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Bill

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World Trade, Politics & Legal Wrangling
Internal Politics as Baffling as International Politics
Colorado Springs, CO Jan. 11, 2006

With the long-awaited opening of the Japanese market, we bring to a close a tumultuous and eye- opening two-and-a-half year chapter for the U.S. beef industry. Despite the rapid expansion of world commerce, American cattlemen discovered international trade is affected as much by politicians and activists as it is by world consumer demand.

Let’s look at where we’ve been and what we’ve learned since the discovery of BSE North America in May 2003.

The nature of the BSE issue changed from a threat to a presence. Suddenly front and center in the news, threats to American consumers and to animal health and trade became real issues -- not potential problems. Most shocking was the willingness of activists within the industry to join radical activists outside the industry to make the issue a political football, with potentially devastating commercial consequences. Attacks on consumer confidence in beef by factions within the industry, led by R-CALF, OCM, WORC and others, have left scars that won’t soon be forgotten.
The need developed for safe and realistic trading rules between countries with low incidence of BSE, as more of the world’s major beef-producing countries were affected. As a world leader, the USDA took the lead in establishing such rules. R- CALF and its allies portrayed this updating of standards as “weakening” standards.
Activist groups in countries around the world further challenged the “rights” of governments to regulate and conduct trade, as well as the rights of corporations to conduct business.
Courts intruded on world trade in a way highly visible to the average feeder and rancher, as well as consumers. Luckily for cattlemen, consumers were satisfied by scientific evidence and their confidence in the USDA, and largely ignored the “threat.” Organic beef producers and radical activists were disappointed
Sadly, government authorities and politicians were unable to quickly deal with activists -- armed with lawyers -- and their unspoken agendas, selfish motivations and ancillary causes. The USDA handled the food safety crisis adroitly and effectively. However, it was helpless to ward off structural and monetary damage to the industry.
We saw the effect of trade disruption on industry structure, including markets, packing plants and jobs. The results are permanent: a self- sufficient Canadian packing industry, lost American packing plants and their decreased demand for cattle.
New political and activist alliances emerged that stretched the imaginations of many cattlemen. Long-time anti-beef activist groups, allied with trade unions and radical cattlemen’s groups, were a phenomenon mainstream cattlemen found shocking and counterintuitive. The spectacle of a cattlemen’s group defying established and proven science, embracing speculative and unreplicated experimentation and extrapolation, and serving as a credibility prop for avowed enemies of the beef industry, was unimaginable to mainstream cattlemen. Whether the radical cattlemen are serving as allies, credibility props or just mouthpieces, the effect to the public is to question the foundations of mainstream agriculture. These groups oppose trade among nations. They prefer the interaction as direct foreign aid in dollars to developing nations, not foodstuffs.
The close vote on CAFTA served as a spur to both free traders and protectionists. Both were served notice that free trade -- once a slam dunk obvious avenue to increasing revenue through new markets -- was not so obvious to some. Opposition to trade and to an increasingly ordered but freer trade system through the World Trade Organization drew the attention of people beyond the rioting disrupters and their hired guns.
New philosophical alliances between free trade and free market believers across national lines emerged. Free traders in Canada and the U.S., as well as Japan and the U.S., found they had more in common with each other than with their own countrymen. Such alliances became necessary in order to improve trade flows, while meeting increasingly strict requirements for animal health, food safety and consumer quality. Without those alliances, the economy would have reverted to isolationism (which cheats consumers and producers) and protectionism (which artificially raises costs and prices, cheating consumers again and shrinking markets for producers). Protectionism favors certain relatively small groups at the expense of the rest of the economy. Far from an improvement, such a stifled economy would be reminiscent of the late 19th and early 20th centuries, reviving economic, political and social struggles we thought were settled decades ago.

There is perhaps no greater example of the cost of isolationism and protectionism than China. With all its tremendous assets of natural resources, population and knowledge, China has been struggling for over 100 years to catch up with the rest of the world.

There are those who constantly work counter to demands of the consumer marketplace. Their message is always, “Slow down, go back, don’t change what we know.” This attitude is directly opposite to today’s worldwide mantra of, “We want what we want. We want more, better, faster, cheaper -- or we will go elsewhere.” The message is that producers can make things more difficult, slower and more expensive if they wish, but consumers will either force an industry to adapt or flank the industry and choose other options.

Changes in the marketplace can be expected to continually force new requirements on everyone. BSE has forced new age and source verification requirements on beef for Japan. In turn, domestic consumers may eventually want the same info for themselves. For our own needs, improving our product, age and source verification is a must.

So what are the bottom line conclusions we can draw from two and a half years of trade and political turmoil?

Existing trade and foreign markets must be continually safeguarded from external health and safety issues. We also must defend them from internal opposition. Political, legal and communication battles will be necessary. The price of inaction can be great -- in foregone dollars as well as industry structure.

Fights for new foreign markets will become more difficult and more important. The potential is great. So also is opposition and funding from traditional activists and unions, and from radical allies within agriculture who oppose trade. Understanding underlying motivations and agendas will continue to be crucial. The AFF will do its best to keep you informed.

The Agribusiness Freedom Foundation promotes free market principles throughout the agricultural food chain. The AFF believes it is possible to value the traditions and heritage of the past while embracing the future and the changes it brings. The AFF is a communications and educational initiative striving to preserve the freedom of the agricultural food chain to operate and innovate in order to continue the success of American agriculture.

The AFF - freedom watchdog for American agriculture.

Agribusiness Freedom Foundation
AFF: Promoting free market principles throughout the agricultural food chain.

Website: http://www.agribusinessfreedom.org
:wink:
 
A

Anonymous

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Agribusiness Freedom Foundation is Steve Dittmer--a paid lobbyist... Jack Abramoff was a paid lobbyist.....


No more needs to be said :!:
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
OT: "Agribusiness Freedom Foundation is Steve Dittmer--a paid lobbyist"

Who's paying him Old Timer and where's your proof?

Observe............

See OT run, run OT run!


~SH~
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
~SH~ said:
OT: "Agribusiness Freedom Foundation is Steve Dittmer--a paid lobbyist"

Who's paying him Old Timer and where's your proof?

Observe............

See OT run, run OT run!


~SH~

Sourcewatch lists AFF as an industry-funded organization...They also report that AFF does not release its funding or funding sources...Any group that has to remain secret and operate in the dark is enough for me......

An industry-funded organization receives funding from a company or industry and often acts as a mouthpiece for views that serve the industry's economic interests.

Industry-funded organizations come in many shapes and sizes. These included trade associations, think tanks, non-profit advocacy groups, and media outlets. Some of these organizations serve as "third parties" for public relations campaigns. The third party technique has been defined by one PR executive as putting "your words in someone else's mouth."

These organizations purport to represent one agenda while in reality they serve some other party or interest whose sponsorship is hidden or rarely mentioned. For example, the Center for Consumer Freedom (CCF), which has a lengthy entry in the SourceWatch, claims its mission is to defend the rights of consumers to choose to eat, drink and smoke as they please. In reality, CCF is a front group for agribusiness and the tobacco, restaurant, and alcoholic beverage industries, which provide most of its funding.

Of course, not all organizations engaged in manipulative efforts to shape public opinion can be classified as "front groups." For example, the now defunct Tobacco Institute was highly deceptive, but it didn't hide the fact that it represented the tobacco industry. There are also degrees of concealment. The Global Climate Coalition, for example, didn't hide the fact that its funding came from oil and coal companies, but nevertheless its name alone is sufficiently misleading that it can reasonably be considered a front group.

This sort of manipulation doesn't necessarily entail outright lies of commission, but it typically entails lies of omission that disguise the identity of the message's sponsor. The use of the third party technique tends to corrupt journalism, science and the other institutions that it touches. Moreover, using lies of omission rather than commission enables the people who participate in front groups to rationalize that they aren't really doing anything wrong. The logic of the third party technique implies that when PR firms set out to manufacture news, they often want to keep their clients (and themselves) out of the story.

Please note: the SourceWatch has a separate listing for think tanks.

Resources
How to research front groups
Examples
Accuracy in Media
ActivistCash.com
Adam Smith Institute
The Advancement of Sound Science Coalition
Agribusiness Freedom Foundation
AIDS Responsibility Project
Air Hygiene Foundation
Air Quality Standards Coalition
Alexis de Tocqueville Institution
Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers
Alliance for Better Foods
Alliance for Quality Nursing Home Care
Alliance for Responsible CFC Policy
American Beverage Institute
American Beverage Association
American Beverage Licensees
American Chemistry Council
American Council on Science and Health
American Enterprise Institute
American Forest Foundation
American Gaming Association
American Industrial Health Council
American Meat Institute
American Petroleum Institute
American Policy Center
American Tort Reform Association
Americans for Balanced Energy Choices (ABEC)
Americans for Secure Retirement
Americans for Tax Reform
Americans for Victory Over Terrorism
AmeriCares
Asbestos Alliance
Association of Insurers and Risk Managers (AIRMIC)
BC Salmon Farmers Association
Beverage Institute for Health & Wellness
Black America's PAC
Business Council of Australia
Business for Social Responsibility
Business Roundtable
Business Software Alliance
Morton Blackwell Leadership Institute
California Civil Rights Initiative
Californians for Statewide Smoking Restrictions
Campaign for Working Families
Capital Research Center
Cato Institute
Center for Consumer Freedom
Center for the Defense of Free Enterprise
Center for Energy and Economic Development
Center for Environmental Education Research
Center for Produce Quality
Centre for Independent Studies
The Chemical Industry Institute of Toxicology
Children and Adults with Attention Deficit Disorder
Christian Coalition
Citizens for a Free Kuwait
Citizens for a Sound Economy
Citizens for Better Medicare
Citizens for the Environment
Citizens for Sensible Control of Acid Rain
Claremont Institute
Climate Council
Coalition for a Healthy and Active America
Coalition for Asbestos Resolution
Coalition for Economic Growth and American Jobs
Coalition for Employment through Exports
Coalition for Health Insurance Choices
Coalition for Southern Africa
Coalition for the Modernization and Protection of America's Social Security
Coalition for Vehicle Choice
Competitive Enterprise Institute
Congress of the United States
Congressional Human Rights Caucus
Consumer Alert
Consumer Data Industry Association
Consumer Distorts
Consumer Federation of America
Consumers Alliance for Affordable Natural Gas
Consumers for World Trade
Consumers' Research
Contributions Watch
Cooler Heads Coalition
Council for Affordable Health Insurance
Council for Agricultural Science and Technology
Council for Biotechnology Information
Council for Energy Independence
Council for Responsible Nutrition
Council for Solid Waste Solutions
Council for Tobacco Research
Council of American Muslims for Understanding
Council of Republicans for Environmental Advocacy
Council on Water Quality
CropGen
CropLife America
Drug Free America Foundation
European Internet Foundation
European Information, Communications and Consumer Electronics Industry Technology Association
E-Ping
Election Center
Election Technology Council
Electric Power Research Institute
Employment Policies Institute
Employment Roundtable
EMPOWER.org
Energy Stewardship Alliance
Environmental Issues Council
EPA Watch
Ephedra Education Council
European Science and Environment Forum
Food Security Network
FOREST
Foundation for Clean Air Progress
Foundation for Research on Economics and the Environment
FreedomWorks
Global Climate Coalition
Global Climate Information Project
Global Warming Cost website
Greening Earth Society
Guest Choice Network
Harvard Center for Risk Analysis
Heidelberg Appeal
Health Benefits Coalition
Healthcare Leadership Council
Heartland Institute
Hepatitis C Coalition
Human and Environmental Risk Assessment project or HERA
Heritage Foundation
Hoover Institution on War, Revolution and Peace
Hudson Institute
Independent Women's Forum
Information Council for the Environment
Information Technology Association Of America
Institute for Regulatory Policy
Institute of Economic Affairs
Institute for Energy Research
International Food Information Council
International Tax and Investment Organization
JunkScience.com
Keep America Beautiful
Landmark Legal Foundation
Leipzig Declaration on Global Climate Change
Manpower America
Manhattan Institute for Policy Research
George C. Marshall Institute
Meat Promotion Council
Motion Picture Association of America
Mountain States Legal Foundation
National Anxiety Center; Al Caruba
National Association for Forest Industries
National Breast Cancer Awareness Month
National Cattlemen’s Beef Association
National Center for Food and Agriculture Policy
National Center for Policy Analysis
National Center for Public Policy Research
National Coalition on Ergonomics
National Consumer Coalition
National Dairy Council
National Empowerment Television
National Endangered Species Act Reform Coalition
National Environmental Policy Institute
National Journalism Center
National Legal Center for the Public Interest
National Newspaper Association
National Wetlands Coalition
National Wilderness Institute
Nestlé ƒoordination Center for Nutrition
Nicaraguan Freedom Fund
No More Scares Campaign
Nuclear Energy Institute
One Nation (US)
Oregon Institute of Science and Medicine
Organization for Internet Safety
Parent-Teachers Association
Partnership for a Drug Free America
Partnership for the West
Perchlorate Study Group
Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America
Political Economy Research Center
Progress & Freedom Foundation
Project EverGreen
Project Learning Tree
Public Interest Watch
Railwatch
Reason Foundation
Regulatory Impact Analysis Project, Inc.
Republicans for Clean Air
Responsible Industry for a Sound Environment
RetireSafe.org
Science and Environmental Policy Institute
Scientific Alliance
Sea Lion Defense Fund
Senior Coalition
Sense about Science
Shape the Debate
Shaping America's Youth
Silica Coalition
Small Business Survival Committee
Smart Growth Madison
60 Plus Association
Social Issues Research Centre
Society for Women's Health Research
Spiked Online
Statement by Atmospheric Scientists on Global Warming
Statistical Assessment Service
Stratfor
Susan B. Anthony List
Sport Utility Vehicle (SUV) Owners of America
Tech Central Station
Temperate Forest Foundation
The Biotechnology Institute
The Wisconsin Forum
Torches of Freedom Brigade
Transatlantic Policy Network
U.S. Coalition of Service Industries
Victorian Association of Forest Industries
Voters for Campaign Truth
Washington Legal Foundation
Water Environment Federation
Western Plant Health Association
Wise Use Movement
Wood Promotion Network
Workplace Health & Safety Council
 

Bill

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Source Watch list of "think tanks" which Oldtimer posted above includes the AFF (which is bad in your mind) but it also includes R-Calfs partner, the Consumer Federation of America.

Here is a link from the site you hold as a shining example of truth. http://www.prwatch.org/taxonomy/term/107/9 :lol: :lol: And you question credibilty towards the cattle industry by Dittmer?

I also noticed the DONATE link on the Source Watch homepage.
 

Sandhusker

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Bill said:
Source Watch list of "think tanks" which Oldtimer posted above includes the AFF (which is bad in your mind) but it also includes R-Calfs partner, the Consumer Federation of America.

Here is a link from the site you hold as a shining example of truth. http://www.prwatch.org/taxonomy/term/107/9 :lol: :lol: And you question credibilty towards the cattle industry by Dittmer?

Maybe you could provide some details on R-CALF's relationship with Consumer Federation of America?
 

mrj

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Sandhusker said:
Bill said:
Source Watch list of "think tanks" which Oldtimer posted above includes the AFF (which is bad in your mind) but it also includes R-Calfs partner, the Consumer Federation of America.

Here is a link from the site you hold as a shining example of truth. http://www.prwatch.org/taxonomy/term/107/9 :lol: :lol: And you question credibilty towards the cattle industry by Dittmer?

Maybe you could provide some details on R-CALF's relationship with Consumer Federation of America?


Didn't they partner on a full page ad in some big city newspapers? Or at least, both have their names on the ad.....maybe it was all R-CALF money?

MRJ
 

Sandhusker

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MRJ said:
Sandhusker said:
Bill said:
Source Watch list of "think tanks" which Oldtimer posted above includes the AFF (which is bad in your mind) but it also includes R-Calfs partner, the Consumer Federation of America.

Here is a link from the site you hold as a shining example of truth. http://www.prwatch.org/taxonomy/term/107/9 :lol: :lol: And you question credibilty towards the cattle industry by Dittmer?

Maybe you could provide some details on R-CALF's relationship with Consumer Federation of America?


Didn't they partner on a full page ad in some big city newspapers? Or at least, both have their names on the ad.....maybe it was all R-CALF money?

MRJ

That's a pretty in-depth relationship you're describing there. :lol:
 

Bill

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Sandhusker said:
Bill said:
Source Watch list of "think tanks" which Oldtimer posted above includes the AFF (which is bad in your mind) but it also includes R-Calfs partner, the Consumer Federation of America.

Here is a link from the site you hold as a shining example of truth. http://www.prwatch.org/taxonomy/term/107/9 :lol: :lol: And you question credibilty towards the cattle industry by Dittmer?

Maybe you could provide some details on R-CALF's relationship with Consumer Federation of America?
So now Oldtimer doesn't have things well in control?

http://www.prwatch.org/taxonomy/term/107/9Check out the link to his source of fairness and truth. Be sure to check out the book for sale. http://www.prwatch.org/books/madcow.html and don't forget to donate to the PR watch cause. :roll:
 

Econ101

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Bill said:
Sandhusker said:
Bill said:
Source Watch list of "think tanks" which Oldtimer posted above includes the AFF (which is bad in your mind) but it also includes R-Calfs partner, the Consumer Federation of America.

Here is a link from the site you hold as a shining example of truth. http://www.prwatch.org/taxonomy/term/107/9 :lol: :lol: And you question credibilty towards the cattle industry by Dittmer?

Maybe you could provide some details on R-CALF's relationship with Consumer Federation of America?
So now Oldtimer doesn't have things well in control?

http://www.prwatch.org/taxonomy/term/107/9Check out the link to his source of fairness and truth. Be sure to check out the book for sale. http://www.prwatch.org/books/madcow.html and don't forget to donate to the PR watch cause. :roll:

Bill, you seem to be a fan of PR watch. My problem is not with any of these organizations you have posted. My problem is the inability of people to see the truth in any of them and decipher through the nonsense.
 

Bill

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Econ101 said:
Bill said:
Sandhusker said:
Maybe you could provide some details on R-CALF's relationship with Consumer Federation of America?
So now Oldtimer doesn't have things well in control?

http://www.prwatch.org/taxonomy/term/107/9Check out the link to his source of fairness and truth. Be sure to check out the book for sale. http://www.prwatch.org/books/madcow.html and don't forget to donate to the PR watch cause. :roll:

Bill, you seem to be a fan of PR watch. My problem is not with any of these organizations you have posted. My problem is the inability of people to see the truth in any of them and decipher through the nonsense.
Not a fan at all. Actually quite disgusted by all the anti-beef rhetoric I discovered. I didn't even know about the site until Oldtimer used it for a source. I have the ability to sort through the crap they write but I doubt many consumers do. :mad:
 

Econ101

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Bill said:
Econ101 said:
Bill said:
So now Oldtimer doesn't have things well in control?

http://www.prwatch.org/taxonomy/term/107/9Check out the link to his source of fairness and truth. Be sure to check out the book for sale. http://www.prwatch.org/books/madcow.html and don't forget to donate to the PR watch cause. :roll:

Bill, you seem to be a fan of PR watch. My problem is not with any of these organizations you have posted. My problem is the inability of people to see the truth in any of them and decipher through the nonsense.
Not a fan at all. Actually quite disgusted by all the anti-beef rhetoric I discovered. I didn't even know about the site until Oldtimer used it for a source. I have the ability to sort through the crap they write but I doubt many consumers do. :mad:

Bill, self criticism is not a bad thing. It allows you to see your own flaws and work on them. This was a strategy that the other Bill who was president used very well. It makes you a better person to listen to others when they say the dirt is being swept under the rug. Hopefully the result is a cleaner floor but some would rather only have the appearance of a cleaner floor. Tyson and their propaganda machine has made poultry more appealing to the consumer. They have a lot of dirt under their rug.

People like myself are going to continue to eat. I ate a steak night before last from a locally fed and slaughtered animal (we have a deep freezer) and last night we had a chicken. Tonight we will have steak and chicken fajitas. The rhetoric about the safety of beef is important. Ignoring the dirt under the rug may may the eating establishment fail the health inspection. Maybe not the first inspection, but it will eventually be found out. I would rather eat at an establishment that does not have the "apperence" of cleanliness, I would rather eat at one that was clean. As the low cost competition game and then subsequent market power games are played out in this industry, the producers lose the competition for their products. Because of this, it is important to make sure that the big boys do not gain market share through market manipulation or through "sweeping the dirt under the rug".

The farmers in the poultry industry have already lost the market game with the failure of the enforcement of the provisions of the PSA. They have lost the subsequent competition for their resources. The economic protections of the PSA are being ignored because of corruption or incompetence or both in the U.S. government. Beef is on its way to the same place. When the cash market no longer exists and packers can get their supply through marketing agreements that do not require competitive market forces for price determination under the auspices of "efficiency", the deal will have been completed. It is well under way. Beef prices may be higher in the future due to supply management, but the benefits will accrue to the packers that control the reigns of power in the regulatory agencies and the market share and not the producers.
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
OT: "They also report that AFF does not release its funding or funding sources..."

So how could you possibly know if AFF is a paid lobbyist?

Once again you pulled something out of your ars because Dittmer exposes R-CULT's "live for the moment and to hell with the consequences" blaming agenda for what it is.



~SH~
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
~SH~ said:
OT: "They also report that AFF does not release its funding or funding sources..."

So how could you possibly know if AFF is a paid lobbyist?

Once again you pulled something out of your ars because Dittmer exposes R-CULT's "live for the moment and to hell with the consequences" blaming agenda for what it is.



~SH~

SH- Since Dittmer is your buddy why don't you find out for us what his financial sources are- and who works for the AFF?

Before I put any money or faith with any organization I want to know their funding source and who works for them...AFF refuses to release both...

You know as well as I do that if R-CALF paid him more than his Corporate backers he'd be praising R-CALF and damning the Packers and NCBA...

I used to call these kind of guys whores--but then realized that I was being disrespectful to hard working ladies of the evening that openly ply their wares.......
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
OT,

You said Dittmer was a paid lobbyist and now you are asking what his funding sources were.

How can he be a paid lobbyist if you don't even know what his source of funding is?

Go ahead, I'll give you time to pull your pants back up.



~SH~
 

Econ101

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~SH~ said:
OT,

You said Dittmer was a paid lobbyist and now you are asking what his funding sources were.

How can he be a paid lobbyist if you don't even know what his source of funding is?

Go ahead, I'll give you time to pull your pants back up.



~SH~

How can you have a brain if we haven't seen it yet?

Off to see the wizard.......
 

Sandhusker

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~SH~ said:
OT,

You said Dittmer was a paid lobbyist and now you are asking what his funding sources were.

How can he be a paid lobbyist if you don't even know what his source of funding is?

Go ahead, I'll give you time to pull your pants back up.



~SH~

I guess he's just working for free.
 

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