A false rumor about McDonald's once again is circulating via e-mail and the Internet. The rumor claims McDonald's refuses to buy U.S. beef, and imports potentially unsafe beef from South America. The e-mail asks recipients to boycott McDonald's.
This rumor has been circulating in various forms for at least seven years. The e-mail claims to be from the Texas Cattle Feeders Association (TCFA). This is not true and some time ago TCFA issued the following statement in regard to the rumor:
"Texas Cattle Feeders Association is not connected in any way with the email you received. The email, which has been in wide circulation in various forms for several years now, makes a false claim when it identifies Texas Cattle Feeders Association as the original source of the message. No such message has ever been put out by our organization. Unfortunately, we do not know the identity or motive of the person or persons making this improper use of our name."
The e-mail also represents Dr. David Forrest at Texas A&M University as the e-mail originator. This also is untrue. Dr. Forrest does not know how his name got associated with the rumor and, in regard to the e-mail, Dr. Forrest has said:
"I had nothing to do with composing this e-mail, the information it contains is false, and I do not support any of the actions called for in the e-mail."
The United States has traditionally been the largest customer for beef from Australia, New Zealand, Central America and Uruguay. Almost all of these imports are in the form of lean trim used either in quick-service hamburgers or case-ready frozen hamburger.
All plants that export beef to the United States are approved by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and must maintain the same (equivalent) Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP) standards as U.S. packing plants. USDA's Food Safety and Inspection Service regularly audits these facilities.
More information about the e-rumor can be found at the following links: