The U.S. Supreme Court on Thursday issued their ruling on the case concerning California’s Proposition 12 which prohibited the sale of pork products within the state which did not meet certain animal welfare standards. Unfortunately, the Court, in a very mixed decision, ultimately upheld Prop 12, a decision that Nebraska Farm Bureau finds disappointing.
“We are extremely disappointed and concerned by the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling to uphold California’s Proposition 12. Proposition 12 effectively gives California voters the ability to dictate food production practices to farmers and ranchers located outside of their state’s borders, including those in Nebraska. It is imperative Nebraskans, and all Americans understand that California’s Proposition 12 moves us in a dangerous direction, creating uncertainty around our food system,” said Mark Mchargue, Nebraska Farm Bureau president.
The American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF) and National Pork Producers Council (NPPC) filed a brief with the U.S. Supreme Court challenging the constitutionality of California’s Proposition 12. AFBF and NPPC argue Proposition 12 violates the constitution’s Commerce Clause, which restricts states from regulating commerce outside their borders. The 5-4 decision was written by Justice Neil Gorsuch, who said, “While the Constitution addresses many weighty issues, the type of pork chops California merchants may sell is not on that list.”
“Proposition 12 won’t just impact farmers, but ultimately food consumers. The strength of our U.S. food system is founded on many things, among them is the ability for farmers and ranchers to be innovative in production practices. As a result, Americans have been afforded a wide array of food choices at a wide array of costs, providing much needed flexibility for individuals and families of differing income levels,” said McHargue
“Proposition 12 effectively eliminates choice; choice for farmers and choice for consumers ultimately increasing costs for everyone involved. We’ll be examining all options to course correct this dangerous and misguided California regulation that threatens farmers, consumers, and the long-term viability of our food system,” said McHargue.