pigs housing pork production

16 State Attorneys General Urge Congress to Pass Bill Countering California’s Prop 12

Aug. 14, 2023
California should not be allowed to regulate pork production and housing regulations in other states, the coalition says.

The attorneys general for 16 states penned a letter to U.S. congressional leaders last week to urge them to pass the EATS (Ending Agricultural Trade Suppression) Act, which would block the state of California’s ability to regulate farmers and ranches nationwide under its Proposition 12, which was passed in 2018.

According to a release from the office of Iowa Attorney General Brenna Bird, the EATS Act would preserve state authority to regulate agriculture within its own borders. Proposition 12 requires pork producers outside California to comply with that state’s regulations in order to sell pork in California. The country’s most populous state, California accounts for roughly 13% of the nation’s pork consumption.

Proposition 12 was passed five years ago and has faced federal challenges and lawsuits, and the Supreme Court most recently upheld the law in May of this year. The court agreed with the dismissal in district court of National Pork Producers Council v. Ross. Prop 12 regulates housing space for egg-laying hens, pigs and veal calves, requiring specified minimums that go against long-held industry standards in those segments.

Opponents to the law claim that it will cause a spike in prices and force numerous producers out of business because of an inability to comply with the new housing standards affordably.

The attorney general of Iowa, Arkansas, Idaho, Indiana, Kentucky, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, New Hampshire, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Virginia, and West Virginia signed onto the letter, which backs a coalition of 11 state governors who also wrote to Congress in June to encourage passage of the EATS Act.

About the Author

Andy Hanacek | Senior Editor

Andy Hanacek has covered meat, poultry, bakery and snack foods as a B2B editor for nearly 20 years, and has toured hundreds of processing plants and food companies, sharing stories of innovation and technological advancement throughout the food supply chain. In 2018, he won a Folio:Eddie Award for his unique "From the Editor's Desk" video blogs, and he has brought home additional awards from Folio and ASBPE over the years. In addition, Hanacek led the Meat Industry Hall of Fame for several years and was vice president of communications for We R Food Safety, a food safety software and consulting company.

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