NPPC Meets with Tennessee Lawmakers on mRNA Vaccines

In this week’s National Pork Producers Council (NPPC) Friday recap:
NPPC meets with Tennessee lawmakers on mRNA vaccines; NPPC says there’s ‘no legitimate reason’ for farm emissions reporting rule; coalition backs Bentzel for Federal Maritime Commission; and U.S. agriculture had trade deficit in fiscal 2023. Take a deeper dive below.

NPPC Meets with Tennessee Lawmakers on mRNA Vaccines

What happened: NPPC staff met with members of the Tennessee Legislature on issues related to the use of messenger ribonucleic acid (mRNA) vaccine technology in animal agriculture. Currently, there are nearly two dozen bills in 10 states that would either require labels for meat from vaccinated animals, allow “mRNA-free” labels for unvaccinated animals, or ban the use of mRNA vaccines entirely.

In meetings with leadership of Tennessee Senate and House committees, NPPC’s Director of Food Policy Dr. Ashley Johnson and Director of State Policy Drew Beardslee, as well as NPPC member Dr. Seth Krantz, veterinarian for Tosh Farms, affirmed the safety and efficacy of mRNA technology and raised concerns about labeling. Also in attendance were Tennessee Pork Producers Association Executive Director Phyllis Ferguson and representatives from Tennessee’s Department of Agriculture, the University of Tennessee College of Veterinary Medicine, and the Tennessee Farm Bureau.

NPPC’s take: NPPC supports using vaccine technologies, such as mRNA vaccines, as a tool for combating endemic and foreign animal diseases. Recently, the American Farm Bureau Federation and the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture approved policies supporting mRNA vaccine technology in livestock.

Why it matters: Vaccines are critical to preserving animal health and well-being, keeping the food supply safe, and protecting U.S. livestock from emerging and foreign animal diseases. Additionally, mRNA vaccines, unlike traditional vaccines, can be designed swiftly, manufactured quickly at a lower cost, and produced in a more standardized manner – with fewer production errors – which can improve responsiveness to pathogen outbreaks.