Don't beef about Oprah

AN ECONOMIC expert testified in court yesterday that factors such as drought, high corn prices and weak exports had far more impact on a cattle market slump than anything said on Oprah Winfrey's talk show.

"This [declining market] was already happening in response to a drop in consumption in South-east Asia ... not regarding anything to do with what happened on this show," said Marvin Hayenga, an Iowa State University agricultural economics professor.

A group of Texas cattlemen claim that a market plunge following Ms Winfrey's April 1996 talk show on "dangerous foods" cost them $12m. - AP, Texas