Warner left no doubts about the NPPC position. Let me ask the question posed in my column directly to you: “Does HSUS have a case against the National Pork Board or are they just engaging in some legal shenanigans in order to force NPB to the bargaining table?”
A: You can read our complaints. We have (hard evidence) that the Pork Board used check-off funds to participate in NPPC lobbying events. NPPC says the charges are baseless, yet it quickly acted to remove evidence of the Board’s high-donor “Partner” status in its Alliance lobbying program. Within days of the HSUS complaint, the U.S. Food Policy blog reported that the Pork Board had been (removed) from the Alliance website.
HSUS and pork farmers also filed a (complaint) over the $60 million pay-out from the Pork Board to the NPPC for the use of the ‘Pork: The Other White Meat’ slogan. NPPC used $500 million from the checkoff to make the slogan successful, so producers should not have to pay again for it, especially in light of the slogan being put to bed.
Q: Thousands of people read cattlenetwork.com. What would you like to say to them?
A: There are some folks in animal agriculture who caricature HSUS, charging that we are trying to end animal agriculture. But why would we work jointly with the United Egg Producers if we were against all animal agriculture? Why would HSUS have a pig farmer serve as its VP of Outreach and Engagement who leads our Rural Affairs program? Why would we work with the Nebraska Farmers Union on marketing of humanely produced animal products? Why would I serve on the board of the Global Animal Partnership, which conducts an animal welfare rating program and certifies products from farmers who raise animals in humane and sustainable ways?
My request to your readers: Look at the facts, not the rhetoric from groups that don’t like HSUS’s reform-oriented campaigns. Farmers and other leaders in agriculture can help solve animal welfare problems, and we look forward to working with anyone who wants to be constructive and help in solving problems for animal welfare.
The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Chuck Jolley, a veteran food-industry journalist and commentator.