Ag Policy Blog

Governors Call on Congress to Pass Bill Voiding California's Proposition 12

Chris Clayton
By  Chris Clayton , DTN Ag Policy Editor
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Hogs at a pork barn in Missouri. Eleven GOP governors wrote congressional leaders on Tuesday calling on Congress to pass a bill that would ensure federal law supersedes state law's such as California's Proposition 12. (DTN file photo)

Governors from 11 Republican-led states on Tuesday sent a letter to congressional leaders calling on them to pass a bill that would prevent pork producers from having to comply with California's standards for pork under Proposition 12.

The 11 governors called on Congress to support the "Exposing Agricultural Trade Suppression Act," a bill reintroduced in the U.S. Senate last month following the U.S. Supreme Court's 5-4 decision in May upholding California's Proposition 12. The governors were from Arkansas, Indiana, Iowa, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, Oklahoma, Texas and Virginia.

The governors noted their states represent 54% of the country's pork production and 47% of cattle production. The governors pointed out California is roughly 13% of the entire pork market in the U.S.

"Despite California's reliance on its fellow states for food, Proposition 12 threatens to disrupt the very system Californians depend on for their pork supply," the governors stated. "Its strict, activist-drafted requirements for pig farming sharply depart from the practices which are lawful in our states."

Proposition 12 makes it a criminal offense and civil violation to sell whole pork meat in California unless the pig is born to a sow that was housed within 24 square feet of space and in conditions that allow a sow to turn around without touching an enclosure. Proposition 12 applies to any uncooked pork sold in the state, regardless of whether it was raised in California.

"California's onerous requirements will pass the buck to American consumers – worsening the inflationary crisis gripping our economy," said Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds, who led the letter to Congress. "Iowa's pork producers use science-based techniques to help feed America and the world, and California's activist-drafted requirements will have a dramatic negative impact on those facing food insecurity. It's time for Congress to use their power and allow pork producers around the country to do what they do best."

Sen. Roger Marshall, R-Kansas, initially led the bill that was introduced in the last Congress. Sens. Chuck Grassley and Joni Ernst, both of Iowa, as well as Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas and Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith, R-Miss., also each co-signed the bill. The bill specifically prohibits states and local governments from passing laws imposing standards or conditions for agricultural standards on producers in other states.

The full letter to lawmakers:…

See, "NPPC Leaders Lay Out Policy Challenges,"…

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