EATS Act on the Menu

Aug 10, 2021

Iowa senators are out to save producers’ bacon… literally.

Republicans Joni Ernst and Chuck Grassley are co-sponsoring the Exposing Agricultural Trade Suppression (EATS) Act to oppose Prop 12, the California Farm Animal Confinement Proposition.

Refresher: Prop 12 mandates pork sourced from breeding pigs or immediate offspring of breeding pigs “confined in a cruel manner” can’t be sold in California. The proposition defines “cruel manner” as having “less than 24 square feet of usable floor space per pig,” and is set to go into effect Jan. 1, 2022.

The EATS Act comes after the North American Meat Institute filed a petition with the U.S. Supreme Court that challenged the constitutionality of Prop 12, and 20 states filed an amicus curiae brief supporting that petition.

The deets of the EATS: The act would keep each state from impeding the agricultural production and manufacturing of other states. In other words? Each state has to mind its own business.

It’s consistent with the Commerce Clause of the Constitution, which says the federal government (not other states) regulates interstate commerce.

According to the Associated Press, only 4% of hog operations currently comply with the new rule, and California currently consumes 15% of supply. Something doesn’t quite add up, which means Californians might not be bringing home the bacon for much longer if Prop 12 stands.