27 September 2012

Federal payout for 'The Other White Meat' slogan challenged by HSUS lawsuit

A lawsuit has been filed by The Humane Society of the United States, along with an independent pig farmer, charging the National Pork Board with striking an unlawful closed doors deal with a D.C. lobbying organization when they bought the famed "Pork: The Other White Meat" slogan back in 2006. The deal slates $60 million in pork producers' money collected under marketing pretenses, to instead go to industry lobbying, posing a threat to animal welfare and small farmers.

“The National Pork Producers Council has a failed track record when it comes to representing family farmers and preventing animal cruelty,” said Joe Maxwell, director of rural development and outreach at The HSUS and a Missouri pig farmer. “While we can’t force NPPC to care about animals or family farmers, through this lawsuit we can work to stop our money from being unlawfully funneled straight to its lobbyists who work against us.”

Each U.S. pork producer must pay into the 'check-off' program, but these funds are solely to be used for promotional and research purposes, not lobbying. The complaint does not challenge the constitutionality of this program, just the gross misuse of the federally-compelled check-off payments towards lobbyists.

The NPPC lobbies against animal welfare legislation, no matter the industry. They are currently lobbying against the Egg Products Inspection Act Amendments of 2012, which would improve treatment of egg-laying hens, and is actually backed by egg farmers and egg industry groups. The NPCC also advocates against the banning on gestation crates, even though they are already banned in nine states and being phased out by many major pork producers and food companies.

Madeline Heising | Blog
Boston, MA Madeline is studying Communications and Public Advocacy at Northeastern University. Going vegan on a whim in 2011 changed her entire lifestyle for the better. Her course of study, health and career intentions now revolve around plant-based living. All it took was one question ‘Why would you care more about what goes on your body than what goes in it?’ When she’s not in classes she works at Teavana and keeps up her own recipe blog. The only thing that makes her happier than talking about food is traveling, but it’s a pretty close tie.

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