Northern Ag Network
posted on September 25, 2012 10:45 :: 591 Views
The following is portion of an article from Feedstuffs.com:
by Rod Smith
The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) has filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia charging that the National Pork Board "struck an unlawful backroom deal" with the National Pork Producers Council (NPPC) in purchasing the marketing message "Pork: The Other White Meat" from NPPC, according to an announcement by HSUS.
The Other White Meat promotion was created by NPPC prior to the establishment of the checkoff and Pork Board in the 1985 farm bill. Shortly thereafter, NPPC became the board's primary contractor for checkoff programs and introduced the tagline, which became the fifth-most recognized tagline in the U.S.
However, in an agreement with USDA in 2001, NPPC handed over checkoff programs to the Pork Board and transitioned to a policy-making role outside of the checkoff. The board then leased the trademark from NPPC until reaching terms to buy it from NPPC in 2006 (Feedstuffs, March 13, 2006).
The agreement called for the board to pay NPPC $3 million per year for 20 years, or $60 million. The amount was based on what had been determined as the cost to create a new trademark and raise it to the recognition level of The Other White Meat, plus interest.
HSUS said, "through months of research," it had uncovered "glaring legal violations, conflicts of interest and an exorbitantly overinflated price" in the purchase agreement and suggested that the board's payments to NPPC means that checkoff money is being used for public affairs, which is a violation of the law that created the checkoff.
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Posted by Haylie Shipp