McDonald’s Beef-Importing Plan Spawns Protests, Misinformation

An e-mail circulating the net claims that McDonald’s has announced they are going to start importing most of their beef from South America.

It’s a claim that’s not true, although it is true that Mickey D’s is testing the importation of small amounts of beef from Australia and New Zealand.

Here’s the original e-mail:

Date Collected: June 19, 2002

Subject: FW: American Beef

**** We as cattle producers are very passionate about this.
Mc Donald’s claims that there is not enough beef in the USA to support
their restaurants. Well, we know that is not so. My opinion is
they are looking to save money at our expense. The sad thing of it is
that the people of the USA are the ones who made McDonalds successful
in the first place, but we are not good enough to purchase beef from.

We personally are no longer eating at McDonalds, which I am sure
does not make an impact, but if we pass this around maybe there will
be an impact felt. Please pass on your opinion. Cheryl

**** This has Me just fighting mad. Just to add a note, all Americans
that sell cows at a livestock auction barn had to sign a paper
stating that we do NOT EVER feed our cows any part of another cow.
South Americans are not required to do this as of yet.

**** McDonalds has announced that they are going to start importing
much of their beef from South America. The problem is that South
Americans aren’t under the same regulations as American beef producers
and the regulations they have are loosely controlled. They can spray
numerous pesticides on their pastures that have been banned here at
home because of residues found in the beef. They can also use various
hormones and growth regulators that we can’t. The American public needs
to be aware of this problem and that they may be putting themselves at
risk from now on by eating at good old McDonalds.

American ranchers raise the highest quality beef in the world and this is what Americans deserve to eat. Not beef from countries where quality is loosely controlled. Therefore I am proposing a boycott of McDonalds until they see the light.

I’m sorry but everything is not always about the bottom line, and
when it comes to jeopardizing my family’s health that is where I draw
the line.

I am sending this note to about thirty people. If each of you send
it to at least ten more (30 x 10 =3D 300) … and those 300 send it
to at least ten more (300 x 10 =3D 3,000) … and so on, by the
time the message reaches the sixth generation of people, we will have
reached over THREE MILLION consumers! If those three million get
excited and pass this on to ten friends each, then 30 million people will
have been contacted! If it goes one level further, you guessed it…..

Again, all you have to do is send this to 10 people. That’s all.
I’ll bet you didn’t think you and I had that much potential, did you?
Acting together we can make a difference. If this makes sense to
you, please pass this message on.

I can’t claim any credit for the leg-work in debunking this alarmist e-mail, which plucks at just about every heart string imaginable. Several hoax sites have researched this e-mail fully, and I’ll refer folks to them for a proper debunking. To sum up though:

  • McDonald’s is experimenting with importing beef, but from Australia and New Zealand, not South America.
  • The Aussie beef is cheaper than America beef, but just as importantly, it’s leaner. McDonald’s says they can’t get enough lean beef in America (where much of the beef is grain fed, and thus fattier) and instead need to import grass-fed beef from Down Under.

For far better debunkings, check out these links:

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