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Distorting or ill-informed

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Letter to the Editor
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 about Eric Heyl's column “Here a shot, there a shot: Propaganda flows freely in Pennsylvania debate over liquor stores” (May 4 and 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


The writer is director of policy analysis for the Commonwealth Foundation (

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