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Cattlemen Association has beef with my dioxin posting :)

  Before the latest message ("Dioxin in Beef") even hit this list, I got a
  response from one Gary Weber with the beef industry.  He'd most likely seen
  it on the McLibel list which my comments were originally posted on.  I'm
  forwarding our latest exchange to let everyone know what some of their
  current (pathetic) arguments are.  If I had the time, I'd go through their
  points and shoot them down, but I'm too busy fighting local incinerators to
  entertain them right now.  I thought I'd leave that to the rest of you, if
  you're up to the task...
  From: gw@beef.org      <-- isn't that a GREAT address??  :)
  X-PH: V4.1@r02n06
  Date: Mon, 10 Nov 97 15:30:43 MST
  Encoding: 80 Text
  To: catalyst@envirolink.org
  Subject: Dioxin
       I received a copy of a recent summary of dioxin 
       exposure data provided by you, which I found 
       interesting.  However, you may want to acquire the 
       most current information on the issue by reading: 
       Winters, D. et al.  "A Statistical Survey of 
       Dioxin-Like Compounds in United States Beef:  A 
       Progress Report."  Chemosphere, Vol 32,  pp 
       469-478.  1996.
       This represents a much more science based analysis 
       of the dioxin levels in U.S. beef.  It is 
       interesting to note the earlier EPA data was 
       largely of European origin. The 1996 report 
       documents the levels of dioxin in U.S. beef, and 
       you will find the levels are only 25% of those 
       reported earlier.
       You also mentioned the following "... 90% of the 
       dioxin you're exposed to is through meat and 
       dairy products.  Sadly, while the main 
       anti-toxics groups will admit this, they all but 
       refuse to recommend a vegan diet.  Beef is
       the most dioxin-contaminated food according to 
       In making this statement, you need to remember 
       that cattle are essentially "vegans."  Where do 
       you suppose they acquire the dioxin that ends up 
       in their tissues?  Answer: eating plants!
       As a scientist, I share concerns about the 
       exposure of people and animals to natural and 
       environmental contaminants, such as dioxin, fungal 
       and other naturally occurring toxins, heavy 
       metals, etc. 
       In that regard, I view the consumption of animal 
       products as a means of protecting me from the 
       natural carcinogens found in and on many plants, 
       as well as the fungal contamination that is so 
       prevalent on plants. Animals are natural "filters" 
       of these contaminants.  Of course, an appropriate 
       amount of plant products are critical to a healthy 
       diet and long life.
       Another point is that the beef marketed in the 
       U.S. is from animals that are, on average, less 
       that 4 years old.  So, the dioxin accumulated in 
       their fat reserves from eating plants over that 
       short of a lifespan.  Imagine a human living 70-80 
       years, bioacccumulating dioxin from plant sources. 
       It is interesting to note the EPA left plant 
       sources off the 1994 chart you mentioned. Wonder 
       If you are concerned about dioxin, one way to 
       avoid it would be to simply eat low fat products, 
       since it is concentrated in lipids.
       Lean beef has very, very little dioxin or other 
       potential naturally occuring plant and fungal 
       toxins. As a result, it is my preferred choice for 
       high quality protein, biologically available 
       micronutrients, and essential fatty acids.
       Whatever your dietary choices are, they are your 
       choices, and I respect you having that right.  I 
       do feel we all have a responsibility to provide 
       our fellow citizens accurate information.  I hope 
       you will acquire the aforementioned report, and 
       update your information.
       Bon appetit
       Regards, Gary Weber
  Date: Mon, 10 Nov 1997 21:17:21 -0500
  X-PH: V4.1@f03n03
  To: gw@beef.org
  From: Mike Ewall <catalyst@envirolink.org>
  Subject: Re: Dioxin
  Dear Dr. Gary Weber,
  I find it laughable that you have seen fit to write me such an ill-informed
  piece of propaganda.  I thank you for the insight into the National
  Cattlemen's Beef Association twisted logic and public relations arguments.
  If I thought it worth my time, I might even go through your arguments point
  by point and knock them down like the partronizing straw men and red
  herrings that they are.  However, assuming you actually believe the lies
  you sent me, I doubt any amount of common sense will influence you.  I'm
  curious, though, to know how much you earn as Executive Director of
  Regulatory Affairs for NCBA's Center for Public Policy.  I'd also like to
  know which public relations firms helped craft the propaganda that you spew
  forth.  Finally, I'd like to know where it is that you've obtained writing
  of mine.
  Looking forward to your honest replies,
  Mike Ewall
  From: gw@beef.org
  X-PH: V4.1@r02n06
  Date: Tue, 11 Nov 97 13:56:07 MST
  Encoding: 20 Text
  To: Mike Ewall <catalyst@envirolink.org>
  Subject: Re[2]: Dioxin
       Mike, the content of your last note indicates a 
       lot about you. Perhaps the anger you display is 
       due to the fact you know I am not trying to spew 
       propaganda, but facts, and that makes your "job" a 
       lot harder. My job here, and the well documented 
       position of our organization, and hundreds more 
       like it, is to support establishment of policies 
       based on sound science...the truth. If there are 
       identified, legitimate problems, we are committed 
       to finding solutions through science and 
       technological development.  
       Mike, the truth always will find the way to the 
       people, there is no hope for you or us trying to 
       "spew" anything else. You or I could try but we 
       would fail. I hope you acquire the reference I 
       mentioned to you, and then perhaps we can have a 
       reasoned dialog.
       Have a great day!
  To: gw@beef.org
  From: Mike Ewall <catalyst@envirolink.org>
  Subject: Re[2]: Dioxin
  If you were hoping for reasoned dialogue, you could have started by
  answering the quite reasonable questions I posed in my last note to you.