Prop 12 Supreme Court Showdown

Sep 28, 2021

Well, that escalated quickly.

The National Pork Producers Council and American Farm Bureau are running their case against California’s Proposition 12 up the flagpole—all the way up.  They’re appealing the Ninth Circuit Court decision in July that upheld a lower court ruling against the groups and have petitioned the U.S. Supreme Court to take the case.

The argument: California’s Proposition 12 establishes “arbitrary” production standards. Pork from hogs not meeting the standards does not pass go and is banned from being sold in California. NPPC President Jen Sorensen says the groups are asking the Supreme Court to consider the constitutionality of California establishing regulations that affect operations outside the state.

A little background: In a few short months, on Jan. 1, 2022, Proposition 12 will require all pork sold in the state—no matter where it was raised—to comply with California’s specific housing standards. Unfortunately, almost none of the pork produced in the U.S. meets those standards. And the cost of converting to alternative sow housing systems is estimated in the billions of dollars.

If Proposition 12 stands, NPPC and AFB say it will be out of the frying pan and into the fire for pork producers across the country and California households wanting to bring home the bacon—literally.