Below is a letter from CICA member and R-CALF USA President, Gerald Schreiber, in response to Governor Polis’s Impossible Burger:
As a cattle producer from eastern Colorado and President of the largest producer-only cattle association in America, R-Calf USA, I was very disturbed by Governor Polis’ publicity stunt with the “Impossible Burger” and his advancement of his own personal dietary agenda to the detriment of cattle producers. This Governor has pushed many radical, morally repulsive initiatives since coming into office and this is just another in this brazen, in your face efforts to dismantle fundamental economic foundational Colorado industries, i.e. the cattle industry. His actions demonstrate his clear support for the corporatists’ agenda at the expense of Colorado’s family farms and ranches.
First and foremost, it is not the role of a governor to endorse social engineering in the dietary habits of Coloradans. It is not by happenstance that he posed eating a fake burger and then ordered them for the Department of Ag. This governor has an agenda and cattle producers and animal agriculture are in his sights. His underlying assertion that consumers are demanding this laboratory made protein is baseless and lacks any scientific evidence. Right now all that can be said for consumers is that the “Impossible Burger” is a new item that some consumers are trying because it is a new fad. No health benefits have been proven or for that matter health woes.
Governor Polis displayed an ignorance and arrogance about the beef industry and its importance to Colorado and all its communities both rural and urban. He evidently has no understanding of the ruminant animal and its place of converting roughage, grass and forage, into one of the best protein sources available to humans. The importance of the Colorado economy from cattle is tremendous. Without cattle our corn and hay farmers would not have a market for much of their production. His misinformed assessment that we can retool our ranching business to meet this lab generated protein is way off base and comes from the radical, morally repugnant notion that cattle are bad and harmful to the environment. The Governor’s views are not science based but rather are advanced as an extremist strategy of fearmongering.
It is time for all cattle and farm organizations to get together and reject this Governor’s extremist views and tactics. Also, the head of the department of Ag should have stood up for cattle producers and not kowtowed with dribble about unsubstantiated change trends.
Gerald Schreiber, President