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Texas beef producers are exploring the use of whole cotton plants as a protein source for cattle due to extreme drought conditions, according to a Texas AgriLife Extension Service expert.

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Japan is preparing to ease restrictions on U.S. beef imports as concerns about mad cow disease receded and domestic cattle production fell after the nation’s worst nuclear disaster since World War II.

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The American Meat Institute (AMI), in conjunction with the American Meat Science Association (AMSA), today expanded its “Meat MythCrushers” campaign with the first of seven new myth-crushing videos that sets the record straight about myths associated with the use of ammonium hydroxide in some beef products.

“We’ve received tremendous feedback thus far on the campaign,” said AMI Senior Vice President of Public Affairs and Member Services Janet Riley.  “We want to keep the momentum going and continue to provide consumers with facts to make informed choices.”

The Meat Myth Crushers campaign is centered around the website,, and a companion Facebook page, which feature science-based information and resources in response to some of the most popular meat and poultry myths held by consumers, covering topics such as food safety, production methods, nutrition and animal welfare.

“One of the more popular recent myths we’ve heard from consumers that has been spread by some movies and TV personalities is that ordinary household ammonia is used to make some hamburgers,” Riley added.  “This myth was the first of the seven that we aim to crush.”

Gary Acuff, Ph.D., director for food safety and professor of food microbiology at Texas A&M University, provides the facts and dispels this inaccurate notion in a new video posted today on the website.  Acuff explains, “One form of ammonia called ammonium hydroxide is sometimes used in processing foods like baked goods, cheeses, chocolates and some beef products – this is not the same type of ammonia in household cleaners.”

The new Web page also contains various articles, fact sheets and a Q&A about the safe use of ammonium hydroxide in beef production.

Dr. Acuff’s video is the first of seven to be released over the next six weeks, which will feature various academic experts from all over the country addressing meat myths on topics ranging from livestock environmental impact to processed meat safety and nutrition.

“The American Meat Science Association is proud to be connecting directly with consumers through these videos,” said AMSA Executive Director Thomas Powell.  “Meat scientists are excellent resources for consumers with questions and we are pleased to be part of this education effort.”

If national trends are the equivalent of a beef industry report card, then ranchers and feeders are making the grade.

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HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) -- The idea of slaughtering New England-raised cattle and selling the beef locally is based more on idealism than economic reality, says a report commissioned by the six states' agriculture departments.

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redangus_regA new test that detects a rare and deadly bone disorder in Red Angus is now available to cattle producers, thanks to U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) scientists.

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