Somedays there is just an avalanche of information to unpack and evaluate, so instead of blogging about every single headline, here’s a roundup.
From a conflict of interest at the USDA, to animal rights activists pushing their vegan agenda, and the heated debate on animal traceability, you’re not going to want to miss what’s new in the beef world. Check out these headlines and let me know what you think.
1. “Animal activists move the goalpost — again” by Center for Consumer Freedom
According to the Center for Consumer Freedom, “There’s an old adage that if you give someone an inch, they’ll take a mile. And time and time again, the vegan animal liberation crowd shows that saying to be accurate. For years, the smarter activists–i.e., not PETA–have realized that demanding people become vegan overnight isn’t a persuasive campaign. So they latched onto the Meatless Monday campaign that, as its name suggests, asks people to go vegetarian one day a week. We’ve debunked the campaign’s claims, most recently in the New York Post after New York City imposed Meatless Mondays on schoolchildren. (Aren’t school meals bad enough already?)”
2. “National cattlemen’s organizations split on RFID for traceability” by Dan Flynn for Food Safety News
Flynn writes, “Cattlemen and ranchers have three national organizations vying for their loyalty and support, and they don’t always agree on policy. That’s apparently going to be true for something as simple as whether the interstate movement of cattle should require the use of radio-frequency ear-tags for traceability purposes. Commonly referred to as RFID, electronic ear-tags are used in Europe to track animals from birth to market and even on to the meat counters of retail outlets.”
3. “Automated beef grading hits a snag, causing a dip in Prime Grade beef supply” by Daniel Vaughn for Texas Monthly
Vaughn writes, “The USDA’s primary job is to ensure the safety of the meat you consume. Their inspectors are sent to slaughterhouses across the country, at taxpayer expense, to make sure filthy carcasses don’t enter the food supply. But there’s another arm of the USDA that inspects for meat quality. They show up to the packing plants on the packers’ dimes and determine beef grades.”
In a statement, the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association's (NCBA) Vice President of Government Affairs, Ethan Lane, said, “Foot and mouth disease (FMD) is a grave and persistent threat to the U.S cattle industry and warrants every available caution and protection to ensure that the problems plaguing cattle production in other parts of the world do not reach our shores. NCBA has serious concerns regarding the latest report of another FMD outbreak in Namibia, a country with an unfortunate history of FMD. While Namibia has taken steps to mitigate risk of FMD through the establishment of a cordon fence and buffer zone, the occurrence of this most recent outbreak in the buffer zone and indications of delayed reporting of the outbreak to the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) raises serious concerns about Namibia’s newly granted access to the United States.”
5. “Sonny Perdue faces ethics questions over his business holdings” by Ryan McCrimmon for Politico
The latest scrutiny stems from the agriculture secretary's wealth of current and former interests in agriculture, trucking and land development.
The opinions of Amanda Radke are not necessarily those of beefmagazine.com or Farm Progress.