Attorney General Brenna Bird is leading a 13 state coalition fighting for pork producers. Together, with 12 other states, Iowa is opposing a new Massachusetts law that bans states from selling or shipping pork through Massachusetts if they do not meet strict hog-housing requirements.
Massachusetts’s pork ban, Question 3, goes even further than California’s similar Proposition 12 by prohibiting the shipment of “non-compliant” pork through the state. This means that even if Iowa-produced pork meets all Iowa and federal safety and quality standards, it cannot be sold in, or even transported through, Massachusetts if it does not also comply with Massachusetts’s hog-housing requirements.
The new ban will cost pork producers across the country hundreds of millions of dollars, drive many pork producers out of business, and dramatically raise pork prices. This new ban also sets a dangerous precedent that would allow states to upend markets across the nation based on their political agendas.
“Massachusetts’s radical pork ban hogties Iowa pork producers,” said Attorney General Bird. “With these strict new mandates in effect, Iowa farmers will face extreme costs and regulations to compete in the industry, forcing many family hog farms to close shop. Massachusetts doesn’t get to dictate how Iowans farm. We are fighting to support our pork producers and protect Iowa family farms.”
The Massachusetts pork ban violates the Constitution. Violations include the Dormant Commerce Clause, which gives the federal government, not state governments, the power to regulate interstate commerce. It violates the Import-Export Clause, which arguably prohibits states from imposing import regulations on products brought in from other states. Additionally, the ban violates the Full Faith and Credit Clause, which requires states to respect the laws passed in other states.
Iowa led the amicus brief joined by 12 other states.
Read the full brief here.