Briefings for Brexit: Fact Checking the BBC Fact Checkers:

The BBC wrongly contradicted the US Ambassador’s claim that the USA had an outstanding record on food health. The data do not support the BBC claim that food poisoning rates are higher in the US than in Europe. The BBC have yet to correct this error despite its relevance to the Brexit debate.

 Last Friday, the Today Programme on BBC Radio 4 did a “Fact Check” on the US Ambassador’s recent claim that US had some of the lowest food poisoning rates in the world.

Presenter Justin Webb interviewed BBC Reality Check correspondent, Chris Morris, who reported that they had investigated the issue and that the statistics were clear: rates of Campylobacter illnesses in the US were 4 times higher than those in the UK, whilst Salmonella rates were 20 times higher.  The Ambassador was, we were told “flat wrong” and no room for doubt was left.  Apart from the embarrassment to Woody Johnson, the piece was clearly designed to cast doubt on the desirability of the post-Brexit US-UK trade deal.

The trouble is that virtually every element of Chris Morris’s ‘Reality Check’ was either flat out false or based on a seriously incompetent use of statistics.

Click here to read the piece in full.

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