GOP Senators Introduce Bill to Stop California's Prop 12
By Jerry Hagstrom
The National Pork Producers Council has been pushing back against California's law prohibiting the sale of food products from confined animals. Some Republican senators have introduced a bill trying to prevent state laws that impact agricultural production outside their state. (DTN file photo)
Five Republican senators on Thursday introduced a bill intended to halt California's Proposition 12, which would require that meat sold but not produced in the state comes from animals whose living conditions conform with the animal rights standards in the proposition.
The National Pork Producers Council has been pushing back against implementation of Prop 12. As of now, Prop 12 would go into effect on Jan. 1, 2022. NPPC cites that the animal housing standards set in Prop 12 will lead to a shortage of pork products being sold in California.
The law also affects egg-laying hens and veal calves as well.
Conservatives maintain that Proposition 12 violates the Commerce Clause of the Constitution, which provides the federal government with the duty to regulate interstate commerce, but the courts have not agreed with that viewpoint.
The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a lower court ruling that the state's standard does not violate the Commerce Clause of the Constitution in a case brought by NPPC and the American Farm Bureau Federation. In late June, the U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear a challenge to the law that had been brought by the North American Meat Institute.
Republican Sens. Roger Marshall of Kansas, Chuck Grassley and Joni Ernst of Iowa, John Cornyn of Texas and Cindy Hyde-Smith of Mississippi introduced the Exposing Agricultural Trade Suppression (EATS) Act
"This will prevent states like California from radically regulating Kansas, Texas, and Mississippi ranchers or Iowa pork and poultry producers," they said in a news release. Several other states have adopted or contemplated laws that would impact the agricultural production outside their state, they noted.
"Mississippians don't like the idea of liberal states like California imposing their radical ideas on us or dictating how our farmers and ranchers do their jobs," said Hyde-Smith.
"I'm sure that's the case from coast to coast," she said. "This pro-ag, pro-jobs legislation would establish a federal standard that fosters greater interstate commerce among states without interference from activist city or state governments."