Press releases about Minnesota Pork Producers Association can be found below.

Study Supports Need To Reform Ethanol Production Mandate

WASHINGTON, D.C., July 19, 2012 – In response to a new economic study on the impact of corn ethanol production on food prices and commodity price volatility, a coalition of livestock and poultry groups is urging Congress to reform the federal Renewable Fuels Standard (RFS), which mandates the amount of ethanol that must be produced annually.

Conducted by Thomas Elam, Ph.D., president of FarmEcon LLC, an Indiana agricultural and food industry consulting firm, the study found that federal ethanol policy has increased and destabilized corn, soybean and wheat prices to the detriment of food and fuel producers and consumers.

The RFS, first imposed in 2005 and revised in 2007, this year requires 15.2 billion gallons of ethanol to be produced. Most of that amount is blended into gasoline at 10 percent. Read more

EPA Withdraws Farm Database Rule

WASHINGTON, D.C., July 13, 2012 – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency today withdrew a proposed rule that would have required large livestock and poultry farmers to report information about their operations and undermined court decisions related to producer obligations under the Clean Water Act, a move applauded by the National Pork Producers Council.

EPA’s proposed Concentrated Animal Feeding Operation (CAFO) Reporting Rule sought to have CAFOs submit to the agency operational information so it could “more effectively carry out its CAFO permitting programs on a national level and ensure that CAFOs are implementing practices to protect water quality and human health.” The information includes facility facts, such as contact information, location of a CAFO’s production area, permit status, the number and type of animals confined and the number of acres available for land application of manure.

The proposed rule was prompted by a May 2010 settlement agreement EPA entered with the Natural Resources Defense Council, Waterkeeper Alliance – represented by current Humane Society of the United States attorney Hannah Conner, who this week filed 51 notices of intent to sue hog farmers for alleged environmental paperwork violations – and the Sierra Club as part of a lawsuit NPPC brought and ultimately won over EPA’s 2008 CAFO rule. The 2008 rule required, among other things, that large livestock operations that propose to or that might discharge into waterways obtain Clean Water Act (CWA) permits. On NPPC’s suit, a federal court ruled that the CWA requires permits only for operations actually discharging.

“As we have consistently stated, the proposed rule was the result of a sweetheart settlement between EPA and environmentalists that would have provided no public health protections,” said R.C. Hunt, NPPC president and a pork producer from Wilson, N.C. “It would have been a duplicative and burdensome paperwork exercise for producers and clearly was an effort to undermine court decisions that said producers who don’t discharge into waterways don’t need a CWA permit.”

Australia, New Zealand, U.S. Uneasy Over Canada’s Inclusion In Trans-Pacific Partnership

WASHINGTON, D.C., July 10, 2012 – The recent decision at the G20 summit to include Canada in the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) has the United States, New Zealand and Australia up in arms over Canada’s open agricultural subsidy schemes, in particular its programs for Canadian pork production.

The TPP countries – the United States, Australia, New Zealand, Brunei Darussalam, Chile, Malaysia, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam – also voted to include Mexico in the TPP. The nine economies have a combined gross domestic product (GDP) of nearly $17 trillion, a GDP per capita of $33,546 and a population of 505.8 million people.

The inclusion of Canada and Mexico now takes the 11-member TPP group to nearly 30 percent of global GDP, a substantially larger trading power than the 27-nation European Union (EU) bloc. Read more

U.N. Body Approves Standard For Feed Additive

WASHINGTON, D.C., July 5, 2012 – The National Pork Producers Council praised a U.N. commission for finally approving an international standard for a safe and approved feed ingredient.

The Codex Alimentarius Commission, which was established by the U.N.’s Food and Agriculture Organization and its World Health Organization to promote food safety and fair practices in trade, yesterday adopted a science-based standard for ractopamine, a feed ingredient used to promote leanness in pork and beef. It was the fifth time the U.N. body considered setting a maximum residue limit for ractopamine.

“NPPC is pleased that the Codex commission finally approved this scientifically proven safe product,” said NPPC President R.C. Hunt, a producer from Wilson, N.C. “The commission, as it should, fulfilled its mandate to base standards and guidelines on science.” Read more

NPPC Asks U.S. To Abide By WTO MCOOL Ruling; Wants Harmonization For North American Hog Markets

WASHINGTON, D.C., June 29, 2012 – The National Pork Producers Council today said it will urge the Obama administration to comply with a World Trade Organization (WTO) decision against the U.S. Mandatory Country-of-Origin Labeling (MCOOL) law and will work to promote harmonization of the North American hog market.

The WTO Appellate Body today upheld a previous WTO dispute settlement panel ruling that the meat labeling law violates U.S. trade obligations under the WTO Agreement on Technical Barriers to Trade. NPPC opposed MCOOL when it was under consideration in the U.S. Congress.

“We believed when it was being debated in Congress that MCOOL would be an unnecessary burden to trade,” said NPPC President R.C. Hunt, a pork producer from Wilson, N.C. “We have maintained that belief consistently from the outset, and we will be working to achieve U.S. compliance with today’s WTO decision.” Read more