When we write to be published, we all want people to read what we write and we certainly try to make our headlines attractive with the least possible words. But does this mean that we distort information?
Here is an example:Forbes Mexico published a note entitled "China detects positive shrimp with COVID-19; imports suspended." I learned about it from the scare comments that appeared on social media, from people who obviously did not read the article, but only the headline. The comments ranged from “I don’t eat those things” to “and now that we are going to eat?”
I carefully reviewed the news item and, in the copy, it clearly states: “The state agency [Chinese Customs] said that samples taken from [Ecuador] shipments of company A, company B and company C have yielded six positive results. However, tests on frozen shrimp themselves and the inside of the packages were negative.” So, if inside of the packages and the shrimp themselves were negative, why does the title say they detected positive shrimp?
Although the Ecuadorian Minister of Production and Foreign Trade clarified that it was not a sanction to the Ecuadorian shrimp, nor for the country or that exports to China of Ecuadorian shrimp are suspended, the media headlines did sanction it, as well as other newspapers that reproduced it as is.
What point am I trying to get across? That we must be careful on what is also said about poultry products. The impact on the industry can be destructive and the bad images remain in the social imaginary almost forever.
Food itself, does not transmit COVID-19. Or at least, it has not yet been proven to transmit it. Even the 34 ministers and secretaries of Agriculture of the American continent have just endorsed it. And the World Health Organization (WHO) clearly says that "at present there is no confirmed case of transmission of COVID-19 through food or food packaging.
What do you think?
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