As thousands of visitors descend on the 35th World Pork Expo grounds in Des Moines, Iowa, feelings still run rampant in the aftermath of the Proposition 12 ruling. The proposition makes it a criminal offense and civil violation to sell whole pork meat in California unless the pig is born to a sow that was housed with at least 24 square feet of space and in conditions where the sow can turn around without touching an enclosure.

Brian Humphreys, CEO of the National Pork Producers Council (NPPC), says the ruling “will send shockwaves well beyond agriculture”, as California is now imposing policies on other states with higher costs and fewer choices. California makes up about 15% of the national pork market. NPPC says there are concerns as foreign competitors have stated they’ll be able to meet the state’s new requirements, leading to potential loss of market access.

Read more on the pork industry’s response to Prop-12 and other insights from the 2023 World Pork Expo here.