Meat Processors Rally Against EATS Act, Oppose Federal Override of State Laws

A coalition of over 25 poultry and meat processors, marketers, and purveyors have united to voice their opposition to the Ending Agricultural Trade Suppression (EATS) Act, which aims to grant states and local governments regulatory power over agriculture within their borders. The processors, including notable names such as ButcherBox, Applegate, duBreton, Niman Ranch, and Whole Foods Market, have signed an open letter urging Congress to reject the inclusion of EATS Act provisions in the 2023 Farm Bill.

The EATS Act has faced criticism for potentially undermining state laws like California’s Prop 12. The signatories argue that the proposed legislation would strip away state and local legislative authority to set standards for the ‘pre-harvest’ production of agricultural products entering their jurisdictions. They contend that, under the guise of protecting farmers from costly regulations, the EATS Act could reverse the strides made in promoting humane farming practices.

In their letter, the companies emphasize their commitment to amplifying the concerns of their customers and business partners. They reject the idea of prioritizing profit over the welfare of people, animals, and the planet involved in food production. The processors stress the need to preserve the progress made in humane farming practices and urge Congress to oppose any inclusion of the EATS Act or its iterations in the upcoming 2023 Farm Bill.

The pushback from these companies highlights the ongoing debate over the balance between federal and state regulatory powers in the agricultural sector and underscores the potential impact on standards and conditions for the production of meat products.