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Food Transparency: What's All the Hoo-Ha About?

Written By: Brenda (B.K.) Walker

August 2015

The media gives a lot of attention to the life and times of the "chicken," be it the space of the cage, shooting it up with steroids (among other GMOs), and of course, how and where it is processed. What hasn't received much attention, lately, is where our other meat comes from and how it is processed. Which, in and of itself, begs the question, do you really know where your meat comes from and why meat producers seem unwilling to move forward with transparency in labeling.



According to USDA records, total U.S. beef consumption for 2014 was approximately 24.1 billion pound. That's a 1.4 billion lb. drop from 2013.

Back in the USA News Story:Food Transparency: What's All the Hoo-Ha About?.
Beef carcasses hang in the sales cooler at the JBS beef plant in Greeley, Colo. Stephanie Paige Ogburn/KUNC

Consumers are pushing hard for more transparency with food products and productions. Something that many food companies find concerning. So much so that lobbying efforts by food companies is pushing Congress to reject stringent labeling laws in favor of passing legislation that prohibits state label requirements.



JBS, the largest global producer of chicken, beef, and lamb (ranking 3rd in pork), recognizes the fine line between product transparency and overwhelming the public with the grisly business of meat production and processing.

An NPR report included the following statement,

"'I think in today's society, the consumer wants to know more and more where their food comes from. And food companies are slowly adopting toward that,' says Cameron Bruett, JBS USA spokesman. 'But I think we need to do a better job.'"

Colorado State University's Katie Abrams, who studies the perceptions of consumers regarding agriculture, had this to say,

"Because the industry has been slow to opening the barn doors, so to speak, they have a bit of catching up to do. […] They have to be continual… […]…It's not just going to be releasing a press release or a blog post or a one-time, short-term campaign."

Large meat production companies have remained hesitant in allowing photos of their production plants, stating that it is about control and that the media has been somewhat "unreasonable" in overstating conditions by "zeroing in on the one piece of meat on the floor."

Back in the USA News Story:Food Transparency: What's All the Hoo-Ha About?.

Consumers, producers, ranchers, and politicians remain watchful as the battle over transparency ensues…and Back in the USA will also remain vigilant in our reporting of the progress of this extremely important issue.

Read more of the NPR report: Inside The World's Largest Food Company You've Probably Never Heard Of


Other Articles of Interest:

Healthy Eating Made Easier With Local/Regional Food Businesses and Projects

Monsanto: New Study Says GM Soy Fed Goats Produce Tainted Milk

The TPP: Politicians Aren't Ashamed of Taking Our Jobs

Raisins for the Taking: Horne v Dept. of Agriculture


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