Blogging About Critters Since 2007

Sunday, April 12, 2009

US Government Continues Subsidizing Meat Industry

Hard to wean people off animals when the US government is propping up the industries, and especially when so much of it ends up on school lunch trays (laying the foundation for this nation's obesity problem in my opinion.)

I also have problems with subsidies to big agribusiness. It's just another bailout, but nothing new. We've been propping these guys up for decades. Too bad it continues under Vilsack and Obama.

The federal government continued its effort to boost agricultural commodity prices today by announcing it will purchase an additional $25 million worth of pork.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture also said it will buy $60 million of turkey, $2 million of lamb and $29.7 million of walnuts.

Last week, the USDA bought approximately 200 million pounds of nonfat dry milk to help the dairy industry.

The purchases are in addition to the ones the USDA makes annually for federal food programs.

The food will go to federal food nutrition assistance programs, such as school lunches.

Pork farmers have been losing an average of $20 on each hog marketed since October 2007, according to the U.S. Pork Producers. And economists have said dairy producers are losing an average of $3 per cow per day.


Andrew said...


Whilst I empathize with the challenges of pork and dairy farmers, I cannot possibly agree with this action by the American government.

Although I do not have a problem with the livestock industry per se, or with the idea of animals being breed for human consumption, for the government to provide this type of subsidy represents a most unfortunate backdown to powerful farming interests.

Prices fall because there is insufficient demand. The government should just butt out and let the market adjust so that the balance of supply and demand is restored back into equilibrium.

We should only kill animals that we are actually going to eat.

Bea Elliott said...

Truth be told - the meat industry's best customer is the U.S. government. Factor in school lunches, Indian reservations, other institutions... and of course the military - If it were not for government purchases... EPA sanctions, grants to cattlemen, funding for livestock disease control and "wild life management"... a hamburger would cost $35.00 - It's just insane the way the meat industry is artificially supported by tax money. Vegan tax money at that!

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