February 28, 2024


US National Pork Producers Council engages lawmakers on mRNA vaccine labelling


The US National Pork Producers Council (NPPC) recently held discussions with members of the Tennessee, US legislature regarding the use of messenger ribonucleic acid (mRNA) vaccine technology in animal agriculture, National Hog Farmer reported.


Presently, there are approximately two dozen bills in 10 states addressing labelling requirements for meat from vaccinated animals, the option for "mRNA-free" labels for unvaccinated animals, or proposals to prohibit the use of mRNA vaccines altogether.


During meetings with Tennessee Senate and House committee leaders, NPPC representatives, including Director of Food Policy Ashley Johnson and Director of State Policy Drew Beardslee, along with NPPC member Seth Krantz from Tosh Farms, reiterated the safety and efficacy of mRNA technology while expressing concerns about labeling. Also in attendance were officials from the Tennessee Pork Producers Association, the Department of Agriculture, the University of Tennessee College of Veterinary Medicine, and the Tennessee Farm Bureau.


NPPC advocates for the adoption of vaccine technologies like mRNA vaccines to combat both endemic and foreign animal diseases. Recently, the American Farm Bureau Federation and the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture (NASDA) have endorsed policies supporting mRNA vaccine technology in livestock.


NASDA's policy update underscores the importance of farmers' ability to protect animal health through responsible vaccine use. Members stressed the significance of utilising vaccines subject to rigorous approval and licensing processes by the USDA and FDA, based on robust scientific research.


According to NASDA CEO Ted McKinney, ensuring livestock welfare and public health is a top priority. NASDA emphasised the necessity for farmers to access approved mRNA vaccines to safeguard animal health and maintain a secure and resilient food supply chain.


NASDA advocates for a stringent federal approval and review framework for new vaccines and animal health tools. While no mRNA vaccines are currently approved for animal use in the US, ongoing research and scientific evaluation are crucial to provide livestock producers with access to approved and available technologies.


In their latest Capital Report, NPPC said vaccines have a critical role in preserving animal health and food safety. They highlighted the advantages of mRNA vaccines, such as rapid design and production, lower costs, and enhanced responsiveness to pathogen outbreaks compared to traditional vaccines.


-      National Hog Farmer

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