Alan Newport’s irresponsible and unethical post

Dear Mr. Newport,

You claim in your editorial, “HSUS Shows Continued Pattern of Dishonest Behavior,” that you “despise liars and lying.” You go on to promote outrageous and untrue allegations about HSUS, in quoting probably the slickest purveyor of deception anywhere – Rick Berman. This is the same Rick Berman whose trade is in spreading misinformation through his various false fronts including: Center for Consumer Freedom, Center for Union Facts, American Beverage Institute, Humane Society for Shelter Pets and Humane Watch.

Like the many other toadies throughout history, Berman is a mouth piece for the big, the abusive, and the most powerful that lord over us. Berman most famously provided false cover for the lies of the tobacco industry. He is now attacking those of us sacrificing nearly everything to provide a good food, family farm alternative to the extractive and destructive corporate controlled industrial food system.

Berman’s son, David Berman, shares, “My father is a despicable man. My father is a sort of human molester. An exploiter, a scoundrel. He props up fast food/soda/factory farming/childhood obesity and diabetes/drunk driving/second hand smoke. He attacks animal lovers, ecologists, civil action attorneys, scientists, dieticians, doctors, and teachers. His clients include everyone from the makers of Agent Orange to the Tanning Salon Owners of America…”

As a member of the HSUS Ag Council for Colorado, I can say that with the help of the HSUS, and other large consumer and good food advocacy groups supporting family farmers and ranchers, I have never been more optimistic that a better, healthier and fair food system is possible.

The debate over what kind of agriculture and food system that best serves people, animals and the Earth is long over. Big Food left the stage after the 1996 South Dakota debate (confrontation) between me and IBP President and CEO, Bob Peterson. When confronted with the truth, all IBP had to offer was arrogance, intimidation and profanity. The 2011 debate between R-CALF’s Bill Bullard and NCBA’s CEO, Terry Stokes, was an embarrassment for the big packer advocate, who falsely claims to support independent cattlemen. NCBA has refused invitations for debate since. Big Food refuses to answer, including for the film Food Inc. – instead depending on false marketing and deception provided by Berman and Berman clones.

September 29th, 2011, Salon offered, “Berman and Company is quite objectively in the business of manufacturing misinformation.” So, Mr. Newport, if you really do despise liars and lying, perhaps you could do the more difficult work of a good journalist and get the facts, rather than reporting, as Berman does – the opposite of reality.

Mike Callicrate
Independent cattle producer and owner of Ranch Foods Direct and No Bull Enterprises

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