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Distorting or ill-informed

| Tuesday, May 21, 2013, 9:00 p.m.

Ironically, Keystone Research Center executive director Steve Herzenberg's letter “One-sided & ill-informed” (May 15 and TribLIVE.com) about Eric Heyl's column “Here a shot, there a shot: Propaganda flows freely in Pennsylvania debate over liquor stores” (May 4 and TribLIVE.com) is itself replete with factual errors.

Herzenberg writes that a task force of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention concludes “privatizing alcohol sales would increase excessive drinking, alcohol-related traffic fatalities and other drinking-related social problems.” But the task-force report makes none of those findings.

In fact, the task-force report notes “research gaps” that include “limited available evidence of effects of privatization on alcohol-related harms” and “insufficient evidence to determine the effects of privatization on excessive alcohol consumption and related harms.”

Herzenberg and his government-liquor-union-funded organization are entitled to their opinion, but not their own facts.

I don't know if he is ill-informed or simply distorting the truth, but either way, the claims he makes are demonstrably wrong.

Nathan A. Benefield

Harrisburg

The writer is director of policy analysis for the Commonwealth Foundation (commonwealthfoundation.org).

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