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Robert Longley

USDA Backs, then Backs-Off Meatless Mondays

By July 30, 2012

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Under pressure from beef producers and a U.S. Senator from a major beef producing state, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has retracted its support for the "Meatless Monday" initiative, which encourages Americans to exclude beef from their Monday meals.

In its July 21 online employee newsletter, Greening Headquarters Update, the USDA criticized beef production, "and dairy as well," as being harmful to the environment and "a major source of greenhouse gases and climate change." In the same breath, the USDA called on its 105,000 or so employees to participate in Meatless Monday, declaring the concept to be "a small change that could produce big results."

The only "big results" the USDA got was a world of hurt.

In a predictably scathing press statement, National Cattlemen's Beef Association (NCBA) president J.D. Alexander called the USDA's endorsement "an awakening statement, which strongly indicates that USDA does not understand the efforts being made in rural America to produce food and fiber for a growing global population in a very sustainable way."

Referring to Meatless Monday as an attempt by animal rights extremists to end meat consumption, Alexander stated, "USDA was created to provide a platform to promote and sustain rural America in order to feed the world. This move by USDA should be condemned by anyone who believes agriculture is fundamental to sustaining life on this planet."

At the same time, U.S. Sen. Jerry Moran from the very-much beef producing state of Kansas was telling his fellow Senators, "Never in my life would I have expected USDA to be opposed to farmers and ranchers."

"American farmers and ranchers deserve a USDA that will pursue supportive policies rather than seek their further harm," said Sen. Moran. "With extreme drought conditions plaguing much of the United States, the USDA should be more concerned about helping drought-stricken producers rather than demonizing an industry reeling from the lack of rain."

Also See: After Our Last Farmer Dies

Well, that was enough for the USDA. By July 25, before any more lawmakers and budget-deciders from beef producing states could pile on, the offending Greening Headquarters Update newsletter had been taken offline and the USDA tweeted that it had been posted in error.

"USDA does not endorse Meatless Monday. Statement on USDA site posted w/o proper clearance. It has been removed," tweeted the USDA.

Also See: Isolated US Farmers to Get Some Government Help



July 30, 2012 at 7:22 am
(1) Billy Joe Perkins says:

This pretty much proves we have very incompetent people at the very top, holding high government offices. To say beef cattle are causing greenhouse effect is proof enough. Wake up people!!! If we don’t get these nit-wits out of office soon, we’re done. Stick a fork in us, we’re done!

July 30, 2012 at 8:43 pm
(2) Concernicus says:

Speaking of nit-wits…cattle production is one of the LEADING causes of the greenhouse effect. It takes 10lbs of corn, along with all of the petro-chemicals used in factory farming, to produce one lb. of beef. A Univ. of Chicago study shows that forgoing meat one day per week would have the same result as removing every car and bus from the planet. Bovine flatulence alone is an environmental catastrophe.

Look, I would not care if you ate a dead cow or a fresh steaming hot pile of cow manure everyday. Have a steak…have a heart attack. My “beef” is that your cow eating is poisoning water, air and killing the planet.

You are an example of a typical uninformed American with a personal agenda. Facts do not matter. By God, I have an opinion and I am going to shout it out without spending one second researching the subject. That is frightening.

August 7, 2012 at 2:26 pm
(3) HANK HILL says:

flat out NUTS!

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