The National Pork Producers Council (NPPC) asks in a YouTube video that producers call on their senators to reject the disastrous “Egg Products Inspection Act Amendments” introduced by Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA).
This bill would be the first federal legislation of its kind giving government authority to set national standards for on-farm practices. The proposal is backed by the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), which has the stated goal of abolishing animal agriculture.
Nebraska pork producer Bill Luckey of Columbus warns that passage of legislation to regulate an agricultural production system would set a dangerous precedent that could lead to possible regulation of other agricultural commodities beyond the poultry industry – pork, beef and even corn and soybeans currently facing issues with genetically modified organisms (GMOs).
The United Egg Producers (UEP), embroiled in a “10-year war of attrition” with the HSUS over hen housing standards, has relented to pressure and agreed to support federal legislation which would provide for expanded cage space without having any impact on food safety, charges Audrey Adamson, NPPC vice president of public policy issues in Washington, DC. If passed, this will shut small egg producers out of the market.
“At a time when the economy is faltering in this country, you have to ask what will this do to the cost of food for consumers and the impact on federal feeding programs,” she points out. “In discussions with groups like Feeding America and Meals on Wheels, they are very concerned about the cost of protein.
“At the end of the day, we don’t think it (proposed egg legislation) is good for the marketplace, we don’t think it is good for consumers and it will have an impact on other species moving forward,” Adamson says.
The egg industry has suggested the increased cost would be small, but Adamson says NPPC doesn’t believe UEP has taken into account what it would mean for the federal nutrition feeding programs which are still the largest consumers of eggs.