Pork checkoff lawsuit dismissed

US - Yesterday the Campaign for Family Farms (CFF), a coalition of farm and rural groups, dismissed its lawsuit challenging the mandatory pork checkoff program. The group had claimed the checkoff violates producers' rights to free speech.
calendar icon 17 June 2006
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Federal, district and appellate courts had ruled that the mandatory pork checkoff did violate those rights. However, the U.S. Supreme Court put the pork case on hold so it could first hear a similar case regarding the mandatory beef checkoff. Last year, the Supreme Court ruled that because the beef checkoff is government speech, it does not violate the free speech rights of producers. When that decision was made, the pork checkoff case was sent back to the lower court to take action according to its beef checkoff decision.

"The Campaign for Family Farms pursued every legal avenue available to end the mandatory pork checkoff, from the petition drive and producer referendum to litigating all the way up to the Supreme Court and even trying to reach a settlement with USDA," said Larry Ginter of Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement and CFF. "But the Supreme Court's ruling left independent family farm hog producers very few legal options to continue their legal challenge and the Campaign for Family Farms has decided to dedicate its resources to helping independent family farmers in other ways."

Source: Agriculture Online
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