Thursday, January 20, 2011

More Scare Tactics by Misinformed Writers

Unfortunately, poorly written articles such as a Top 10 article on Fox News and poorly researched stories like the one on KOMU slink their way into the media with no apologizes or remorse for the blatant lack of journalistic professionalism.

Fox News published an article pulled from that was not only poorly written--writer Jeremy Berger uses profanity twice and not in a quote or for any apparent reason, I suspect this so-called journalist just used up the bulk of his vocabulary on this piece--but this article also bashes beef and mass food producers. This writer also supports HSUS and ASPCS, which is a red flag unto itself. I wonder if this writer realizes that without mass production farmers would never be able to feed the world, let alone America, unless everyone put in the seven days a week to raise, slaughter, and produce their own food? Furthermore, he chastises beef producers because in the past 3 years there have been 16 E.coli breakouts from ground beef. Really? Sixteen cases of E.coli out of over 22 BILLION pounds of ground beef and this is a bad thing!? I'd call that a huge success. To further discredit, there is no mention as to how the meat was handled or cooked once in the hands of the consumer.

The next editorial disappointment comes from local news channel KOMU. In Farmers Disagree on Antibiotic Use, reporter Nina Moini weaves a tale of dairy cows, antibiotics, and consumer concern. Ironically, the report on dairy cows is from a beef cow lot and the farmer she is interviewing isn't even a dairy farmer. I know this because I know where that farm is located and who the farmer is but she still refers to it as a dairy farm. I had to chuckle at that. What frustrates me about the antibiotic debate is that people think that this is a new thing. Antibiotics have been used in farming for generations. This is not new. Yes, we need to use care when administering such medications just as doctors need to use discretion when prescribing antibiotics to people.

To the public's dismay, there are other causes for antibiotic resistance and you must look in the mirror to find it. Every time you smear that alcohol scented antibacterial gel on your hands you are contributing to the problem. Every time you allow your kids or yourself to stay indoors and burn off brain cells with your X-Box or Wii on a beautiful day instead of enjoying the great outdoors you are contributing to the problem. Every time you overload on Lysol or refuse to let your kids get dirty you are weakening your children's and your own immune system. People aren't outside anymore and that is the real problem, our immune systems need to exercise just as much as our bodies need to.

Take action! Correct the misconceptions and leave comments on these sites, blog about it, tweet about it, just get out there and tell your story. Let the public know what it takes to be a farmer or rancher and that we are doing our jobs and doing them well.

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