Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

“Contagion” Movie is More Fiction Than Science

September 7, 2011

A review by Richard L. Lobb
National Chicken Council

The new movie “Contagion” had its Washington preview screening Tuesday night (Sept. 6). The good news is that the disease is NOT bird flu and is not spread by birds. It seems to be some sort of influenza/encephalitis that combines a pig virus with a bat virus. It is dubbed MEV-1 and and is said to have been created when “the wrong pig met up with the wrong bat.”

At the very end, it turns out Gwyneth Paltrow got it from the chef who got blood and saliva on his hands from a pig that got it from the bats when the bats were disturbed by the bulldozers at the factory groundbreaking that Gwyneth Paltrow was in China to attend. Capitalism causes all kinds of problems, you see.

Poor Gwyneth dies ten minutes into the film but keeps popping up in flashbacks as dedicated scientists from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the World Health Organization race to uncover the mystery of the virus and to develop a vaccine. Kate Winslet plays a CDC investigator who falls victim to the virus but selflessly tries to develop a contact list (“I need the names of everyone who serviced this room in the last 24 hours!”) between hacking coughs. Alas, she, too, succumbs to the raging epidemic. French actress Marion Cotillard, as the WHO’s Dr. Leonora Orantes, is kidnapped and held hostage by Chinese men intent on getting enough vaccine to save their village. Jennifer Ehle, as the CDC’s Dr. Ally Hextall, finally discovers the vaccine and tests it on herself. Fortunately, it works.

In the meantime, 25 million people around the world die in a matter of months. (Or was it weeks? Hard to tell.) Government agencies other than CDC behave with a combination of timidity, stupidity, and finally armed force as looting breaks out and riots erupt. Jude Law plays an unscrupulous journalist/blooger/activist who fakes symptoms of the disease in order to hype (and profit from) a useless homeopathic remedy.

The film is supposed to be a thriller, but I found myself looking at my watch in between trying to take notes in the dark. If you’re seen the trailer, you’ve seen most of the action parts. Much of the rest consists of meetings of U.S. and international experts and officials and earnest chalk talks on epidemiology. (It reminds me of “The Social Network,” which consisted of pre-trial depositions interrupted by wild parties.)

The film’s depiction of the epidemic agrees with the truth in one respect: it shows that direct contact with the blood of an infected animal can be dangerous. The chef in Hong Kong handles a slaughtered pig and quickly wipes his hands on his blood-smeared apron when he’s asked to go out and shake hands with the American lady who liked the pork ribs. Thus Gwyneth Paltrow becomes the American index case. (There are others in Japan, England, and other countries.)

But the movie goes off the deep end by depicting the disease being spread through the most casual sort of indirect contact. The waiter who picks up Gwyneth’s cocktail glass, and the Ukrainian lady who touches her cell phone, both quickly succumb to the virus. The disease does not so much spread as explode around the world in a few weeks. In truth, nothing spread this easily; if it did, the human race would have died out long ago.

There’s nothing in the film about chicken or poultry except for a fleeting shot of a market in Hong Kong where workers are busily chopping animal parts that could be chicken or could be pork, or something else for all I could tell. But the virus is fairly soon identified as originating in swine, although it is specifically stated that it is not H1N1. No live birds are depicted as playing a role in causing or spreading the epidemic. This is not a movie about bird flu. When a man from Homeland Security asks if the virus could be “weaponized,” Lawrence Fishburne, a top official with CDC, says, “The birds are weaponizing it for us,” but birds are not in fact depicted as carriers of the virus. Those winged things in the ads are bats, not birds. Bats are not birds at all but flying mammals. The species barrier is intact.

The most important thing to remember, however, is simply that the film is a work of fiction and should be appreciated as such. It’s just a movie.


Dr. Ashley Peterson Joins NCC as Vice President of Science and Technology; Mary Colville Named VP Government Affairs

August 1, 2011

Dr. Ashley Peterson

Dr. Ashley Peterson

WASHINGTON – August 1, 2011 — Dr. Ashley Peterson has joined the National Chicken Council staff as Vice President of Science and Technology, succeeding Steve Pretanik, who retired, NCC President Mike Brown announced today. Previously she served as Vice President of Government Relations for the United Egg Producers (UEP).

“Dr. Peterson has forged a record of excellence in scientific, technical, and governmental matters, and we are pleased she is bringing her talents and energy to NCC,” Brown said. “Her responsibilities will include food safety, poultry inspection, and animal welfare as well as keeping her finger on the pulse of initiatives within the regulatory agencies,” he said.

Brown also announced that Mary Colville has been promoted from Director of Government Relations to Vice President of Government Affairs.

“Mary Colville has helped navigate many tough issues on Capitol Hill this year and over her 24 years with NCC,” Brown said. “She is relied upon and viewed as a seasoned veteran by policymakers and our members.”

At UEP, Dr. Peterson worked with Congress and the regulatory agencies on a variety of issues including organic egg production and food safety. She has also served both as the Director of Legislative Affairs and Director of Regulatory Affairs at the American Meat Institute, where her responsibilities included environmental and sustainability issues, animal welfare, and lobbying Congress.

Dr. Peterson came to Washington, DC, as a Congressional Science Fellow in the U.S. House of Representatives, working on agriculture, energy, and environment issues. She earned her Ph.D. in Animal Science from the University of Maryland, her Master of Science in Animal Science from Michigan State University, and her Bachelor of Science from the University of Kentucky.

The National Chicken Council represents integrated chicken producer-processors, the companies that produce, process and market chickens and chicken products. Member companies of NCC account for more than 95 percent of the chicken sold in the United States.

National Chicken Council Statement on Suspension of 3-Nitro

June 8, 2011

Chicken is safe to eat. The Food & Drug Administration says it is NOT raising any alarms about consumption of chicken.

3-Nitro has been used to maintain good health in chicken flocks for many years. It is used in many, but not all, flocks. When used, 3-Nitro is given according to label directions approved by FDA.

Chicken companies will continue to safeguard chicken flocks because healthy flocks are needed to produce healthful food for people. Consumers can continue to buy and eat chicken as they always have.

The National Chicken Council represents integrated chicken producer-processors, the companies that produce and process chickens. Member companies of NCC account for more than 95 percent of the chicken sold in the United States.

147 Members of Congress Urge Vilsack To Withdraw Proposed GIPSA Rule

May 18, 2011

WASHINGTON – May 18, 2011 – More than one-third of the members of the House of Representatives have called on Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack to go back to the drawing board with a rule on the marketing of livestock and poultry proposed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration (GIPSA).

“Withdrawing the June 22, 2010, proposed rule and re-proposing a revised rule once the Department completes its economic analysis would allow stakeholders the opportunity they deserve to comment on what we hope will be substantial changes to the proposed rule more consistent with the intent of Congress outlined in the 2008 Farm Bill,” said a letter signed by 147 members.

Letter to Vilsack
Members Signing Letter

“I am grateful for the action taken by so many members of Congress in urging the Secretary of Agriculture to withdraw and re-propose the GIPSA rule,” said Mike Brown, president of the National Chicken Council. “This would allow dialogue to resume between affected industries and the USDA, a dialogue that was cut off by the end of the comment period in November. The GIPSA rule clearly needs more careful review in light of its impact on economic growth, jobs, and the Administration’s stated goal of doubling exports.”

The rule proposed by GIPSA would make profound changes in the relationship between ranchers and farmers who produce cattle, swine, chickens, and turkey and the companies that bring meat and poultry products to market. GIPSA wrote the proposed rule in response to four specific mandates in the last Farm Bill after debate in which several other proposed mandates were rejected.

“Congress provided a narrow set of issues for the Department to address,” the letter said. “It is troubling that the Department appears to be using the rule-making process to accomplish objectives specifically rejected by Congress, and we are confident any such rule will not be looked upon favorably by Congress.”

USDA published the proposed rule last year with only a cursory economic analysis, and Vilsack has agreed to conduct a more detailed analysis before a final rule is published.

“Particularly in a climate in which additional scrutiny is being applied to regulations seen as overreaching or overly burdensome, we urge the Department to proceed in a transparent manner that allows for those most impacted by this action a chance to comment on not only pending changes to the proposal but the accompanying economic analysis as well,” the letter said. The members also asked for an update from Vilsack on the timeline for completion of the economic analysis and further action on the proposal.

Those signing the letter include both Republicans and Democrats and a majority of the members of the House Agriculture Subcommittee on Dairy Livestock, and Poultry.

The National Chicken Council represents integrated chicken producer-processors, the companies that produce and process chickens. Member companies of NCC account for more than 95 percent of the chicken sold in the United States.

NCC Protests “Outrageously Untrue” TV Report on Chicken Nuggets

May 6, 2011

5 May 2011

Mr. Mike Shipley
News Director
1000 Market Street
St. Louis, Mo. 63101

Dear Mr. Shipley:

I am writing to protest the outrageously untrue report by Jamie Allman on your air concerning chicken nuggets. I know where Mr. Allman got his “facts,” and they are wrong, wrong, wrong.

He said on your air:

— “But have you ever thought about what really goes into a chicken nugget? It all starts on a chicken farm. (VIDEO OF CAGED LAYERS). Usually, only retired egg layers are destined for nugget fame, since their meat is dirt cheap.”

Absolutely untrue. “Retired egg layers” are NOT used for chicken nuggets, at least not for any brand I’m aware of. There is so little meat on the caged layers depicted in the story that many of them are not processed for meat at all. The birds that produce the eggs that become broilers (which are not kept in cages and do not produce eggs for the table) usually become “stewing hens” or go into soup or other products that involve long cooking.

Chicken nuggets are in fact usually made of the same meat that you see in the supermarket, that is, broiler meat.

— “Tendons, tissue, cartilage, organs, and other chicken extras are ground up into a fine poultry paste.”

Again untrue. Mr. Allman is referring to what is known as “mechanically separated poultry” (MSP) or “mechanically separated chicken” (MSC) if only chicken is used. MSP is the pink paste that is depicted in the video you got off the Internet. (I’ve seen it a dozen times already.) It is more often made from turkey meat than chickens. Frames (the skeletons after the meat has been removed) and sometimes larger parts such as turkey thighs, are put through a high-pressure sieve that gets the edible meat off the bones. The “organs” have long since been removed, and screens are used to keep out other parts. The resulting product is then used in products such as turkey franks, bologna, and other “pegboard” products.

If MSP is used is used in a food product, it has to be stated as such on the label. MSP is simply not used in the major brands of chicken nuggets as far as I know. I can’t say it is never used in nuggets because there are many formulations of nuggets, but to suggest that nuggets are usually made from MSP is simply untrue. It is also untrue to suggest, as Mr. Allman did, that all nuggets are the same. There are in fact hundreds of variations.

— “Because that paste is typically crawling with bacteria, it’s washed with ammonia, and treated with an artificial flavoring.”

I understand there is some sort of ammonia treatment that can be used in red meat. We do not have it in chicken.

Raw chicken can always have bacteria on it. However, products containing MSP are fully cooked, which destroys the bacteria. Chicken nuggets sold at retail (which, again, usually do not contain MSP) are also cooked and all the consumer has to do is heat them up. There is no need for this ammonia treatment, whatever it is, which isn’t used in chicken processing anyway.

— “To get rid of that pink color, the paste is dyed.”

The pink color is there because of the dark meat that is MSP. Nuggets are not pink because they are typically made from white meat, and there is no MSP in them, anyway.

You might wonder, how could anyone get things so wrong? The answer is simple: Mr. Allman ripped it off a web site. Here is a blog posting of September 28, 2010:

“Say hello to mechanically separated chicken. It’s what all fast-food chicken is made from—things like chicken nuggets and patties. Also, the processed frozen chicken in the stores is made from it.

“Basically, the entire chicken is smashed and pressed through a sieve—bones, eyes, guts, and all. It comes out looking like this.

(still photo from video also used on KSDK)

“There’s more: because it’s crawling with bacteria, it will be washed with ammonia, soaked in it, actually. Then, because it tastes gross, it will be reflavored artificially. Then, because it is weirdly pink, it will be dyed with artificial color.

“But, hey, at least it tastes good, right?

“High five, America!”

Google it and you’ll find that this yarn has been all over the Internet and has been corrected on among other sites. I have no doubt that the blogger cited above ripped it off from somebody else.

I understand that bloggers tend to have very low standards of accuracy, but I am surprised to find that a journalist for a major TV station would stoop to simply ripping off a blogger. What kind of reporting is that?

As for your nutritional analysis, the percentage of meat in a nugget simply depends on the requirements of the customer for which the nuggets are being made. You can tell by looking at a nugget that it is not all meat. Nuggets sold at retail have both an ingredients panel and a Nutrition Facts panels, and we encourage customers to read them so they can get what they want.

But a story about now much meat is in a nugget would not be very interesting. It was Mr. Allman’s recycled falsehoods that gave the story its punch. On behalf of our industry (and we represent nearly all chicken producer-processors), I demand a correction with at least as much length and prominence as the original falsehoods.

Also, Mr. Allman’s story is being printed in newspapers, and I want to know what service is used to syndicate his story so that corrections can be requested there as well.


Richard L. Lobb
Director of Communications

Chicken Industry Urges Congress To Cut Ethanol Mandate

April 13, 2011

WASHINGTON – April 13, 2011 – The chicken industry called on Congress today to slash the amount of ethanol required to be added to motor gasoline as a way of cooling the red-hot demand for corn that has driven the industry’s biggest single cost to unprecedented highs.

“The National Chicken Council (NCC) recommends a plan be implemented that would reduce the Renewable Fuels Standard when the stocks-to-use ratio for corn drops to low levels, as the situation is now,” industry executive Michael Welch said on NCC’s behalf at a hearing held by the Livestock, Dairy and Poultry Subcommittee of the House Agriculture Committee.

Corn is the primary component of chicken feed, which accounts for 55 percent of the wholesale cost of whole, ready-to-cook chickens. Corn has rocketed from about $2 per bushel in 2006 to more than $7.50 per bushel today, which Welch said resulted largely from the fact that 40 percent of the corn crop is being diverted into federally mandated ethanol usage. Ethanol makers benefit from the mandate, a tax credit on usage of ethanol, and a protective tariff on imports.

“Mandating the use of ethanol, subsidizing its cost, and protecting ethanol from competition is triple overkill,” said Welch, who is president and chief executive officer of Harrison Poultry in Bethlehem, Georgia, and a former chairman of NCC.

Less than 700 million bushels of corn are expected to be left at the end of this crop year, he said, meaning there is virtually no margin for error in the crop to be harvested in the fall.

“There is no cushion, no extra bushels in inventory to carry the needs of the users of corn through the next crop year in the event of a shortfall in this fall’s corn harvest,” Welch said. “To assume an adequate number of acres will be planted to corn this year and the next few years and to further assume favorable weather conditions for crops this year and the next few years are not assumptions the U.S. chicken industry is prepared to make, nor should prudent U.S. government policymakers be willing to make.”

Welch urged Congress to adopt a contingency plan or “off-ramp” from the Renewable Fuels Standard, which is the law requiring that a fixed amount of ethanol be added to motor fuel every year.

“Unless there are perfect crop conditions this year to plant, grow, and harvest a record quantity of corn, animal agriculture will experience major disruptions while ethanol producers will continue to outbid non-subsidized buyers of corn,” he warned.

The mandate should be reduced to allow non-ethanol users greater access to corn, he said. Farmers should also be allowed to withdraw non-environmentally sensitive acres from the Conservation Reserve Program without penalty.

“More acres are needed, not just for corn, but also for soybeans, wheat, cotton, and other crops that compete with corn for acreage,” he said.

On other topics, Welch said the U.S. Department of Agriculture should withdraw the widely criticized rule proposed by its Grain Inspection, Packers & Stockyards Administration (GIPSA) on the relationship between poultry companies and the farmers who produce chicken under contract to them. The rule also covers meatpackers and cattle and hog producers.

“The rule as proposed would cost the broiler industry over $1 billion during the first five years, and further, would change the way companies and growers do business that has been successfully conducted for more than five decades,” Welch said. “The rule would put the U.S. chicken industry at a global disadvantage, as other countries would not have to face these onerous requirements, and create uncertainty and cause unnecessary and costly regulatory and legal burdens in the marketplace by making it much more difficult for companies and contract growers to get competitive financing.”

He said USDA should revise the rule to more closely track the intent of Congress as expressed in the 2008 Farm Bill.

He also urged Congress to approve proposed trade agreements with Colombia, South Korea, and Panama, which he said would boost U.S. poultry exports to those countries from a combined $74 million to $225 million.

The National Chicken Council represents integrated chicken producer-processors, the companies that produce, process and market chickens. Member companies of NCC account for more than 95 percent of the chicken sold in the United States.

Michael Welch testifying to Congress

Michael Welch urges ethanol cutback

Chicken Industry’s “Tremendous” Food Safety Efforts Will Continue, NCC Advisor Says

March 16, 2011

WASHINGTON – March 16, 2011 — The chicken industry will continue its “tremendous efforts” to meet the challenge of food safety, an advisor to the National Chicken Council said today as the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety & Inspection Service announced that it will change microbiological standards that have been in effect since 1998. The standards address Salmonella and Campylobacter prevalence on raw chickens, or the percentages of raw chickens being processed in a particular plant that have Salmonella or Campylobacter on them to any detectable degree.

“Industry has already done an outstanding job of improving the microbiological profile of raw products and will strive to do even better,” said Dr. Scott M. Russell, a microbiologist and professor of poultry processing at the University of Georgia and science advisor to NCC. “I personally have witnessed and been part of the tremendous efforts the industry has made to meet the challenge of ensuring food safety, and I know these efforts will continue.”

USDA has monitored poultry plants for Salmonella since the 1990s. In the most recently published reports, for the third quarter of 2010, an average of 7.4 percent of chicken carcasses at processing plants nationwide tested positive for detectable levels of Salmonella. The actual experience in processing plants is believed to be somewhat lower since the government tends to conduct more sampling in plants with higher Salmonella results. The new USDA performance standard is 7.5 percent.

The FSIS notice adopts a Campylobacter standard for the first time. The new standard is that no more than 10.4 percent of raw chickens sampled should have Campylobacter jejuni, C lari, and/or C. coli on them. The samples will be taken at the same time as the Salmonella samples are collected.

“For consumers, the bottom line is that chicken is safe when properly cooked and handled, and that the chicken producers and processors are continually working to make them safer.” Dr. Russell added. “Instructions for safe handling and cooking are printed on every package of meat and poultry sold in the United States.” Additional food safety information is available from sources such as and

The National Chicken Council represents integrated chicken producer-processors, the companies that produce and process chickens. Member companies of NCC account for more than 95 percent of the chicken sold in the United States.

Poultry Groups Hail Appeals Court Decision on Permits

March 15, 2011

March 15, 2011 — The National Chicken Council and U.S. Poultry & Egg Association hailed today’s decision by the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals wiping out an “onerous and unnecessary” regulation imposed on poultry farms by the Environmental Protection Agency as a “victory for common sense.”

“America’s poultry farmers are good stewards of the land,” NCC and USPOULTRY said in a statement. “EPA’s requirement that farms had to apply for a discharge permit, even though no discharge occurs, was an onerous and unnecessary bureaucratic invention. Getting rid of it is a victory for common sense.”

NCC and USPOULTRY participated in a challenge filed in the court in New Orleans to overturn EPA’s policy that livestock and poultry farmers have a “duty to apply” for discharge permit. Broiler chicken farms keep animals indoors on dry litter systems and do not discharge waste. NCC and USPOULTRY argued in the brief that EPA had no authority to impose a duty to get a permit unless there is an actual discharge.

The National Chicken Council represents integrated chicken producer-processors, the companies that produce and process chickens. Member companies of NCC account for more than 95 percent of the chicken sold in the United States.

The U.S. Poultry & Egg Association is dedicated to the growth, progress, and welfare of the poultry industry and all of its individual and corporate interests. Membership includes producers and processors of broilers, turkeys, ducks, eggs and breeding stock, as well as allied companies. Formed in 1947, the association has affiliations in 26 states and member companies worldwide. The group’s mission focuses on research, education, communication, and technical assistance.

CONTACTS: NCC: Richard L. Lobb, (202) 296-2622 ext 119
USPOULTRY: Gwen Venable, (770) 493-9401

NCC, Other Poultry Groups Join Coalition Against Extension of Ethanol Subsidy

March 1, 2011

WASHINGTON – March 1, 2011 — The National Chicken Council, U.S. Poultry & Egg Association, and several state poultry federations are among a vast coalition of 90 organizations opposing extension of the blenders’ credit that subsidizes the production of ethanol. The groups sent letters to the leaders of Congress today calling on them to let the tax credit expire on schedule at the end of 2011. The ethanol industry is lobbying Congress for an extension.

“Congress has the opportunity to end the $6 billion a year subsidy to gasoline refiners who blend corn ethanol into gasoline,” the letter said. “At a time of spiraling deficits, we do not believe Congress should continue subsidizing gasoline refiners for something that they are already required to do by the Renewable Fuels Standard.”

A coalition of 90 business associations, taxpayer advocates, hunger and development organizations, agricultural groups, free-market groups, religious organizations, environmental groups, budget hawks, and public interest organizations today sent the letter to Congressional leadership urging Congress to let the refundable Volumetric Ethanol Excise Tax Credit (VEETC) expire and to resist calls for spending on infrastructure for conventional biofuels.

In addition to NCC and USPOULTRY, the letter was signed by the state associations representing the poultry industry in Alabama, California, Georgia, Indiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, Arkansas, Missouri, and Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas, and Virginia.

In the letter, the coalition says:

“The undersigned diverse group of business associations, taxpayer advocates, hunger and development organizations, agricultural groups, free-market groups, religious organizations, environmental groups, budget hawks, and public interest organizations urge you to allow the refundable Volumetric Ethanol Excise Tax Credit (VEETC) to sunset this year and to resist calls for spending on infrastructure for conventional biofuels.

“In particular, Congress has the opportunity to end the $6 billion a year subsidy to gasoline refiners who blend corn ethanol into gasoline. At a time of spiraling deficits, we do not believe Congress should continue subsidizing gasoline refiners for something that they are already required to do by the Renewable Fuels Standard.

“Experts like the Congressional Budget Office and the Government Accountability Office have concluded that the subsidy is unnecessary, and leading economists agree that ending it would have little impact on ethanol production, prices or jobs.

“We urge you to let VEETC expire and resist calls for spending on infrastructure for conventional biofuels.”

The following organizations signed the coalition letter:

ActionAid US
Africa Action
Africa Faith and Justice
Alabama Poultry and Egg Association
Alliance of Western Milk Producers
American Bakers Association
American Conservative Union
American Frozen Food Institute
Americans for Limited Government
Americans for Prosperity
American Jewish World Service
American Meat Institute
Beyond Pesticides
California Dairies, Inc.
California Poultry Federation
California Safe Schools
Center for Auto Safety
Center for Biological Diversity
Center for Food Safety
Clean Air Task Force
Clean Water Action
Citizens for Tax Justice
Columban Center for Advocacy and Outreach
Competitive Enterprise Institute
Council for Citizens Against Government Waste
Dairy Producers of New Mexico
Dairy Producers of Utah
Environment America
Environmental Working Group
Foreign Policy in Focus
Freedom Action
Friends of the Earth
Heartland Institute
Georgia Poultry Federation
Greenpeace USA
Grocery Manufacturers Association
Idaho Dairymen’s Association
Indiana State Poultry Association
International Center for Technology Assessment
International Dairy Foods Association
John Locke Foundation
Leadership Conference of Women Religious
League of Conservation Voters
Maryknoll Office of Global Concern
Milk Producers Council
Mississippi Poultry Association
National Audubon Society
National Catholic Rural Life Conference
National Council of Chain Restaurants
National Chicken Council
National Meat Association
National Restaurant Association
National Retail Federation
National Taxpayers Union
National Turkey Federation
National Wildlife Federation
Natural Resources Defense Council
NETWORK, A National Catholic Social Justice Lobby
North Carolina Poultry Federation
Northeast Organic Dairy Producers Alliance
Northeast Organic Farming Association — Interstate Council (NOFA-IC)
Northwest Environmental Defense Center
Northwest Dairy Association
Oil Change International
Oxfam America
Partners for the Land & Agricultural Needs of Traditional Peoples (PLANT)
The Poultry Federation
Public Citizen
Public Interest Research Group (PIRG)
Safe Climate Campaign
The SafeLawns Foundation
Sierra Club
Snack Food Association
South Carolina Poultry Federation
Southeast Milk Inc.
Southern Alliance for Clean Energy
Southern Horticulture
Taxpayers for Common Sense
Tennessee Poultry Association
Texas Poultry Federation
U.S. Poultry and Egg Association
Union of Concerned Scientists
Unitarian Universalist Ministry for Earth
Virginia Poultry Federation
Washington Cattle Feeders Association
Washington State Dairy Federation
The Watershed Partnership
World Wildlife Fund

Mike Brown Named President of National Chicken Council

February 10, 2011

WASHINGTON – February 10, 2011 – The next president of the National Chicken Council will be Mike Brown, currently senior vice president for legislative affairs of the American Meat Institute, NCC Chairman Bernard Leonard announced today. Brown will join NCC in March to succeed George Watts, who is retiring after 38 years as president.

“The search committee considered many qualified candidates before recommending Mike Brown’s election to the NCC Executive Committee,” said Leonard, who is group vice president/Food Service of Tyson Foods, Springdale, Arkansas. “We believe that Mike is the person who can lead NCC as it addresses the issues that will shape the future of the industry.”

The search committee was assisted by the executive recruitment firm of Kincannon & Reed, an Allied Leader member of NCC. K&R is the only retained executive search firm focused exclusively on the food, agribusiness, and life sciences sectors.

Brown, 50, currently represents AMI to Congress and the Administration on governmental matters. He also serves as the treasurer of AMI’s Political Action Committee, AMI-PAC.

“I look forward to the challenge of working with the chicken industry and following the great tradition of service and effective representation and leadership set by George Watts,” Brown said. “I accept this position with enthusiasm.”

Brown joined AMI in May 1995, after serving eight years as a legislative assistant for former Sen. John Warner (R-VA), focusing on agriculture, food safety, labor, immigration, environment, and international trade issues. Brown also previously worked as a legal publication specialist for the Federal Register, where he was responsible for providing information to Congress, federal agencies, trade associations and others on federal regulations and office programs and publications.

Brown earned his Bachelor of Science in political science and history from the State University of New York, Brockport. Brown and his wife, Kelly, live in Vienna, Virginia.

The National Chicken Council represents integrated chicken producer-processors, the companies that produce and process chickens. Member companies of NCC account for more than 95 percent of the chicken sold in the United States.

Mike Brown, incoming president of NCC

Mike Brown has been named as the new president of National Chicken Council