farmers under scrutiny
Financial Times: US farming groups hit back at activists
August 16, 2011
By Alan Rappeport in New York The Financial Times
Big US farming groups are joining forces in a multimillion dollar marketing campaign to respond to attacks by activists and small farmers that accuse them of promoting unhealthy food and abusing animals. The outreach comes at a time of growing tension between industrial agriculture groups and small farmers and activists who argue that “factory farming” is inhumane to animals and produces food that leads to obesity and illness.
The effort also coincides with the US food industry coming under pressure to contain a salmonella outbreak this month that has been linked to ground turkey processed by Cargill, the US meatpacker. The US Centers for Disease Control said more than 100 people have been affected by the outbreak, with one death.
As part of the push, a new organisation called the US Farmers and Ranchers Alliance will hold the first of several town hall meetings in September. The meeting, which will be streamed online, is part of a multimedia effort to diffuse what the group calls myths about the agricultural industry. With 50 affiliates, the group is aiming to spend as much as $30m a year on the campaign.
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