Category Archives: Consumer Communication

Food, Inc. Opens This Weekend

Food, Inc. a “documentary” criticizing all of American agriculture opens in major cities this weekend. Here’s what the Reuters story has to say about it:

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Bigger-breasted chickens fattened artificially. New strains of deadly E. coli bacteria. A food supply controlled by a handful of corporations.

The documentary “Food, Inc.” opens in the United States on Friday and portrays these purported dangers and changes in the U.S. food industry, asserting harmful effects on public health, the environment, and worker and animal rights.

Big corporations such as biotech food producer Monsanto Co., U.S. meat companies Tyson Food Inc. and Smithfield Foods, and poultry producer Perdue Farms all declined to be interviewed for the film.

But the industry has not stood silent. Trade associations across the $142-billion-a-year U.S. meat industry have banded together to counter the claims. Led by the American Meat Institute, they have created a number of websites, including one called SafeFoodInc.com. Click here to continue reading.

I have no doubt this film will create a great deal of misinformation and ill will towards the agriculture industry. I’d encourage everyone to be prepared to do their part setting the record straight, especially in comment sections of major reviews and editorials following the movie’s opening.

Food, Inc. Poster

Advertisements

1 Comment

Filed under Advocacy, Consumer Communication

What you can do about “swine flu” scare

No doubt you’ve heard about the swine flu craze and the negative affect the name has had on the U.S. pork industry. Here are two easy things you can do to in order to combat the misinformation.

1. Don’t call it swine flu. Call it H1N1 virus or the North American flu.

2. Email the following letter or a variation of it to your friends and family.

Dear Friends, Neighbors and Family,

No doubt you have all heard of the outbreak of the H1N1 virus that the media has been calling “Swine Flu”. Our family feels compelled to provide you with the best information about this situation that we have available.

First and most importantly, pork and pork products are safe. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) influenza H1N1 “is not transmitted by food. You cannot get this flu from eating pork products.” U.S. Secretary of Agriculture, Tom Vilsack, has said that the virus should not be called “swine flu” because there is no evidence that any swine in the U.S. or anywhere in the world have been found infected or sick with the virus.

Secondly, modern pork production practices are designed to protect both animal and human health. Animals are housed in facilities that are designed to ensure health and safety of the herd. These practices keep animals, clean, safe and protect the animals from predators, disease and extreme weather.

Finally, the CDC has also said that is has found no evidence to indicate that any of the human illnesses resulted from contact with pigs.

If you have any questions, feel free to email or call us at xxx-xxx-xxxx. If you would like additional information, check out the National Pork Board’s website at http://www.pork.org and the National Pork Producers Council website at http://www.nppc.org.

We take seriously our role to be responsible members of our community, and to provide safe food for consumers around the world.

Thank you,

Xxxxxxx Xxxxxxx

Leave a comment

Filed under Consumer Communication, Take Action

NPPC on Swine Flu

The National Pork Producer’s Council press release on swine flu is a great example of succinctly addressing consumers concerns and backing up information with a reliable source. Here it is:

Pork Safe To Eat

Washington, April 26, 2009 – “Pork is safe to eat, and direct contact with swine is not the source of, and U.S. pigs have not been infected with, the hybrid influenza that has been identified in a number of people in the United States and more than 1,300 in Mexico.

“NPPC wants to assure domestic and global consumers about the safety of pork and urges pork producers to tighten their existing biosecurity protocols to protect their pigs from this virus, including restricting public access to barns.”

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security:

* People cannot get the hybrid influenza from eating pork or pork products. Most influenza viruses, including the swine flu virus, are not spread by food. Eating properly handled and cooked pork products is safe.

* There are no food safety issues related to the hybrid flu that has been identified, according to DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano.

* Preliminary investigations have determined that none of the people infected with the hybrid flu had contact with hogs.

* “This virus is different, very different from that found in pigs.”

* The hybrid virus never has been identified in hogs in the United States or anywhere in the world.

* The hybrid virus is contagious and is spreading by human-to-human transmission.

For more information, visit www.pork.org, www.cdc.gov/swineflu or http://www.usda.gov/2009/04/0131.xml

Leave a comment

Filed under Consumer Communication