Meatingplace published a story about the Humane Society of the United States complaining to the USDA’s Office of the Inspector General that the National Pork Board (NPB) has used federal checkoff dollars to support the National Pork Producers Council’s lobbying efforts.
That’s against the rules. But a note from Humanewatch.org that showed up in my in box at about the same time seems to suggest that if HSUS wants to call the NPB’s kettle black, they’re doing it from a very dark pot. HumaneWatch had just looked at the most recent HSUS tax forms.
NPB’s response to the charge was formed by knowing how HSUS went after the poultry industry. Their management team wasn’t about to step on any of that animal rights group’s well-known land mines. In response to the complaint, National Pork Board CEO Chris Novak told Meatingplace "We [have] watched HSUS use a continuing pattern of legal attacks on the poultry industry which were designed to force them to the table with HSUS. We think the same pattern of attacks is now focused on the pork industry.”
Novak continued his aggressive response by saying "It’s disappointing but we are prepared, and believe that we have made proper investments. We are cognizant of the law, we work closely with USDA's Agricultural Marketing Service to ensure that the investments are proper, and we welcome the chance to have this discussion with USDA or anyone else in terms of the work that we do on behalf of the industry."
Dave Warner, director of communications for the National Pork Producers Council, emailed this statement to Meatingplace, "This latest attack by the Humane Society of the United States against America's family pig farmers, like the animal activist's previous ones, won't work and won't scare pig farmers into abandoning practices that protect the well-being of their animals.”
And then he delivered this smack across the Pacellian cheek: "HSUS's charges are baseless, without merit and frivolous. Its claim that pork checkoff funds have been misused is patently and demonstrably false."
It can’t get any plainer than that unless Mr. Warner wanted to include a suggestion that Wayne Pacelle can go to Hellenback, a small, mostly deserted town in central Iowa if memory serves.
HumaneWatch scrutinized the internal operations of HSUS by sifting through their IRS Form 990, a publicly available tax return that nonprofits have to file with the federal government. HumaneWatch was delighted that public support for HSUS is down.