A U.S. District Court late last week dismissed a lawsuit filed by the Humane Society of the United States claiming that the National Pork Board's purchase of a widely known pork advertising slogan from the National Pork Producers Council was unlawful.
HSUS filed the suit a year ago, claiming that the sale of the slogan "Pork, The Other White Meat" to the NPB violates provisions of the Pork Promotion, Research, and Consumer Information Act of 1985. HSUS claims specifically that producers' checkoff dollars are being illegally funneled into the NPPC as a result of the purchase, to be used for NPPC lobbying efforts.
An additional HSUS claim states that producers paying into the pork checkoff are being charged twice for the slogan: once when it was commissioned by the NPPC and again when a purchase arrangement by NPB was negotiated in 2006.
The court, however, ruled that the plaintiffs lacked standing and that no one had suffered any injury from the approval of the trademark purchase.
The suit was filed against the USDA and thus USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack and HSUS was joined in its complaint by an Iowa Pork producer and the Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement.
NPPC applauded the efforts of Secretary Vilsack, who opted to defend the case. The group said Vilsack's actions should send a strong signal to HSUS supporters that "frivolous lawsuits will not be tolerated and should not be pursued."
"If I were a donor to HSUS, I would be very disturbed that my money was wasted on yet another expensive lawsuit that had nothing to do with improving the welfare of farm animals," said NPPC President Randy Spronk.
"This is clearly a vendetta against the U.S. pork industry by the leadership of HSUS, which has made their mission to permanently end animal agriculture very clear. It was frivolous and a waste of the taxpayers' money and the court's time. HSUS donors deserve better than that."
News source: NPPC