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August 13, 2012

Big Pork Benefits from Subsidies, But Fights Federal Reform for Animal Welfare

Today, the Obama administration announced yet another massive give-away to the pork industry–in the form of a $100 million buy-up of surplus pork. This latest government bail-out is in addition to hundreds of millions already given to the pork industry by this administration. It comes as President Obama takes a three-day tour through Iowa, and you can guess what one of his talking points will be.

Pig

Ironically, this same sector of agribusiness is lobbying against the egg industry reform bill backed by HSUS and the United Egg Producers, which has made passage of that bill its top priority. The NPPC is willing to subvert the work of a different sector of animal agriculture, under the guise of opposition to federal standards, but for itself, it’s willing to rake in hundreds of millions of federal dollars.

This sort of hypocrisy is mind-bending. The NPPC says one thing, but does another when it comes to federal involvement.

This is the same pork industry that sued the state of Calilfornia to invalidate a state law to ban the mistreatment of downer pigs because it said the Federal Meat Inspection Act preempts state laws. It seems to like certain federal laws, especially when it suits the industry's profit motives.

This is the same industry that benefits from exports in the billions of dollars due in considerable part to the administration’s unceasing efforts to open markets for the pork industry across the globe. 

And this is the same industry that benefits from crop insurance and other support programs for low-cost corn and soybeans used for feed, which is its biggest production cost.

There is no more pampered, government-subsidized industry than Big Agribusiness, and the pork industry wrote the book. 

Congress should laugh off the pork industry’s manufactured opposition to federal standards to promote more humane treatment of farm animals, and taxpayers should be in revolt over these staggering, unwarranted subsidies to an industry that talks out of both sides of its mouth.

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