In a landmark case, the Supreme Court of the United States has sided with the state of California in the highly publicized Proposition 12. The ruling marks a significant loss for the pork industry. Prop 12 prohibits the sale of pork in California not produced according to California’s production standards. The controversial law was upheld on a vote of 5-4, dismissing a lawsuit filed by agricultural interests against the law on the ground that industry groups did not state a claim of damages.
California will now be able to cite criminal offenses and civil violations if whole pork meat is sold from a pig born to a sow not housed with at least 24 square feet of space and in conditions that allow the sow to turn around without touching the enclosure. The rule applies to all uncooked pork sold in the state, regardless of whether it was raised in California.
National Pork Producers Council President Scott Hays says pork producers are “very disappointed with the Supreme Court’s opinion”. Citing state overreach, agricultural interest groups say the ruling blurs the line on what states may legislate to discriminate against out-of-state interests. However, the court says that companies who choose to sell products in various states must normally comply with the laws of those various states.
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