Tyson finally announced the 13-person advisory panel that will develop standards for their Farm Check audit program.
Members of the panel include:
- Ryan Best, 2011-2012 president, Future Farmers of America
- Anne Burkholder, cattle feedlot owner
- Ed Cooney, executive director of the Congressional Hunger Center
- Gail Golab, Ph.D., DVM, director of American Veterinary Medical Association’s Animal Welfare Division
- Temple Grandin, Ph.D., professor of animal science, Colorado State University
- Karl Guggenmos, dean of culinary education, Johnson & Wales University
- Tim Loula, DVM, co-founder and co-owner of Swine Vet Center in St. Peter, Minnesota
- Miyun Park, executive director, Global Animal Partnership
- Ashley Peterson, Ph.D., vice president of scientific and regulatory affairs, National Chicken Council
- Richard Raymond, M.D., former U.S. Department of Agriculture Undersecretary for Food Safety
- Janeen Salak-Johnson, Ph.D., associate professor in Animal Sciences, University of Illinois
- Janice Swanson, Ph.D., chair and professor, Animal Behavior and Welfare, Michigan State University
- Bruce Webster, Ph.D., professor of poultry science, University of Georgia
The fact that animal rights and vegan activist and former HSUS Vice President Miyun Park is on the panel should give every producer heart palpitations.
I recommend a thorough Internet search on this woman, but this article about sums it up. She is fundamentally opposed to the intensive animal agriculture upon which Tyson wholly depends. In The Globalization of Animal Welfare, co-authored with Peter Singer, Park says,
Given the sheer magnitude of intensive confinement agriculture — in terms of the number of individual animals involved and in terms of the impact on animal welfare, human health, and the planet’s limited resources — the sense of urgency cannot be overstated. … It is time for a global commitment to reduce animal suffering and to mitigate the many unintended and undesirable consequences of raising animals for food.
But it’s not only Park who is problematic. Check out each member of the panel. Peruse the website of The Congressional Hunger Center, for example. The “industry” people on the panel (like Best and Burkholder) are soft targets for groups like WWF and HSUS who cleverly convince honest producers that working with them is the reasonable thing to do. Temple Grandin has been viewed by many farmers and ranchers as problematic since she began making herself central to several animal welfare accreditation schemes back in the 1990’s. Grandin has increasingly become the darling of the Animal Rights movement since Hollywood got ‘hold of her. Richard Raymond has said himself that animal welfare has nothing to do with food safety.
The fact that Tyson has nothing on its website about the Farm Audit program makes me laugh. If it’s all about “consumers demanding to know where their food comes from,” then surely Tyson would want to boast about their expensive new program to consumers who go to Tyson.com.
Fact is, this entire debacle is not consumer driven at all. Tyson will be gravely disappointed when animal rights activists reject their program, just as they rejected Beef Quality Assurance (BQA).
I guess we all have to learn for ourselves that, with people who hate our existence, it’s not about better animal welfare. It’s about putting us out of the animal ag business.
I love agriculture and I love farmers and ranchers! This misguided attempt to appease the extortionists of HSUS and WWF, among others, is a slap in the face to the men and women who produce beef, pork and chicken for Tyson’s factories.