Documents obtained via a Freedom of Information Act request by Our Honor detail the National Pork Board's new plan, which takes a page out of the fossil fuel and tobacco industry playbook to create the Real Pork Trust & Image Thought Leadership program. 


Along with this new program was The Real Pork Consortium Proposal, which became “Enhancing Trust in Pork Production and Products through Strengthening Communications, Research, and Training” a $8,498,350 project bringing together 29 researchers from Iowa State University, the University of Georgia, the USDA, the University of Minnesota, and North Carolina State University that seeks to address the “Numerous threats preclude sustainable expansion of pork production” including “production constraints…consumer misperceptions of pork production practices and the role of pork to provide safe and healthy nutrition to consumers.” The proposal says, “Our communication approach will be to decipher the axiom of consumer behavior that perception is reality,” and their approach will be to “focus on the cognitive mechanisms consumers use to form attitudes toward food systems.”


Science depends on the questions researchers ask, and this work will aim to figure out the right questions to fund, how to communicate those findings and train the next generation in order to best ensure ongoing profitability of pig slaughter-based protein production. The project hopes to "provide a framework for research, training and communication about pork and pork production for years to come.”


The new FOIA documents also included an African Swine Fever Exercise for Agriculture Response Functional Exercises and Drills from Jan. 31, 2020 (pre-COVID), and stated,

 “ventilation shutdown was selected as the preferred depopulation method by multiple states however, there was uncertainty if VS would approve its use and pay for federal indemnity for animals depopulated in this manner.” They suggest, “VS should develop a policy guide relative to accepting ventilation shutdown…” And they certainly were able to make that happen during the COVID-19 slaughterhouse bottlenecks.

So, part of this program may likely include making us all feel a little better about the mass killing of animals via heatstroke.  

See FOIA Documents describing this here:

And here:

Last batch:





Sorted by Click to highlight new comments since: Today at 9:34 PM

This is exceptionally interesting from several angles. How do you see the information being used to create change (if that's not confidential)? 

Also, I always wish they'd state what these "misperceptions" are. What exactly do people think is happening that's worse than what is really happening??