AMI counters New York Times report

by Editor
Friday, October 09, 2009

The meat industry has made great strides in improving the safety of its products, with the incidence of E. coli O157:H7 declining 45% since 2000 to rate of less than one half of 1%, says AMI President and CEO J. Patrick Boyle in a letter to the New Yorks Times.

The letter was sent to the New York Times in response to an article on ground beef safety by investigative reporter Michael Moss that ran on October 4 ("Woman's Shattered Life Shows Ground Beef Inspection Flaws"). Despite meeting with Moss in person for 90 minutes in June and subsequently exchanging emails and phone calls to respond to follow-up questions, the 5,000 word story excluded all meaningful government data provided regarding the industry’s food safety accomplishments over the last 10 years, according to AMI.

Boyle notes that AMI and its members have worked aggressively to develop new technologies and processes to enhance meat and poultry safety.

The meat industry had a single-mindedness when it comes to E. coli O157:H7 which is to eliminate it. But like other facts of nature — from floods to the flu — even when there is a will, there may not always be a way to do it 100% of the time. The industry would not stop trying, Boyle concluded.