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Science vs. Pseudo Science; How can you tell? By John Paterson, Executive Director Education Scientist–a person who is studying or has expert knowledge in one or more of the natural or physical sciences and has published in peer-reviewed scientific journals. Pseudoscientist–a person who claims and believes practices which are falsely presented as scientific, but does not adhere to valid scientific method, cannot be reliably tested, and otherwise lacks scientific status. Claims do not stand up to peer-review by scientists. The word pseudo, by the way, means “fake”. Consumers are constantly being hit with mixed messages about nutrition. Contrary to what you might read in the popular press, more than eight out of ten Americans (85 percent) admit to giving some thought to the safety of their foods and beverages over the past year, and 78 percent are very or somewhat confident in the safety of the U.S. food supply. Eighty-two percent of Americans view farmers/producers as doing a good job or better and 73 percent believe that about retailers. While food manufacturers, food service establishments and the government rank lower (65 percent, 64 percent and 56 percent respectively), all entities charged with ensuring the safety of the U.S. food supply are viewed as doing at least a good job (http://bit. ly/1aOTNQZ). Yet, there are bloggers who continually attempt to discredit food



Findings are expressed primarily through scientific journals that are peer-reviewed and maintain rigorous standards for honesty and accuracy.

Literature is aimed at the general public. There is no review, no standards, no pre-publication verification, no demand for accuracy and precision

Reproducible results are demanded; experiments must be precisely described so they can be duplicated exactly or improved upon.

Results cannot be reproduced or verified. Studies, if any, are always so vaguely described that one can’t figure out what was done or how it was done.

As time goes on, more and more is learned about the physical processes under study.

No physical phenomena or processes are ever found or studied. No progress is made; nothing concrete is learned.

Does not advocate or market unproven practices or products.

“Researcher” generally earns some or all of his/her living by selling questionable products (such as books, courses, and dietary supplements) and/or pseudoscientific services (such as horoscopes, character readings, spirit messages, and predictions).

production practices in the United States. Although most scientists dismiss their claims, we do become worried when pseudoscience may eventually be considered as “fact” rather than “quackery”. But, how do you tell the difference? Pseudoscience shows a total indifference to criteria of valid evidence. The emphasis is not on meaningful, controlled, repeatable scientific experiments— instead, it is

on unverifiable eyewitness testimony, stories, faked footprints, blurry photos, tall tales, hearsay, rumor, and dubious anecdotes (Coker). One example of indifference to valid evidence is the feeding of genetically modified feedstuffs (GMOs) to farm animals. GMO seeds produce hardier crops that taste better, resist disease and are easier to grow, all while taking up less land. The obvious question is “Are there differences in the feeding value

of GMO grains to non GMO grains”? More than 100 studies have examined the effect of feeding GMO crops to various food-producing animals, including cattle. The results revealed no significant differences in the nutritional value of feed from GMO and non-GMO fed cattle.  Genetically modified GMO crops are digested and processed by cattle in the same way as conventional crops. In addition, the nutrients from cattle fed GMO feed have been found to be the same as cattle fed non-GMO feeds. Then why isn’t my meat labeled as “Fed GMO feed”? According to the USDA, labeling is required when the genetically modified food products have a detectible difference in nutritional composition and safety from their non-GMO counterparts.  Since there is no difference, there is no labeling requirement. Can I purchase beef from cattle not fed genetically modified food? Yes, you can.  When shopping, look for beef labeled USDA Organic. The USDA National Organic Program standards prohibit the use of feeding genetically modified crops. But once again remember that hundreds of studies have confirmed there are no adverse effects on the animal or the resulting meat from cattle fed GMO crops, including corn and soybeans, so regardless of whether you choose organic, natural or conventional beef, all beef is safe to consume.

Top Hand Club March Membership RESULTS Madness


J ULY 15-18


It’s time to get down to business. This is the place where decisions are made and industry policy is set. Mark your calendar for this important meeting!


The March Membership Madness buzzer sounded at 5 p.m. on March 31. Fifty-four recruiters signed up new members during this month-long recruitment challenge and brought in a total of 145 new NCBA members! Congratulations to these March Membership Madness Winners! Arkansas Cattlemen’s Association Jerry Christie Phillip DeSalvo Karen Haralson Kirk Ross California Cattlemen’s Association Bill Flournoy Kevin Kester Colorado Cattlemen’s Association Frank Daley Hawaii Cattlemen’s Council Christopher English Iowa Cattlemen’s Association Justin Rowe Dave Rueber Kansas Livestock Association Gene Barrett Eric Gleue Neal Haverkamp Lindsey Huseman Roger Macke Andrew McCurry Travis McIntire Jeff Morgan Phil Perry

Kansas Livestock Association (continued) Tucker Stewart Andrew Sylvester Wade & Matt Teagarden Russ Walker Kentucky Cattlemen’s Association Regina Rose Louisiana Cattlemen’s Association Ted Freeman, Jr. Mississippi Cattlemen’s Association Noel Jackson Charles Shaw, Jr. Missouri Cattlemen’s Association Adrian Hooper Jeff Zeigenbein Nebraska Cattlemen Troy & Meghan Anderson Melody Benjamin Mark Blackford Lewis Coulter Dave Doeschot Jim Edwards Marc Hanson Jason Hoffman Mackenzie Johnston

Top Hand Club National Cattlemen’s Beef Association

Nebraska Cattlemen (continued) Scott Knobbe Bonita Lederer Gregg Wiedel Ohio Cattlemen’s Association Stephanie Sindel Bill Tom Pennsylvania Cattlemen’s Association Glenn Eberly South Carolina Cattlemen’s Association Mack Beaty Tennessee Cattlemen’s Association Hugh McCampbell, DVM Texas & Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association Pete Bonds John Browning Brian McNeil Alan Pitts Aberney Webster Wisconsin Cattlemen’s Association Larry Parr TOP HAND CLUB SPONSORED BY:

Contact NCBA Membership 866-233-3872

May 2015- Management Article