U.S. Capitol

169 U.S. Representatives Urge Rejection of EATS Act; Support CA Proposition 12

Aug. 23, 2023
Letter to House Agriculture Committee says EATS Act should not be included in 2023 Farm Bill, claiming that it would infringe on states’ rights to regulate the industry.

In an attempt to turn the tables of the debate on the restriction of states’ rights with regard to animal-welfare regulations, a bipartisan letter has been sent by nearly 170 U.S. House Representatives to the House Agriculture Committee urging the committee to leave the Ending Agricultural Trade Suppression (EATS) Act out of the 2023 Farm Bill.

The letter claims that the EATS Act — not animal-welfare regulations such as California’s Proposition 12 — would infringe upon states’ rights to create laws to regulate the industry. In contrast, opponents of Prop 12 have claimed that states with higher animal-welfare standards cause issues for processors located outside their borders, restricting the ability of pork, veal and egg producers to sell their products in those states.

In a news release announcing the letter, the group claims the EATS Act would prevent states and localities from regulating agricultural practices within their own borders and threaten states’ abilities to enact common-sense animal-welfare protections. 

The letter says large pork producers and many small farmers have indicated that they already can comply or will be able to comply with Proposition 12, thus allowing them to sell their products in the state of California, and that “This is not a case of California imposing its standards on other states. Producers in any state can choose not to supply another state’s consumers or to segregate animals for different markets.”

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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