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IARC—A study in absurdity

IARC—A study in absurdity

By Gene Hall

The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), a branch of the World Health Organization (WHO), has something of a credibility problem. That agency just released a report saying that processed meat is a definite carcinogen and red meat is “probably carcinogenic.” IARC’s classification with four groups is confusing and misleading.

In that Group 1 category, you have, among other things, cigarettes, asbestos, a host of very powerful chemicals and salami, bacon and cocktail weenies. It’s okay, you can say it. This is absurd. Processed meats are on the list because if you eat that every single day, cancer experts say you can increase your cancer risk by 1 percent. That’s not exactly like plutonium, is it?

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Cow burps: The rest of the story

Cow burps: The rest of the story

By Gene Hall

I’m a little miffed by a recent opinion video on CNN, “Why Beef is the New SUV.” It’s very fashionable to attack beef—all livestock really—and the reasons are not always transparent. But, give me the freedom to cherry pick the data I want to use, and I can spin a pretty good yarn.

According to the EPA, about 1.5 percent of greenhouse gasses are attributable to cows burping and, well, expending gas. That means that if you were to launch every cow in the world into high orbit around the sun, you’d be left with essentially the same greenhouse gas problem that you have in the first place.

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The Five Freedoms of cattle

The Five Freedoms of cattle

By Dr. Ron Gill
Professor and Extension Livestock Specialist
Texas A&M University

Walmart recently released its expectations on animal welfare for its suppliers. They are adopting the “Five Freedoms,” which has been around for many years. On the surface, this may sound crazy since most of us do not think animals have rights or “freedoms.”

Before you form an opinion, try to understand what the Five Freedoms are and what is really expected from that approach to managing animal welfare.

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Proposed dietary guidelines are troubling

Proposed dietary guidelines are troubling

The following op-ed piece by TFB President Russell Boening appeared March 4 in the Houston Chronicle.

By Russell W. Boening

Thousands of Texans will flock to the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo in the days ahead to see the best of livestock production in our state. The scene, with its unspoken endorsement of meat production, is seemingly incongruous with the recent report of the 2015 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee, which I and many cattle ranchers find troubling.

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10 things you should know about Texas agriculture

10 things you should know about Texas agriculture

By Mike Barnett

Everything’s bigger and better in Texas. Even agriculture.

Most Texans know our ranchers herd more cattle and farmers grow more cotton than those in any other state. But you are probably not aware of many other fascinating aspects of agriculture in the Lone Star State.

Here’s my Top 10, gleaned from the 2012 Agriculture Census .

10) Fun on the farm.

Texas farms and ranches account for 19 percent of agri-tourism and recreation dollars in the U.S.  That means $133 million flows into rural areas as Texans enjoy wineries, hunting, ranches and other experiences.

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