The National Pork Producers Council (NPPC) characterizes a Congressional amendment to end the pork checkoff as a political intrusion.

Rep. Marcy Kaptur (D-OH) offered an amendment in a House Agricultural Appropriations Committee meeting.

It states: “None of the funds appropriated or otherwise made available by the Pork Act may be used to maintain, modify or implement any assessment against agricultural producers as part of a commodity promotion, research and consumer information order, known as a checkoff program, that has not been approved by the affected producers in accordance with the statutory requirements applicable to the order.”

According to NPPC, the checkoff program was approved by producers and is being operated in accordance with all statutory requirements.

The Kaptur amendment is part of the proposed 2002 House agricultural appropriations bill.

“For Congress to intervene in legislation pending before a federal court would be unfortunate,” observes Barb Determan, NPPC president and a producer from Early, IA. “The settlement agreement between USDA and NPPC is currently before the courts, and there should be a final decision later this year.”

The settlement agreement was reached Feb. 28. It set aside the Jan. 11 announcement by the secretary of agriculture that the pork checkoff would end.

More information on the settlement and checkoff-related activities can be found at www.nppc.org and www.porkboard.org.