December 22, 1998

NMA steps in to step up pork assistance

OAKLAND, CA -- National Meat Association stepped in this week to help step up pork assistance efforts. After a meeting with representatives of the pork industry and Agriculture Secretary Dan Glickman to discuss ways they can work together to address the huge over-supply of hogs that has reduced the live hog value to unbelievably low prices, NMA Executive Director Rosemary Mucklow wrote to the Secretary to encourage him in his efforts. Efforts that are best invested in helping producers to live through the crisis by assisting with credit and other financial incentives and by removing product from the market through government buys, but which should also include a certain degree of public relations.

"The members of National Meat Association share your concern about the grave economic difficulties caused by the gross over-supply in the hog market," she told the secretary. "Unfortunately, there are those who have "demonized" the consumption of meat and poultry as unhealthy, and who warn us of deadly and dire consequences that may result from consuming such foods." She noted that representatives of some of these groups even serve on meat and poultry advisory committees, a sure conflict of interest. And finally she beseeched the Secretary to take the responsible role by "encouraging your fellow Americans to feature the abundance of meat and poultry at the holidays will most solidly help the market conditions that your policy initiatives encourage."

National Meat Association is a non-profit trade association representing meat packers and processors, as well as equipment manufacturers and suppliers who provide services to the meat industry. The association, with over 600 members throughout the United States, includes membership in Canada, Australia and Mexico.