Patrick Ishmael
Last week KMOV reported that a “non-profit agency” commissioned by the Midwest China Hub Commission had conducted a study about export opportunities from a proposed “Aerotropolis,” and determined that "shipping meat from Lambert [Airport] to China is feasible..." (emphasis mine).
The Midwest China Hub Commission hired the National Center for Beef Excellence to examine how much beef and pork could be exported to China via Lambert. The NCBE says a China hub at Lambert could send up to 11 million pounds of meat to China.

The news report in its entirety:

We've discussed again and again how beef is ineligible for export to China. The NCBE's use of the word "meat" is nondescript enough to suggest beef can be exported without admitting that it can't, and when "beef" is evoked specifically in KMOV's discussion here, it's always in the context that it "could" mean "big bucks" for the state, presumably in the same way that someone "could" make a lot of money distilling bathtub alcohol if it were legal to sell it. That's a crafty way for the NCBE to announce its findings without spilling the beans about beef, but it doesn't really add anything to the conversation on Aerotropolis.

Then there's the question of the study itself: Namely, where is it? We asked the China Hub Commission about getting a copy of the NCBE report, and in about a day we'd received in the mail a stack of various, unpaginated NCBE documents that related to the China Hub, but did not include anything that looked like a study or that supported the substance of the news reports about it -- namely, that 11 million pounds of meat could be exported to China after lawmakers passed the Aerotropolis legislation.

So far, no one else we've asked has been able to find the report, including those who covered it. Where, precisely, is this study? If nobody has a finalized copy or even a draft copy of what was reported, why... was anything reported? Or better yet, how was it reported?

There were some very revealing details that we did find in that pile of China Hub documents, however. More on that shortly.

About the Author

Patrick Ishmael
Director of Government Accountability

Patrick Ishmael is the director of government accountability at the Show-Me Institute.