Sunday, 23 July 2017 10:40

Fake News Featured

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June 28, 2017
The article,” Are there too many antibiotics in your fast food meat?” is by Ben Tinker that was published on September 22, 2016, at the CNN website. The author aims to answer the question, “What is in the meat that we eat at fast food restaurants? The report examines the presence of antibiotics in the meat supplied to fast food restaurants all across the United States. The author makes use of a wide range of rhetorical devices to capture the attention of readers and make his audience agree with his point of view. This essay evaluates this article published on the CNN website by examining aspects like biases, rhetorical appeals, the purpose of the article, and logical fallacies.
The main purpose of the article is to inform the public that fast food meat may have too many high levels of antibiotic since the antibiotics are given to farm animals to make them grow faster and prevent them from diseases. These farm animals are in overcrowded places and diseases spread may bring devastating outcomes and loss to the farmers and the food production companies.
The author depends on rhetorical appeals such as logos, ethos, and pathos to communicate to the audience. Through an appeal to ethos, the author has managed to establish the credibility and authority with the audience that makes his message seem credible and trustworthy to listen. The author appeals to ethos by citing the source of his written message. He refers to the collaborative new report that has ranked the twenty-five largest US fast food restaurant chains as per their antibiotics practices and policies. He mentions that the top honors are companies like Chipotle Mexican Grill and Panera Bread that was awarded grade A.
Citing the recent statistical reports of the businesses that are strict with their antibiotic policies and those who are not is a way which the author appeals to the ethos. He aims to let the readers trust his argument and lets them know that he is worth being listened to since his information is genuine. The author also demonstrates familiarity with the different perspectives and opinions of antibiotic policies by accurately showing the statistics and presenting the views of major players in the food industry. In doing so, he manages to present his information in a fair manner without bias and over reliance of his emotions. He uses statistics and relevant sources to show that his ideas are supported by credible sources such as the CNN Medical respondent and organizations like CDC and WHO.
In an appeal to logos, the author applies findings, quotes, statistics, and numbers to support his argument. For example, he quotes the statement given by the Chief Medical Corresponded of CNN, Dr. Sanjay Gupta saying, “Antibiotics resistances are one of the biggest health threats that the world is facing today.” He applies for statistics and numbers from CDC which Estimates that over two million Americans every year contract antibiotic resistance and 23,000 of them die due to this resistances. All these aspects are with the aim of convincing the readers that other recognized sources well support his point.
In an appeal to pathos, the author aims to establish a personal connection with the audience through evoking emotions and also suggesting that the audience should share his values beliefs and attitudes. It is well demonstrated in the opening line of this article. He writes, “Although you may be keen to the type of meat you buy at a grocery store such as cage-free, grass-fed or organic, the many chances are that you don’t pay attention to the type of meat you get served at your favorite fast food restaurant.” Such an opening makes the audience get interested to know what the author is trying to argue.
Logical fallacy found in this article is the statement that the high-level meeting on antibiotic resistance by the United Nations General Assembly is one of the few times in history where world leaders are discussing a public health issue. Though this is true, it does not mean that world leaders have never met before to discuss matters of health such as the case of fighting HIV/AIDS epidemic. Such a meeting was held in May and June 2016 that aimed at making the Member States of the United Nations adopt a political declaration in putting an end to the epidemic of AIDS. Finally, the author’s conclusion of his essay is not complete. His argument that “the efforts made by restaurants in providing better and healthier food sources are simply not enough” can be completed with recommendations that can help restaurants improve their services and the role of the key players in ensuring that restaurants do not serve meat with antibiotics. For example, the calls for the petition to argue restaurants to adopt the no-antibiotic meat and the requirements for investors to recommend restaurants and farm to reduce antibiotics use. Also, the farmers should be expected to use antibiotics for treating sick animals only and not for irresponsible practices, such as prevention of diseases or growth promotions since the farm animals live in unsanitary and confined conditions.

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 Dr. Michelle Robert

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