The attack on BPI is not about money or jobs. It is not about science or technological advancement in support of our health. It is certainly not about a self-made man named Eldon Roth who used technology, innovation, and hard work to develop a product that has been proved safe, nutritional, and economical. It is not a story about 300 billion meals that have incorporated BPI and never been found responsible for a single illness. It is not about sustainable food production or the likely increase we will soon see in the price of beef. It is not about food safety leaders like Nancy Donley who will do the right thing in the face of adversity.
In the end, this story is about the unfortunate lapse of journalistic integrity. It is about a 24-hour news cycle, ratings, and ad revenue. It is about major media outlets latching on to misrepresentative stories to generate fear and mistrust among, and then profit from, American consumers.
Only those of us who work in the food industry fully understand the extreme challenges and adversity we face each day to keep our food safe. Eldon Roth, who has spearheaded tremendous success in this regard, is someone each of us should be proud to look up to. We owe it to Eldon, as well as to each of our co-workers, friends, and family members, to stand together in the name of food safety. Let us use the voice of reason to drown out that of hysteria and fear. Today it is BPI—tomorrow it could be you.
Shawn Stevens, an attorney at Gass Weber Mullins LLC in Milwaukee, Wis., counsels food industry clients nationally on food safety regulatory and liability issues. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (414) 224-7784.