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Pork Industry Continues to Wait for US Supreme Court on Prop 12

The wait continues for the pork industry as the U.S. Supreme Court has yet to release their decision in a lawsuit filed against California’s Prop 12, a ballot initiative that passed that would create new rules for swine production. Chief among them, it bans the sale of pork in California from the offspring of sows kept in pens that do not meet its prescribed dimensions of 24 square feet per sow, even if the hogs were raised outside the state.

Michael Formica, chief legal strategist for the National Pork Producers Council, says he’s hopeful a decision will come sooner than later.

“I hope so. We wait. Every morning, I wake up and is today going to be the day? So far it hasn’t. But we’re not the only case that’s been waiting. The WOTUS case has been out there for a while. By this point in time, they should have released 40 cases. They’ve released nine decisions, so they’re very slow.”

He says the upcoming Supreme Court decision is vital for almost every segment of agriculture.

“It’s vitally important for anyone in agriculture, but more so, I think it’s vitally important for anyone in the U.S. because we all make a choice to live where we live. And with that comes a realization that we’re governed by our local elected officials. What Proposition 12 is doing is saying your local elected officials have no say in this. Whatever they want, whatever system of government, whatever laws you and your neighbors decided to live under, they are irrelevant. Gavin Newsom and the state of California can send their police authorities far outside of California, inspect your farm, and tell you how to run your operation.”

Formica says California may be opening itself up to retaliation from other states if Prop 12 is upheld by the Supreme Court.

“What if Iowa wanted to do something? What if Montana wants to do something? The problem is a state like Iowa, a state like Wisconsin, there simply isn’t a large enough market there, and California knows that. California has about 40 million people, and so they feel entitled to throw their weight around.

Formica says that if Prop 12 is upheld, we’re looking at a situation where four states could control the entire country with California and New York on the left, and Texas and Florida on the right. He doesn’t like that all of our national policies could be dictated by laws enacted in those four states, saying, “That’s not a situation anyone wants to live in.”

Source: NAFB News Service