Editor’s note: The following Letter to the Editor is in response to a commentary published by Dan Murphy, the "Meat of the Matter" contributor to PORK Network, Drovers and Dairy Herd Management websites. The commentary in question was published across these sites; however, the link to this commentary within this Letter to the Editor directs readers to the PORK Network link. The opinions expressed in "Meat of the Matter" commentaries are solely those of Dan Murphy and do not necessarily reflect the views of Farm Journal Media or its publications.

Dear Editors:

Recently, the North American Meat Institute hosted a press webinar available to all media to unveil a new economic impact study of the meat and poultry industry.  We were troubled to see that your publication was absent from a press conference that clearly outlined our methodology and conclusions, but your columnist Dan Murphy was quick to criticize our study in a recent column (“Getting to a Trillion,” June 21).

Murphy’s comparison of our approach to “tactics employed by activists” and the use of the pejorative term “alleged” to describe our study’s estimates is unfair and suggests Murphy didn’t take the time to fully understand our analysis.  It’s true that some activists throw data without explaining their underlying assumptions or calculations – but that stands in sharp contrast to the detailed and transparent approach we took.

Economic impact studies analyze how an industry impacts the total economy. A simplistic approach in which we tally sales by firms in our sector would only tell half the story.   But an economist using the approach that our study’s author John Dunham employed quantifies the impact we have on the many people from whom we buy goods and services and the people who sell our products and benefit from them.  This is a well-respected approach.

Rather than using loaded words like “alleged,” we ask that you contact us In the future before making a judgment.   We’ll happy to give you all the time you need to understand our methodology so you can report in a more accurate and objective way.  We proudly stand by the accuracy of our $1 trillion economic impact figure.


Barry Carpenter
President and CEO
North American Meat Institute