A new bill has been introduced in the US, aimed at prohibiting states to regulate agricultural products in a way that negatively affect other states. Iowa’s Republican US senators proposed this bill in the Senate as a response to the Supreme Court allowing California’s Proposition 12 which banned the selling of animal products produced in farms where some of the animals were kept in severe confinement.
Republican US Sen. Joni Ernst and Sen. Roger Marshall, R-Kan, both from Iowa, lead this bill, named the Ending Agricultural Trade Suppression (EATS) Act.
Ernst said in a statement, “Proposition 12 puts the regulatory burdens on the backs of farmers and racks up the price for consumers at the grocery store, and the EATS Act will prevent such actions from crushing our Iowa producers. I will continue to fight against reckless policies from activists who attempt to ban Iowa’s agricultural products.”
Prop 12 requires that sows that give birth to pigs sold in California be given at least 24 square feet of space, more than most Iowa farmers now use. The Humane Society of the United States stated after the Supreme Court upheld the California law last month, “We won’t stop fighting until the pork industry ends its cruel, reckless practice of confining mother pigs in cages so small they can’t even turn around…It’s astonishing that pork industry leaders would waste so much time and money on fighting this common-sense step to prevent products of relentless, unbearable animal suffering from being sold in California.“
As Democrats are in control of the US Senate, the bill’s chances of becoming law are low. However, a similar bill is underway in the US House, as US Rep. Ashley Hinson, R-Iowa, said last month she plans to re-introduce the measure there. Hinson was the lead sponsor of the EATS Act in 2021, and it was co-sponsored by Iowa’s two other Republicans in Congress at the time, Reps. Mariannette Miller-Meeks and Randy Feenstra.