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AMI Urges State Agriculture Leaders and Rural America to Respond to Biased Time Magazine Cover Story

Friday, August 28, 2009

(American Meat Institute)


AMI President and CEO J. Patrick Boyle is urging state agriculture commissioners, secretaries and directors to contact the editors of Time magazine to express their disappointment with this week’s biased and damaging Time magazine cover story, “America’s Food Crisis and How to Fix It,” by Bryan Walsh (http://bit.ly/ghO0s) and to demand a balanced story written by an unbiased reporter.

“I’m sure you will agree this article makes a complete mockery of the modern miracle that happens every day in America’s agricultural sector and completely distorts a range of issues, including large-scale animal operations, food safety, nutritional data, ‘the hidden costs’ of corn, the use of antibiotics in livestock, climate change and the virtues of eating organic,” Boyle wrote in a letter sent today to members of the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture. 

Boyle noted that Time magazine neglected to mention the number of successes demonstrated by the efficient agricultural system in the United States, preferring instead to spin a one-sided yarn that romanticizes about a return to peasant agricultural production practices.  Boyle also noted that it should be no surprise to the Editorial Board at Time that this story was one-sided and biased, as the reporter they commissioned to write this piece has written other scathing articles about U.S. agriculture and its exaggerated impact on climate change.  In addition, it is known that industry, academia experts and feedlot operators were interviewed by Walsh for the piece, only having their comments ignored. 

“Given the amount of time a story like this stays in circulation, this article has the potential to have long-term negative repercussions.  I urge you to contact the editors of Time magazine at www.letters@time.com to express your disappointment and demand a balanced story written by an unbiased reporter. This article is not only an insult to the accomplishments of today’s American farmer, but to the intelligence of Time readers, who certainly deserve better,” Boyle concluded.

To view a complete copy of Boyle’s letter in its entirety, click here: (http://bit.ly/TAeqD)

In addition to the letter, Boyle took AMI’s opposition to the Time article to the airwaves in a radio feed on the National Association of Farm Broadcaster’s radio network, whose audience includes rural Americans, meat producers and packers, and farmers, whom this article so errantly demeans.    

In the segment, Boyle “encouraged all listeners, both producers and consumers alike, to write to Time magazine at http:///and express your outrage at this one-sided cover story that degrades an American way of life and our bountiful food supply.”   

Within 12 hours, the radio spot aired on over two dozen radio stations across the country. 

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