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On this morning’s edition of the Today Show, reporter Jeff Rossen and producer Robert Powell appear to have willfully ignored evidence that imported seafood is safe.
Ignoring the Facts
The National Fisheries Institute (NFI) provided Rossen and Powell the following resources, weeks before the story aired, in order to help ensure the Today Show had accuracy, balance, objectivity and proper sourcing;
Additionally Rossen and Powell;
Despite being in possession of all of these documents and having access to an independent expert, it is our contention that the reporter and producer willfully neglected the facts in favor of a more sensational and less accurate story, pushed by domestic catfish producers.
The real story behind this story is and has always been domestic catfish farmers trying to keep imported seafood (primarily from Vietnam) out of the market by claiming there is a food safety problem with the competition. Rossen and Powell were educated about the history and origin of this campaign that they apparently became an unwitting promotional vehicle for. They were even provided clips from independent sources that made this point;
Rossen and Powell were made aware of the connection to the anti-competition, special interest agenda of the domestic catfish lobby. Despite being presented with ample evidence documenting the safety of imported seafood, we believe the story they produced demonstrated a reckless disregard for the truth.
Rossen only briefly mentions that FDA targets its inspections and attention towards companies or countries that have had problems in the past. Instead he narrowly focuses on FDA’s 2% border inspections. Doesn’t it make sense to look for misbehaving kids in high school detention? This is what FDA’s system does.