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CENTER FOR DISEASE CONTROL RETRACTS STUDY ON FARMERS'/RANCHERS' SUICIDE RATE
POLITICO reports:

It turns out the Center for Disease Control's (CDC) widely cited 2016 study showing farmers with the nation's highest suicide rate was wrong. The agency on Friday retracted the data, which showed that people working "in farming, fishing and forestry" had suicide rates of 84.5 per 100,000 people, four times the national average.

What happened: CDC spokeswoman Courtney Lenard wrote in an email to New Food Economy that the agency incorrectly included farmers and ranchers with agricultural workers in the farming, fishing and forestry (also known as Triple-F) category. Lenard explained that farmers and ranchers should instead have been classified as managers. Triple F workers now have the third highest suicide rate behind "construction and extraction" workers and people working in "installation, maintenance and repair."

No comment: Lenard, along with other members in CDC's press office who were contacted repeatedly on Wednesday by phone, email and LinkedIn, declined to respond to requests about how it plans to correct these numbers.

Why this mistake matters: New Food Economy noted that it has been pressing the CDC to clarify the numbers partly because they have received extensive press attention. The figures also persuaded lawmakers to add funding in the 2018 Senate farm bill for a mental health support network for farmers and ranchers, but not for agricultural workers.


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