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October 15, 2009

Want Michael Pollan to talk at your university? Get permission from Agribusiness, first.

Free speech? Not if I’m spending my hard-won animal cruelty dollars on your university, pal.

California agribusiness pressures school to nix Michael Pollan lecture

…Threatening to pull donations from the school, a major California agribusiness has succeeded in turning what was to be a campus lecture by Pollan tomorrow into a panel discussion involving Pollan, a meat-science expert and one of the largest organic growers in the U.S.

“While I understand the need to expose students to alternative views, I find it unacceptable that the university would provide Michael Pollan an unchallenged forum to promote his stand against conventional agricultural practices,” David E. Wood, chairman of the Harris Ranch Beef Co., wrote in a scathing Sept. 23 letter to the Cal Poly president.

Wood has pledged $150,000 toward a new meat processing plant on campus. In his letter, he said Pollan’s scheduled solo appearance had prompted him to “rethink my continued financial support of the university.” He also criticized an animal sciences professor who said that conventional feedlots like the one run by Harris Ranch were not a form of sustainable agriculture…for the rest, click here.

For my recent video interview with Michael Pollan, click here.

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