What's the BackgroundIn 2006, the National Pork Board purchased from NPPC the “Pork. The Other White Meat” trademarks and related marketing properties. The transaction was approved by USDA pursuant to its oversight role under the 1985 Pork Act, which set up the Pork Checkoff program and established the Pork Board to administer it. In 2012, groups with long-standing opposition to animal agriculture and commodity Checkoff programs filed a lawsuit against USDA, challenging the validity of the federally approved and established purchase agreement. A U.S. District Court dismissed the suit on procedural grounds, but it was re-instated in August 2015. Before any further court action took place, and two days after NPPC sought to intervene in the lawsuit, USDA entered into a settlement agreement with the groups to review the purchase agreement and to determine whether to breach the contract.
Why Does It Matter to Our Producers?
The legitimacy of the Pork Checkoff program is jeopardized by legal challenges to an agreement duly approved by the representatives of pork producers and sanctioned by an agency of the federal government. It is important that the National Pork Board, which is charged with the promotion of pork, has the right to make independent decisions regarding the promotion of pork products, without interference from activist groups whose goal is to eliminate pork production.