Hurd vs. Consumer Reports – I’ll bet on Hurd

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Consumer Reports Consumer Reports has been busy this year putting out its pseudo-science and recommendations for the public on what/how they should eat and where they should get it.

Scott Hurd, DVM, PhD, has no problem taking them to task on their shaky data.

In Hurd’s latest installment on his Food Safety and Animal Health blog, he says after Consumer Reports’ most recent article about pork safety, “What’s in that pork?”, he has “lost confidence in their ability to provide unbiased, scientific information.” 

In that article that questions the safety of pork, Hurd says there are numerous issues with scientific credibility including poor sample size, lack of information on study methodology, and no other published studies.

“Although the results are weak and relatively meaningless, the title, headings and tone of the article serve to frighten readers and create anxiety,” writes Hurd. “Contrary to the article’s tone and title, the report does not reveal anything alarming about pork safety.”

But, the damage is already done when scaremongering information gets published to a wide audience who put their trust in an entity such as Consumer Reports.

And this is not its first misstep on reporting about meat. Or maybe it’s not a misstep at all but just an obvious bias. Earlier this year “Meat  On Drugs” appeared in Consumer Reports and their conclusion was to buy your meat from Whole Foods or Trader Joe’s.

Hurd also wrote about the “Meat without Drugs” campaign and how that may actually be inhumane to animals suffering from a disease that needed treatment, if treatment was withheld.

“I think the bigger problem is that a campaign such as ‘Meat without Drugs’ could mean that veterinarians have no way to treat sick animals or prevent epidemic diseases,” Hurd wrote. “It is not possible to raise children without antibiotics. How do people expect us to raise these baby chicks, piglets and calves into wholesome meat, dairy and egg products without the assistance of modern medicine?”

I think Consumer Reports might want to consider sticking to what it does best – stacking up like products and scrutinizing the data on how they work, how they are priced, etc., instead of using their status to politicize agendas and present dubious science on areas where they don’t have expertise.

Read additional commentary by Dan Murphy on DroversCattlenetwork here.

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IL  |  December, 18, 2012 at 12:07 PM

It will stop when the lawsuits starts for misinformation to the public. It's all about stopping modern ag.

kansas  |  December, 18, 2012 at 08:17 PM

I'm with Mark. It's past time for livestock producers and allied industries to take aggressive action, legally, against the negligent and often malicious deceit, libel and slander direct against us as group and individually. Feld Entertainment's filing of RICCO claims against HSUS is an excellent example of the proper response to these attacks. In addition, there are laws specific to business interference where such false statements demand damages be paid and retractions/apologies are required. Stop whining about the unfairness and take legal action! NPPC etc.


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