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 Post subject: HAC Agricultural Amendment limits effect of state Ag AR law
PostPosted: Fri May 17, 2013 11:02 pm 
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Semen Strong
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If this amendment passes, then it renders state laws setting minimum standards of animal protection less effective, as producers from outside the state would still be able to sell, even without complying with such laws. HSUS and other groups have worked in Florida, California and elsewhere to set up minimal protections - including banning gestation crates for farrowing sows etc.

This amendment would mean that even if the gestation crates are illegal in California, pork producers in Idaho (still using those crates) can not be banned from selling in California.

Quote:
The [House Agriculture Committee] ha[s] adopted a far-reaching amendment that infuriated animal welfare groups, delighted the pork and beef lobbies and broke more than a few eggs. Where it goes next in the context of the larger farm bill debate, no one truly knows. But scores of state laws could be impacted and it surely reaches well beyond its initial target: sunny California.

Most simply the language would bar any state from excluding the marketing of “agricultural products” if they have been grown in a manner “pursuant” to federal law and the laws of the state or locality from which they come.

Proponents argue that this is needed to allow the free flow of farm commerce across state lines. But for animal welfare groups, it’s a huge Catch 22, since the same committee continues to resist any new federal standards for raising livestock — preferring to leave the issue to farmers and individual states.

California is a pivotal battleground because it is both a giant producer and market. In the case of animal agriculture, the state is recognized as a leader in demanding better protection for livestock, especially since a 2008 ballot referendum that required the egg industry to provide more running room for its hens.

But when the California legislature followed up by enacting a law demanding that all eggs sold in the state meet the new standards, it ruffled feathers as far away as Iowa — a major egg exporter. And Iowa Rep. Steve King, now a senior Republican on the Agriculture panel, began beating the drum for Congress to take a stand.

Read more: http://www.politico.com/story/2013/05/a ... z2Tc5Rd9Uy

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 Post subject: Re: HAC Agricultural Amendment limits effect of state Ag AR
PostPosted: Sun May 19, 2013 11:25 pm 
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Semen Strong
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Joined: Tue Oct 19, 2010 7:10 pm
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Location: Cliffbar NJ
Our Hen House did a piece on the King Amendment: http://www.ourhenhouse.org/2013/05/scra ... al-reform/

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This amendment basically provides that no state can prohibit the sale of agricultural products produced in a way that would violate its own laws if the product was legally produced in its state of origin. If it passes, it will mean that, when it comes to agriculture, Congress will have guaranteed a race to the regulatory bottom. If your state wants to pass a law limiting what Big Ag can do — to protect workers, animals, food safety, the environment, whatever — and those regulations might cost producers anything at all (as better practices tend to do), your state cannot do anything about products from other, less progressive, states undercutting the prices of local producers. Republicans otherwise devoted to states’ rights will have pulled the rug out from under states (well, out from under progressive states, anyway), requiring them to either embrace the lowest common denominator when it comes to regulating Big Ag, or to undercut the competitiveness of its own producers.

What’s going on here?

Well, it’s pretty much all about chickens.


And then comes some very thoughtful analysis that is well-worth a read.

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