The Carolina Farm Stewardship Association’s blog the sweet potato writes that a U.S. appellate court is reviving a lawsuit against the USDA filed by plaintiffs who say research money was illegally channeled to pork industry lobbyists.
The lawsuit was filed by an Iowa hog farmer along with the Humane Society of the United States. It involves checkoff money, a program in which producers pay a small sum from each pork transaction to fund industry marketing or research. But, as the sweet potato notes, this case
alleges that the USDA approved financial transactions by the National Pork Board that were part of a scheme to use checkoff dollars to fund lobbying. If the allegations are true, money collected from all pork producers to pay for research and marketing instead paid for lobbyists promoting policies that don’t benefit small, family farms.
The plaintiffs claim the National Pork Board funneled millions to the National Pork Producers Council by overpaying for the marketing slogan “Pork: The Other White Meat.”
You can read the court’s decision here.