The Hartford Advocate, an “alternative” weekly, gives voice this week to just about every aggrieved nanny who doesn’t want you to enjoy the taste of poultry. A story titled “Cluck You!” explores various myths about modern poultry production, with the apparent goal of frightening the public into swearing off chicken for good. Nannies from United Poultry Concerns, The Center for Science in the Public Interest, and the Union of Concerned Scientists all make appearances to argue in print against the use of antibiotics for controlling farm animal infections. This despite a more level-headed pronouncement (buried deep inside the article) from Michael Darre, the University of Connecticut’s faculty poultry expert. “Our perception of the risk is way off from the reality,” Darre says. “If it was half as bad as the critics said, we’d all be dead years ago.”
The Advocate gained much local publicity last month from its “Project Censored,” which sought to identify the 10 most under-reported news stories of the past year. Small wonder that the supposed “hidden dangers” of genetically improved foods was included on the list, complete with a link to the Genetically Engineered Food Alert, a coalition that includes just about every anti-food-technology group with more than two nickels to rub together.