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Humane Society sues over ‘Other White Meat’ sale

The Humane Society of the United States and a pig farmer filed a lawsuit in federal district court in Washington today, charging that the National Pork Board struck an unlawful backroom deal with the National Pork Producers Council for the purchase of the “Pork: The Other White Meat” slogan.

The National Pork Producers Council said the suit has no merit and amounts to bullying.

The suit says that the Pork Board used checkoff money to buy the slogan from NPPC in 2006 for $60 million, that the price was inflated and that the money from the sale was “diverted into industry lobbying efforts aimed at harming animal welfare and small farmers,” according to an HSUS news release.

“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,” NPPC CEO Neil Dierks said in a news release.

Dierks said the suit “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,” he said. “All of the allegations lack merit.”