(Mary Stroka) – Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds announced Tuesday that she’s a leader of a coalition that’s asking U.S. Congressional leaders to counter California’s Proposition 12 with a bill of its own.
The coalition wants Congress to reintroduce a bill that the governors say would uphold the Commerce Clause of the U.S. Constitution following the Supreme Court’s May 11 decision in favor of California’s Proposition 12: the Exposing Agricultural Trade Suppression Act.
With Proposition 12, California made it illegal for residents to knowingly sell, within California, whole pork meat for human food if the meat is a product of a breeding pig or the product of the immediate offspring of a breeding pig that was confined during the production cycle in an enclosure that doesn’t meet certain space requirements.
Those criteria, according to the 11-governor coalition that wrote a June 13 letter to Congressional leaders, radically disrupt the pork production system. They said Proposition 12’s requirements for pig farming sharply depart from their states’ practices and could worsen animal health and welfare.
The governors’ states represent more than half of the country’s pork production, according to the news release from Reynolds’ office.
“And due to California’s market share, 13 percent of the pork market, it would be prohibitively expensive for producers to segregate their pork from sales to California as a market destination from those products destined elsewhere,” the letter said. “Instead, to comply with California’s onerous and unscientific requirements, pork producers will have to bear costs in the hundreds of millions (if not billions) of dollars. These costs inevitably pass through the system onto consumers, producers, and workers.”
California’s requirements will worsen inflation, Reynolds said.
“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,” she said. “It’s time for Congress to use their power and allow pork producers around the country to do what they do best.”
Nebraska Gov. Jim Pillen is leading the coalition with Reynolds. The other states whose governors joined the coalition are Arkansas, Indiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, Oklahoma, Texas and Virginia.
Sens. Chuck Grassley, R-IA; Joni Ernst, R-IA; Roger Marshall, R-KS; John Cornyn, R-TX; and Cindy Hyde-Smith, R-MS, were among the supporters of the Exposing Agricultural Trade Suppression Act, which would prevent state and localities from interfering with the production and distribution of agricultural products in interstate commerce.
Mary Stroka | The Center Square