The Humane Society of the United States has filed a lawsuit that claims the National Pork Producers Council has been financing its lobbying efforts in part through the sale of the campaign slogan “the other white meat” in 2006 for 60-million dollars. According to the lawsuit – an economist thought use of the slogan was not worth more than 375-thousand dollars a year – but the National Pork Board agreed to the 60-million dollar price tag. The lawsuit goes on to say this was in an effort to keep the Pork Board’s friends at NPPC in business. NPPC CEO Neil Dierks says NPPC is reviewing the HSUS complaint. He says it appears there is no legal merit to the claim. In fact – he calls it another desperate attempt by the radical activist group to severely curtail animal agriculture and take away consumer food choices.
Dierks released the following statement late Monday:
“NPPC is reviewing the HSUS complaint, but it appears there is no legal merit to this claim, and it is another desperate attempt by the radical activist group to severely curtail animal agriculture and take away consumer food choices. What does merit concern, however, is the fact that HSUS preys on the emotions of domestic pet owners with deceptive advertising and fundraising. It raises money on images of abused puppies without homes, yet virtually none of those funds go to local shelters. Instead those dollars go toward multimillion dollar campaigns to attack family farmers and American meat production.
“This also is the latest bullying tactic by HSUS in its efforts to force NPPC to abandon its position on allowing farmers to choose production practices that are best for the welfare of their animals. Over the past few months, HSUS has threatened NPPC with a Federal Trade Commission complaint; filed notice of its intent to sue a number of hog operations over alleged emissions reporting violations; and charged that NPPC was responsible for the deaths of hogs in barn fires because the organization asked to give input on national fire standards for agricultural facilities. All of the allegations lack merit.”