Aurora, CO – California’s Proposition 12 bans the sale of pork from hogs that don’t meet California’s new arbitrary animal housing standards, even if the pork was raised on farms outside California. Proposition 12 also imposes similar restrictions on selling certain egg and veal products. This creates an undue increased financial burden on the farm families that grow the food that feeds the world, while dismissing many critical jobs for those who are working in agriculture.
Support of this decision does not aid small family businesses. Undoubtedly, Prop 12 will drive farms out of business, with restrictions that make it impossible to support substantial and price-prohibitive changes to farming. This will result in higher food prices at the grocery store for all consumers, especially those in disenfranchised communities with already limited access to affordable protein-rich food.
This anti-trade policy will not provide farmers in Colorado with a competitive edge. California imports account for most pork consumed in excess of 15% of the nation’s supply. The actual financial burden of these regulations will primarily fall on out-of-state pork producers, including those in Colorado. The ban on the sale of out-of-state pork is a restraint of interstate commerce and a violation of the U.S. Constitution. All of these points were argued in this case, and it is disheartening to see support for non-tariff barriers to entry and market control such as this.
For Colorado’s farmers and ranchers, animal welfare and maintaining consumer access to safe, affordable food choices are top priorities. Proposition 12 will only hurt Colorado families, farmers, and animals.