Thursday, March 12, 2015

The meat industry is seeing red

Associated Press - Scott Applewhite
By Mary Clare Jalonick, Associated Press

Meat companies have tried to rehabilitate an image tarnished in recent years by health and environmental concerns. Now the industry is swiftly and aggressively working to discredit a proposal for new dietary guidelines that recommends people eat less red and processed meat.
The proposal last month by a government advisory committee also relegates the health benefits of lean meat to a footnote to the main recommendations.
We've been put in a position over the years to almost be apologizing for our product, we're not going to do that anymore," said Barry Carpenter, the president and CEO of the North American Meat Institute.
The meat industry long has been one of the more powerful lobbies in Washington, enjoying an especially close relationship with the Agriculture Department, which has inspectors in meat processing plants.
Together, the meat processing and livestock industries spent about $7 million on lobbying last year and donated more than $5 million to members of Congress in the last election cycle, according to the political money and influence tracking websiteOpenSecrets.org.
Meat industry executives say their push is about the American perception of red meat, rather than just dollars, though the guidelines can have an eventual impact on government purchases for the military and school lunches.
For the rest of the story, go to The Huffington Post.

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