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See the latest reader comments and hear John explain some of agriculture’s complex topics.
John's World Reax: Strong Opinions on Egg Producers & HSUS
May 13, 2013
***Below is the transcript of John’s commentary from the weekend of May 11-12, 2013 followed by a number of viewer opinions on the topic:
There is an important debate within the Farm Bill debate concerning how producers respond to animal welfare and food safety issues. It centers on how California egg producers who must cope with California’s political wildcard: voter initiatives. When Proposition 2 passed in 2008, a deadline of 2015 was put in place for new standards of animal care. In response, egg producers hammered out a difficult compromise with the HSUS to allow more practical implementation. Since eggs are shipped all over the country, they are asking for uniform federal standards to be included in the new Farm Bill. Here’s where it gets interesting. Other livestock groups have charged Egg Producers with caving in to HSUS and strongly oppose any federal standard as the first step toward mandated production changed for their industries. In my view, they seem to be saying Egg Producers shouldn’t be pushed around by HSUS – Egg Farmers should be pushed around by other farmers. Egg Producers have a right to plan their own future and negotiate with whomever they choose. And they deserve a vote in Congress on their efforts. Hysteria from other livestock groups arises from a justifiable fear that this issue will soon go beyond knee-jerk hatred of HSUS, and spread to increasingly skeptical consumers. Egg Producers have taken a forward-thinking step toward addressing customer concerns. The arrows in their backs are a testament to their leadership.
#1: Dear John - in response to your commentary on the California Egg Producers negotiations with HSUS I would like to share my thoughts with you. It appears to me that the Egg Producers have the right idea of being forward thinking and the American Farmer had best be warned. I do not agree that HSUS is the right entity to negotiate these concerns with and instead should be exposed by American Farmers for their agenda to dismiss meat as a food source altogether. There is no doubt we need to expose our production and process to the consumers’ scrutiny and approval as they are the end user and ultimate judge of our success. American Agriculture cannot argue against the claims of groups like HSUS until we are willing to show the consumers around the world how and what we do to produce their food as safe and humane as possible. As to HSUS, It is like negotiating with your undertaker, your goal is to live as long as possible and his to profit from your death. Harold R. Edge
#2: John…..just remember one thing. Way back when……..ALL the anti-smoking crowd wanted was to ban smoking on long flights!! That's ALL they wanted. Remember? The anti-smoking crowd wrote the textbook that many other 'rights' groups now use………including HSUS! Give 'em an inch and they WILL take a mile! Dick House - Arthur, IL
#3: HSUS, Peta and their ilk are the perfect example of Godwin's Law (google it if you need to!). Their way or the highway and seem to find a believer in a legislator who agrees with them or has an arm twisted hard enough so they create a bill. HSUS sticks its nose into things that are none of their business. First they forget that animals are personal property and NOT human. Second all humans should be vegetarians. This includes no fish, chicken, eggs or milk. Third consumers do not know what they really want. Domesticated animals should not be kept as pets. If you have any understanding reverse from the above look at web sites and attend meetings like State of Illinois, Agriculture, sub committees. I ran into these groups as a breeder of Kerry Blue Terriers. They want to run breeders out of business because no human should keep a dog as a pet. They liken it to have a slave. Granted there are breeders who keep animals in terrible conditions and just like livestock producers are soon out of business if they keep herds in substandard conditions. I raised dogs because I want to see the breed continue and virtually every breeder I know treats there dogs as if they are gold. I do not mean kept on a couch and fed bonbons. Dogs have amazing talents that are very helpful to humans. Dogs can detect cancer before medical personnel do. Did I make money for fairly expensive puppies? I was happy to break even. We have a grain farm so I do not have to worry livestock and overly intrusive do-gooders for the moment. I'm waiting for the day that corn, beans or wheat will be banned. Do I need to tell you anymore about my HSUS thoughts? I think not but about the pantywaist legislators who manage to get their knickers in a twist. Patrick J. Harris - Carbondale, IL
#4: Good day,
When and where is all the new legislation going to stop? Living in the poultry capitol of the world (GA) I’m concerned with the Human Society and their actions in California as much as anyone. I feel like the USDA and the HSUS is going to put all the egg producers out of business in this country. The brown egg market has taken such a hit with the new USDA laws, its put a lot of people out of business. Our egg breaker in Gainesville, GA is only running part time, egg brokers and trucking companies went completely out of business as soon as the new law went into effect. Farmers forced to dispose of eggs on the farms now is going to cause more disease than any problems in the past. It has also increased the price for commercial eggs, which is passed on to the consumer. US FARM REPORT should do a story on the new USDA laws and its impact on us here in the south. I support the human society in other areas, but the reality is in few years we will be paying three times the current price for imported eggs. It won’t be profitable, nor legal to produce eggs in this country at the rate we are going. Joey McNeal – Pendrgrass, GA
#5: Thank you, John Phipps, for your commentaries and viewpoints expressed during the television show's "mailbox" segment. Your expressions strike me as truly well-rounded and informed.