The National Pork Producers Council and American Farm Bureau Federation have filed a lawsuit against the secretary of the California Department of Food and Agriculture alleging that Proposition 12, which was passed in November 2018 and established minimum requirements for the confinement of farm animals, “has thrown a giant wrench into the workings of the interstate market in pork.” Nat’l Pork Producers Council v. Ross, No. 19-2324 (S.D. Cal., filed December 5, 2019). The complaint alleges that “Proposition 12 institutes a wholesale change in how pork is raised and marketed in this country. Its requirements are inconsistent with industry practices and standards, generations of producer experience, scientific research, and the standards set by other states. They impose on producers costly mandates that substantially interfere with commerce among the states in hogs and whole pork meat. And they impose these enormous costs on pork producers, which will ultimately increase costs for American consumers, making it more difficult for families on a budget to afford this important source of protein. And they do all this for reasons that are both fallacious and vastly outweighed by the economic and social burdens the law imposes on out-of-state producers and consumers and on the authority of other states over their domestic producers.” The plaintiffs urge the court to hold that Proposition 12 is an impermissible extraterritorial regulation and excessive burden on interstate commerce in relation to putative local benefits.

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