The move was welcomed by the pork industry which has been decimated by the global recession and unwarranted fears over the H1N1 virus. Since September 2007, the U.S. pork industry has lost $5.4 billion, with producers losing an average of more than $23 on each hog marketed.
On Wednesday, the National Pork Producers Council said, "The support U.S. pork producers have received from Secretary Vilsack and many members of Congress has been tremendous and very much appreciated. And this latest purchase of pork should provide some relief to our industry and rural America."
USDA buys pork products every year for federal food programs including the School Lunch and School Breakfast programs. Last year, it purchased $62.6 million worth of pork.