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Big Beef: Industry fights back using money, science

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Big beefIt was here in this thriving New England town that America’s love affair with beef started to lose its sizzle. It was here a half-century ago that obesity, high blood pressure and high cholesterol levels were all identified as risk factors for heart disease.

Indeed, it was here that scientists coined the term “risk factor,” triggering the deluge of nutrition research that keeps beef from being “what’s for dinner” in many households.

The beef industry has funneled millions into a public relations campaign to cast steaks and burgers as something akin to health food – something you can eat every day, even twice a day.

ttempting to influence the next rewrite of the federal government’s Dietary Guidelines in 2015. Big Beef wants them to include new research the industry paid for that promotes a beef diet intended to lower cholesterol and blood pressure. It also has paid for advertising and promotions, for example, getting lean cuts certified by the American Heart Association as “heart-healthy” food.

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