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    Food Groups Launch Web Site To Counter New Book's Message

    Washington, D.C. -- A group of 18 national associations, many based here, have come together to launch a Web site -- http://www.bestfoodnation.com -- "dedicated to communicating accurate information" about the industry in answer to a controversial new book that slaps industry practices.

    Washington, D.C. -- A group of 18 national associations, many based here, have come together to launch a Web site -- http://www.bestfoodnation.com -- "dedicated to communicating accurate information" about the industry in answer to a controversial new book that slaps industry practices.

    The Web site's supporters said the site contains "current and factual information about the positive contributions delivered by the food system each and every day," as well as the individual stories of men and women representative of the millions of people and families who make up what the trade groups are calling Best Food Nation.

    "We want to tell the story of the millions of people and their families who produce our food every day," said Mike John, Missouri cattle producer and president of the National Cattlemen's Beef Association, one of the site's backers. "We believe it's important to set the record straight when critics use out-of-date or inaccurate information to attack the food system."

    The critic John was referring to is author Eric Schlosser, whose new book, "Chew on This," criticizes the nation's food system with what industry folks said is "sensationalized misinformation."

    "We welcome open dialogue about our food system," said Janet Riley of the American Meat Institute. "These are important issues worthy of discussion. However, some of the information contained in this book is inaccurate and misleading, and Americans should know the facts so they can form their own opinions."

    The site's creators said visitors can learn about efforts that directly benefit the public including the various balanced food choices offered by restaurants and food product manufacturers, the creation of millions of good jobs which offer competitive wages, the practice of responsible animal welfare and environmental stewardship by farmers and ranchers, and the numerous benefits local communities receive through contributions and social programs.

    The 18 organizations supporting Best Food Nation are: American Farm Bureau Federation, American Meat Institute, Corn Refiners Association, Food Products Association, International Franchise Association, National Cattlemen's Beef Association, National Chicken Council, National Council of Chain Restaurants, National Milk Producers Federation, National Pork Board, National Pork Producers Council, National Potato Council, National Restaurant Association, National Retail Federation, National Turkey Federation, Snack Food Association, U.S. Potato Board and United Egg Producers.

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