A recent court decision in California further proves the state’s Proposition 12 should be considered by the U.S. Supreme Court, according to the American Farm Bureau Federation. Travis Cushman, AFBF Senior Counsel for Public Policy, says California’s Prop 12 is an issue for all of agriculture.
"Prop 12 was a ballot initiative in 2018 in California and it requires any pork sold in the state to come from a sow that was given certain confinement practices that are not currently practiced essentially anywhere. And so this allows California to reach outside of California and regulate farms across the country," Cushman said.
Cushman says the California ruling requires a six month delay of implementation after the rules are finalized, to give farmers and retailers time to understand the new regulations.
"As of last week, a California judge stopped the implementation of Prop 12. He gave the California Department of Food and Agriculture six months until after its finalized new regulations before [the rule] can be implemented," Cushman said. "The issue is that Prop 12—there are many flaws in it—but it required the California Department of Food and Agriculture to finalize rules, so farmers know what it is that's required of them. The timeline given was not enough time for the CDFA to do that, and to date, they've still failed to publish any final rules guiding how [Prop 12] should be implemented."
AFBF and the National Pork Producers Council asked the Supreme Court to consider the case last September. Cushman says the latest ruling from California highlights the need for Supreme Court review.
"We're currently at the Supreme Court. They’ve looked at the case a couple times so far, they've not decided if they want to take the case yet or not," Cushman said. "We're hopeful they will. They next meet on February 18, so, we should hopefully know by then whether or not they will take our challenge."