A key senator from the nation’s top pork producing state vows to fight in the farm bill, California Proposition 12 that bans sale of pork in the state from pigs housed in cages or crowded pens where they can’t freely turn around.
Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley says the farm bill is the logical place to try to kill Prop 12, not freestanding legislation others want that would take 60 Senate votes and at least six days to pass. Grassley says, “I think the only place to get it done is in the farm bill, and what’s more appropriate than the farm bill to make sure that animal agriculture isn’t being hurt by people in California that don’t know anything about animal agriculture.”
And farrowing crates that confine a sow and protect piglets from getting crushed when their mother lies down or turns over during feeding. But the Supreme Court in a 5-4 ruling, upheld Proposition 12 rejecting a pork industry lawsuit that it violated the Constitution’s Commerce Clause.
Justice Neil Gorsuch, writing for the majority, said California voters overwhelmingly endorsed the “ethical pork” law and the Constitution says nothing about “the type of pork chops the state’s merchants may sell.”
Grassley takes a different view, “Once you start allowing California to do it, there’s reason to believe that Massachusetts is the next one to do it. And then, when are Midwestern farmers going to be retaliating against California fruits and vegetables.”
The National Pork Producers Council, which brought the lawsuit against California, argues Proposition 12 would impact thousands of farmers, risk further industry consolidation, and raise pork prices for millions of Americans.