May13

National Association of Egg Farmers Joins Coalition in Fight Against Ethanol Expansion

The National Association of Egg Farmers (NAEF) was in Washington, DC May 7 joining with a coalition of other groups under the banner The Smarter Fuel Future (SFF). In a meeting with the EPA Director of Transportation and Air Quality, Chris Grundler, he encouraged the group to petition Congress as he is only carrying out the law.  NAEF reminded him of his discretionary authority on ethanol volume percentages for the RFS program and asked for a balance between the statutory requirements based on the petitions from the coalition meeting with him

 

The coalition included livestock groups such as the National Turkey Federation, the California Cattlemen Association, Michigan Allied Poultry Association,The Milk Producers Council, the American Meat Institute who are opposed to expanding corn-based ethanol and the Renewable Fuel Standard increasing because ethanol mandates:

  • ·raise feed prices,
  • ·raise food prices,
  • ·hurt efforts to curb global hunger,
  • ·put engines at risk of damage,
  • ·increase emissions,
  • ·negatively alter land and water use,
  • ·lower fuel economy

 

The “RFS Day of Action” including a meeting with EPA and key Members of Congress, calling on the EPA to maintain its proposed 2014 RVO and for the Congress to take up legislative reform that would permanently address the problems inherent in the current RFS.

Groups Participating:

  • Action Aid
  • American Bakers Association
  • American Fuel and Petrochemical Manufacturers
  • American Meat Institute
  • American Motorcycle Association
  • California Cattlemen's Association
  • Coalition of Energy Users
  • Colorado Off Highway Vehicle Coalition
  • Colorado Snowmobile Association
  • Engrave, Inc.
  • Florida Concrete and Products Association
  • Florida Petroleum Marketers and Convenience Store Association
  • HeartLands Conservancy
  • Michigan Allied Poultry Industries
  • Michigan Boating Industries Association
  • Michigan Snowmobile Association
  • National Association of Egg Farmers
  • North Carolina Federation of College Republicans
  • National Taxpayers Union
  • National Turkey Federation
  • One New York (representing NYC consumers)
  • Oregon Recreational Association
  • Oregon Small Business Association
  • Oregon State Snowmobile Association
  • Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Central Pennsylvania
  • Young Republican National Federation (representing conservative college students)

 

Farm Policy Picks Up Ethanol Meetings With NAEF Headliner

Farm Policy, a popular blog circulated widely on Capitol Hill and at USDA, picked up on the ethanol meetings in Washington, DC on May 7.  This is what they circulated in their blog:

Ken Klippen of The National Association of Egg Farmers, and Greg Gibeson a member of the board of directors for the Recreational Boaters of California, noted in an update yesterday at The Hill’s Congress Blog that, “Today, seventeen industry leaders from a diverse swath of America’s business landscape have convened in Washington united in concern over bad government policy albeit hopeful that a solution is near. Representing interests as disparate as cattle ranchers to snowmobile manufacturers and concrete producers, these men and women have come from across the country to make a final plea to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to stick to proposed reductions to the Renewable Fuel Standard’s biofuel blending requirements in 2014. As the EPA’s final ruling looms, it’s become all too clear that America’s biofuels policy has failed as consumers face consequences like engine damage, greater gasoline costs, rising food prices and dirtier air as more and more ethanol is blended into our gasoline supply.”

Apr30

Iowa Newspaper Informed Why Egg Farmers Opposed National Egg Law and Support Lawsuit Against California

(In response to the Cedar Rapids, Iowa Gazette’s Editorial on Sunday, April 27)

Your Iowa readers need to learn there are dissenting opinions to the Gazette’s “Eggs-Acting Demands” in yesterday’s editorial.  Iowa is the leading egg producing state and exports approximately 30% of California consumer needs for eggs.  Iowa Governor Terry Branstad is to be commended for looking out for Iowa’s egg farmers and the state’s economy by supporting the Missouri lawsuit against the California egg law.  The state has the right to enact laws or regulations governing the production of eggs in their state, but it cannot specify production standards in Iowa.  By doing so, California is assuming the role of determining the commerce of eggs which is a violation of the U.S. Constitution Article 1, Section 8, Clause 3 granting the U.S. Congress the power to regulate commerce between the States.  California Title 3 Section 1350 requires out-of-state egg farmers selling eggs in California to implement that state’s food safety regulations that go beyond the federal regulations under FDA’s food safety standards for eggs [21 CFR Part 118], “Production, Storage, and Transportation of Shell Eggs”.

 

The Gazette’s suggestion to support one national federal standard for egg production would actually have led to the smaller egg farmers throughout the country including those in Iowa actually going out of business. Whereas the larger egg complexes could gradually make the transition suggested by the Gazette over a 15-year period, the smaller egg farmers would not be able to because of the egg processing capabilities on those smaller farms. Those smaller egg farmers would be forced to make the conversion in one step leading to an economic disadvantage leading to insolvency for them.  As to the organizations representing 90% being in favor of this national standard, there was never a survey done of the egg industry. Instead a handful of companies made the decision and their egg cooperative carried out the dictates.

 

The implied claims of increasing space for hens leads to better welfare is incorrect. Consider the facts.  The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) in 2010 released a report on the welfare implications of various kinds of housing. (www.avma.org/issues/animal_welfare/cage_noncage_systems.asp) The report concluded consumers need to balance the hen’s freedom against exposure to potential hazards such as disease vectors and the cannibalism caused by pecking. Certainly cannibalism and pecking are welfare issues, and in conventional cages where the number of chickens is minimized, these concerns are also reduced compared to other systems. Dr. Kenneth Anderson, NC State University, presented his research findings to delegates at the 2010 Midwest Poultry Federation Convention March 16-18, 2010 where he noted that chickens reared in conventional cages had significantly greater numbers of Grade A eggs, significantly greater numbers of total eggs produced, and significantly better feed conversion rates (meaning a lower carbon footprint), and a better immune response (meaning better able to resist disease).  Certainly these are indicators of a healthier chicken and thus better welfare.

 

The National Association of Egg Farmers, representing egg farmers throughout the nation, remains committed to opposing one national standard and allowing U.S. egg farmers to produce eggs for the consumers in their markets without the dictates of a national law.  We have learned the mistakes in the European Union and their egg law (EU Council Directive 1999/74/ED).  This article from Farming UK (see website below) demonstrating the suffering resulting in Europe as a result of implementing their national egg law on January 1, 2012.  The Germans moved even quicker than the whole of the European Union and implemented a new national law in 2010.  

 

http://www.farminguk.com/News/German-egg-producers-face-insolvency-as-supermarkets-discount_29844.html

 

The article quotes an international economist who predicts that 30% of the German egg farmers will likely become insolvent by October. This same sort of disaster will occur in Iowa and elsewhere should one national standard become law.

 

Iowa egg production is providing jobs and food for the nation’s consumers in addition to the consumers in the state.  For these reasons, the people in Iowa should send their compliments to their Governor Terry Branstad for his courage in supporting the Missouri AG’s lawsuit against the misguided effort by California and the misinformation from the media.  I'm sending this dissenting opinion to Governor Branstad along with my thanks.

 

 

Apr30

Why NAEF Does Not Side With HSUS

Below is the website in Nation’s Restaurant News where HSUS is showing how the egg industry is in step with their views.  The National Association of Egg Farmers submitted our exceptions to this view, showing a segment of egg farmers who do not support siding with HSUS.

http://nrn.com/opinions/finding-common-ground-animal-welfare

 

We take exception to the premise by Mr. Matthew Prescott that the egg industry is in step with HSUS.  It’s only the marketing cooperative, UEP, that linked itself with HSUS.  The National Association of Egg Farmers (formerly Egg Farmers of America) actively worked with the other national animal industry groups including the National Pork Producers Council to defeat the national legislation supported by the egg industry’s marketing cooperative and HSUS. 

 

We opposed the legislation for the lack of science in establishing the guidelines coupled with the fact that one national federal standard would actually have led to the smaller egg farmers throughout the country actually going out of business. Certainly the nation’s restaurants would prefer a healthy, vibrant list of egg suppliers competing for sales to restaurants instead of the consolidation resulting from federal law establishing one national standard. 

 

Mr. Prescott stated the egg producers had 6 years to make the transition to the larger cages but chose to challenge the law in the courts.  This reflects a simplistic view of complex capital investments.   The larger egg complexes could gradually make the transition Mr. Prescott suggested, but the smaller egg farmers would not be able to because of the egg processing capabilities on those smaller farms. Those smaller egg farmers would be forced to make the conversion in one step leading to an economic disadvantage during the transition years leading to insolvency for them. 

 

The Humane Society of the U.S. claims better welfare with their enriched cages in one national standard, however consider the facts.  The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) in 2010 released a report on the welfare implications of various kinds of housing. (www.avma.org/issues/animal_welfare/cage_noncage_systems.asp) The report concluded consumers need to balance the hen’s freedom against exposure to potential hazards such as disease vectors and the cannibalism caused by pecking. Certainly cannibalism and pecking are welfare issues, and in conventional cages where the number of chickens is minimized, these concerns are also reduced compared to other systems. Furthermore, Dr. Kenneth Anderson, NC State University, presented his research findings to delegates at the 2010 Midwest Poultry Federation Convention March 16-18, 2010 where he noted that chickens reared in conventional cages had significantly greater numbers of Grade A eggs, significantly greater numbers of total eggs produced, and significantly better feed conversion rates (meaning a lower carbon footprint), and a better immune response (meaning better able to resist disease).  Certainly these are indicators of a healthier chicken and thus better welfare.

 

The National Association of Egg Farmers is a nationwide association representing all sized egg farms and is working to keep those farmers in the business of providing eggs to restaurants and the nation’s consumers.

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