Where’s the Beef? On the Web

The U.S. meat industry can't seem to catch a break. As if Mad Cow and hoof-and-mouth epidemics in Europe weren't enough to scare Americans off their Big Macs, an e-coli
outbreak has cropped up in Michigan and media outlets like the Washington Post are chronicling startling conditions in modern slaughterhouses. The crisis is especially
critical on the Web, where organizations like PETA are taking full advantage of the situation to promote anti-beef messages. Take a look at how are the beef industry is holding
up online . . . The National Cattlemen's Beef Association devotes a site (http://www.bseinfo.org) to facts on bovine spongiform encephalopathy (Mad Cow to the layman). The association's own Web site,

http://www.beef.org, offers two dryly scientific articles downplaying the dangers of Mad Cow Disease in the U.S. and emphasizing that foot-and-
mouth disease does not affect humans . .. The American Meat Institute, a meat packing association, offers an array of articles on both sides of the issue - an excellent
tactic for positioning the association as a source for credible information - as well as updates on appearances by meat handling experts and a look at Capitol Hill activity . .
.The National Meat Association comes in last with a site that acknowledges the crisis with an unassuming link to a page of USDA URLs on foot-and-mouth disease.