Support Builds for Legislation to Limit One State's Ability to Impose Standards on Agricultural Production in Another

Farmscape for September 13, 2023

The Chief Legal Strategist with the National Pork Producers Council says support is building for legislation that will prevent states from imposing standards on the production of agricultural products produced in other states.
U.S. lawmakers have introduced a bill that would prohibit individual states from imposing conditions on the sale of agricultural products in their states that are produced in other states that go beyond those already in place in those states or under federal law.
California's Proposition 12, Massachusetts Question 3, other state specific legislation designed to regulate animal welfare standards for pork sold in those states and the EATS act were the focus of a Canadian Pork Council webinar last week.
Michael Formica, the Chief Legal Strategist with the National Pork Producers Council, says two versions of the EATS or Ending Agricultural Trade Suppression act are being debated in Congress, one in the Senate and the other in the House of Representatives.

Quote-Michael Formica-National Pork Producers Council:
The EATS act has gained a lot of press attention.
It allows any producer or any state to file a lawsuit against a state that passes a bill such as Proposition 12.
It would apply to Proposition 12 or Question 3 and seek an immediate injunction against them.
It is currently being debated in Congress.
Our hope is that, whether it's the EATS act or it's something else, that we would see Congress adopting some type of provision to prevent further ballot initiatives such as Proposition 12.
Producers want some certainty.
If somebody is going to make an investment in a facility, they don't want the risk that a couple of years later another state is going to come along and pass another law that moves the goal posts or changes the terms.

Formica says this a robust debate that's playing out in Congress.
He says the act needs to pass the House of Representatives and the Senate.
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Bruce Cochrane.

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