North American Meat Institute Calls For Moratorium On Prop 12 Enforcement

71

With California’s Proposition 12’s (Prop 12) January 1, 2022, effective date for pork looming and the rules implementing the law nearly two years late and far from final, the North American Meat Institute (Meat Institute) today called for a moratorium on enforcement to allow those subject to the law time to comply.

“Until final rules issue, affected companies are ‘on hold’ with respect to what they must do to comply with Prop 12 to avoid the risk of criminal prosecution,” said The Meat Institute’s Chief Operating Officer, Mark Dopp. “For that reason alone equity demands the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) issue an enforcement moratorium lasting at least 28 months after final rules are published.”

Dopp made these remarks during a public hearing on the proposed rules associated with Proposition 12 held by CDFA and the California Department of Public Health.

Prop 12 directed CDFA to promulgate regulations implementing the law by September 1, 2019.

“Had CDFA met its statutory deadline there would have been regulatory certainty and industry would have had 28 months to prepare for Prop 12. But as I read this statement, the comment period regarding the proposed regulations with their many flaws is still open and publication of final regulations likely remains months away,” said Dopp.

“Those who contend the industry has had enough time to comply with Prop 12 either do not understand or ignore, perhaps willfully, the complexity of the pork supply chain and the segregation and other costs Prop 12 will impose on packer/processors and other players in that chain.”

In June, the Meat Institute submitted 12 pages of comments, found here that said the rules, if finalized, would create a bureaucratic labyrinth of regulatory provisions:
• requiring an almost unworkable annual certification of veal and breeding pig (sow) facilities;
• creating an overly complex accreditation process for entities allowed to certify those facilities;
• imposing detailed recordkeeping requirements on producers and throughout the supply chain;
imposing problematic labeling provisions; and
• granting legally questionable enforcement authority.

The text of the proposed rules can be found here.