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Pork supply implications of California's Prop 12 gain traction

Media outlets across the United States are highlighting the pork supply concerns that accompany the implementation of Proposition 12 while the US Senate moves to curb similar laws.

12 August 2021, at 8:30am

The NPPC’s advocacy efforts to educate policy makers and the general public about the damaging implications of California’s Proposition 12 reached a new peak, as numerous national news outlets reported on the serious supply concerns—including bacon shortages—that could occur if the rule is implemented next year.

Set to begin implementation on 1 January, 2022, Proposition 12 imposes animal housing standards that reach far outside of California’s borders to farms across the country, and bans the sale of pork that does not meet those arbitrary standards. To comply, hog farmers will incur the costs of extensive renovations, while Proposition 12 dramatically reduces the supply of pork for Californians.

“The ability for us to be this flexible and nimble in changing the supply chain just simply isn’t possible,” Iowa hog farmer Dwight Mogler explained to CNBC. “The reality of the matter is that consumers simply will not have product available to them with this law in place because there simply isn’t going to be enough production made that will comply by 2022.”

In many of the news stories, California consumers didn’t seem to be aware of Proposition 12 or its implications beginning next year. As one California consumer told CBS News, “It would be nice to know what we were voting for. I don’t think anybody knows about this.” NPPC, in conjunction with the American Farm Bureau Federation, has been pursuing legal litigation against Proposition 12 and has urged the state to delay implementation by at least two years.

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Senators introduce bill to prevent Prop 12-style measures across the US

Senators Roger Marshall (R-Kansas), Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), Joni Ernst (R-Iowa), John Cornyn (R-Texas) and Cindy Hyde Smith (R-Mississippi) introduced the Exposing Agricultural Trade Suppression (EATS) Act, which would prohibit state and local government from interfering with the production or manufacture of agricultural products in other states. The bill specifically aims to prevent states from passing similar measures as California’s Proposition 12.

“I don’t know why anyone would want to live in a state where it’s almost impossible to buy bacon. But California wants to impose such a rule on its residents. Iowa has an abundance of agricultural products to offer and folks from coast to coast should be able to enjoy them,” said Grassley.