SAN DIEGO (Legal Newsline) – The National Pork Producers Council (NPPC) and American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF) have filed a lawsuit challenging a recently passed California ballot initiative that forbids the sale of pork meat in the state that was not born from sows housed under certain requirements.
The complaint was filed Dec. 5 in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California against Karen Ross, secretary of the California Department of Food & Agriculture; Sonia Angell, director of the California Department of Public Health; and California Attorney General Xavier Becerra, alleging impermissible extraterritorial regulation and excessive burden on interstate commerce.
The NPPC and AFBF allege that California's ballot initiative Proposition 12 has "extraterritorial reach" and disrupts pork production. The law passed in November 2018 and amended the California Health and Safety Code.
The proposition forbids the sale of whole pork meat from hogs in California that were born from sows housed in stalls where they can't lie down, stand up or turn around, among other requirements.
"Its requirements are inconsistent with industry practices and standards, generations of producer experience, scientific research, and the standards set by other states," the suit states. "They impose on producers costly mandates that substantially interfere with commerce among the states in hogs and whole pork meat. And they impose these enormous costs on pork producers, which will ultimately increase costs for American consumers, making it more difficult for families on a budget to afford this important source of protein."
The plaintiffs seek a declaratory judgment that Proposition 12 is invalid and unenforceable because it violations the U.S. Constitution and an injunction to enjoin the defendants from implementing and enforcing it. They are represented by Timothy Bishop of Mayer Brown LLP in Chicago and C. Mitchell Hendy of Mayer Brown LLP in Los Angeles.
U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California case number 3:19-CV-02324