminer, the paper’s Ethicist columnist, about various aspects of the contest. When I asked why all the judges were male, Kaminer replied that she couldn’t find one female expert in food ethics with a fraction of the name recognition of the men. She argued that the famous male judges would bring far more attention to the contest, and in turn get more people to consider the ethics of meat eating.

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New York Times’ “ethical meat” contest is great PR for meat industry

The New York Times is holding a silly contest for meat-eaters to have their say. Here is my entry.

Was this really a burning problem that needed solving, the lack of justifications to eat meat? What do you suppose has caused America’s love affair with meat in the first place? A rapacious and deceptive industry that has brainwashed people into thinking that life cannot be lived without meat.

It saddens me that given all the pressing problems of our day, many of which caused by excessive meat eating (global warming, contaminated air and water, chronic disease, worker injury, and yes, animal suffering, just to name a few) the Times is promoting such a self-indulgent contest.

I am sure the meat industry is jumping for joy.

Moreover, we don’t need even more ways to polarize people over personal dietary choices. Let’s stop the infighting and focus on the core of the problem: corporate control of the food supply. How about a contest on how to fix that?

Protein propaganda: It’s what’s for dinner

Most vegetarians are tired of being asked, “Where do you get your protein?” by a seemingly concerned family member, friend, or even stranger. I know many vegetarians and none of us have come close to suffering from Kwashiorkor. Never heard of it? It’s a form of malnutrition from lack of protein, found in areas of famine and extreme poverty. Protein deficiency is rare in the developed world, despite a significant portion of the population eschewing meat. So where did this idea come from that vegetarians and vegans are doomed to a life of protein deficiency? Read rest at Grist…

Safe, Organic Animal Foods Too Expensive? Eat Less

In an email exchange with Dr. Richard Raymond over my recent article on the massive Cargill recall of Salmonella-tainted ground turkey, the former head of food safety at USDA warned me that a likely result of tightened food safety laws would be “higher food prices making meat and poultry unaffordable sources of protein to some.” To which I replied: “I have no problem with that.” Read the rest at Food Safety News.

Why the Meat Industry Sells Salmonella

As a lawyer who writes about food policy, one of my biggest frustrations is how reporters often get the law wrong, or omit critical pieces of information. Last week the latest massive food safety recall hit the news – 36 million pounds of ground turkey possibly tainted with Salmonella, courtesy of meat giant Cargill. While some media outlets were asking good questions about why it took the federal government so long to release such vital information (problems began in March), others reported that it’s currently legal to sell Salmonella-tainted meat. While the meat industry might like it that way, that’s not the entire story. Read the rest over at Food Safety News. See also this handy 6-point summary by Mark Bittman of the New York Times.

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