Note To HSUS: Fire Your Fact-Checker

The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) isn’t exactly known for its meticulous research skills. But if Wayne Pacelle is looking to trim down his staff, we have a pretty good idea about where he can start. On March 3, HSUS put out a press release patting itself on the back for a job well done in getting Virginia Tech to “hatch” a cage-free egg policy. Now, a letter has surfaced from the university’s Senior Associate Director of food services stating that Virginia Tech does not have a cage-free egg policy. Oops!
From HSUS’ press release last month:

After working with The Humane Society of the United States, Virginia Tech joined a national movement to improve conditions for farm animals by no longer serving eggs from caged hens for all its shell (whole) egg usage.

The head of Virginia Tech’s food service (who actually knows what’s going on there) begs to differ.

Dear Mr. Pacelle:
This letter is to clarify Virginia Tech’s recent decision to find local food sources for Dining Services. Your March 3 press release states that the university has a cage-free egg policy. We do not have such a policy…
Virginia Tech does not have a policy regarding cage free eggs.

How embarrassing. The letter closed with a polite request that HSUS correct the press release on its website. But did it?
Nope. Instead, catty vegans added this “Editor’s Note” to the existing version:

On April 1, 2009, The HSUS was notified of a letter that Virginia Tech released to agribusiness trade press expressing concern regarding the wording of the below press release. In fact, Virginia Tech approved the entire press release, including the quote from its spokesperson, before it was ever issued.  

Just to clarify, by “wording” of the release, Editor is referring to the part where it said Virginia Tech has cage-free egg policy when in fact it does not have a cage-free egg policy.
More important, however, is the fact that HSUS refuses to change the release because someone at Virginia Tech approved it last month. Apparently that means that the statement from the head of its food service doesn’t count.
This is the standard of accuracy at HSUS. Given its history of fabricating Canadian seafood boycotts, we’re not surprised.
If HSUS wants to shoot its own credibility in the foot, of course, that’s peachy with us. Now recipients of the smear letter it has been sending around about us are well-equipped to put HSUS’ fact-checking skills into perspective. Thanks guys!

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