Biden administration sides with industry on California Prop 12

The Biden administration on Monday filed an amicus brief siding with the pork industry in its quest to convince the Supreme Court to overturn rulings that California can require pork sold in the state to have been produced under conditions the state dictates.

The brief says that the California law, which was passed as a ballot measure, violates the commerce clause of the Constitution.

The case against the California law was filed by the National Pork Producers Council and the American Farm Bureau Federation. The Supreme Court has scheduled a hearing on the case on Oct. 11.

Responding to a question from The Hagstrom Report during a call with rural reporters, Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, said today, “The administration is doing the right thing. They are supporting the family farmer. That is very important.”

Grassley maintained that “California would like to ruin hog production in Iowa” by not allowing Iowa producers to sell into California, where 10 percent of the U.S. population lives.

“I compliment the administration,” Grassley concluded.

But Wayne Pacelle, president of Animal Wellness Action and the Center for a Humane Economy, said, “The Biden administration’s pandering to Big agriculture knows no bounds, and the latest example is the U.S. solicitor general’s work with the agriculture secretary to try to overturn a landslide vote of Californians to halt the sale of pork and eggs that comes from animals dangerously trapped and overcrowded in crates and cages so small that the animals can barely move.”

“Big ag has made pleadings in 10 federal court cases aimed at overturning Prop 12 and its antecedents and it has lost every one of them,” Pacelle said.

“It is shocking that the Biden administration is attacking the rights of states to enact anti-cruelty and food safety laws, especially in the absence of even a single federal farm animal protection statute and a general federal dereliction of duty when it comes to safeguarding animals reared for food. Millions of people every year are sickened by a range of bacteria and viruses that flow from factory farms. The state’s interest in protecting the interests of Californians could not be more apparent.

“When Vice President Harris served as California attorney general, her office successfully fended off attempts to reverse California’s farm animal confinement standards; a prohibition on the sale of foie gras and the force-feeding of birds; and bans on the sale of shark fins, elephant ivory and rhinoceros’ horns,” Pacelle said.

“These important animal protection policies are all at risk if this attack on states’ rights prevails before the Supreme Court this fall. Where is Vice-President Harris when so much is at stake for California and other states?”

DTN/Progressive Farmer provided details of the history of the case in an article published early today.


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