This passage discusses Virginia’s participation in a collective effort by 17 states to counteract a California law that impacts agricultural production across the United States. The states aim to remove various state regulations to regain control over agribusiness within their own borders. Here are the key points:
- Virginia’s Support for EATS Act: Virginia’s Attorney General has committed to supporting the Ending Agricultural Trade Suppression Act, a legislative initiative reintroduced by Sen. Roger Marshall and Rep. Ashley Hinson in June.
- Targeting California’s Proposition 12: The legislators are focusing on California’s Proposition 12, a law upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court. It mandates specific space requirements for animals, banning pork sale in California from farms nationwide unless animals have a minimum of 24 square feet of cage space. The EATS Act seeks to overturn these regulations in defense of free market principles.
- Virginia Attorney General’s Critique: Virginia’s Attorney General, Jason Miyares, criticized Proposition 12 as an imposition of a radical standard that could negatively impact consumers, weaken interstate commerce, and harm farmers.
- Origin of Proposition 12: California voters initially passed Proposition 12 in 2018 with a majority vote (63% to 37%). The law establishes guidelines for animal production within and outside the state.
- Divided Stance of Pork Producers: Major pork production companies in the U.S. hold varying opinions on the EATS Act. Clemens Food Group does not support the bill, while companies like Tyson, Hormel, and Smithfield have committed to adhering to California’s rules.
- Support from National Pork Producers Council: The National Pork Producers Council (NPPC), representing the pork industry, favors the passage of the EATS Act. The NPPC emphasizes the need for a legislative solution to prevent state and local governments from interfering with agricultural production in other states. The cost of converting sow pens to meet California’s regulations is estimated to be between $1.9 billion and $3.2 billion.
- Coalition of States: Virginia has joined forces with 16 other states, including Arkansas, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, New Hampshire, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, and West Virginia. Together, they are urging congressional leadership to pass the EATS Act.
This information highlights the ongoing debate and efforts surrounding agricultural regulations, interstate commerce, and the implications for the pork industry in the United States.