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Important Amendment Included in Farm Bill

23 July 2012, at 11:23am

US - An amendment to the Farm Bill, recently passed, is aimed to prevent barriers to the free movement of animal products between states. Citing the example of Proposition 2 in California which permits the sale of only free-range eggs in the state from 2014, Congressman King's amendment will prevent states from introducing rules on production that put the same heavy burden on producers from other states who sell their goods there.

Congressman Steve King (Republican - Iowa) achieved what he describes as a ‘legislative victory’ when an amendments he offered during the Agriculture Committee adopted the Farm Bill earlier this month. The House Agriculture Committee passed its version of the 2012 Farm Bill, H.R. 6083, the Federal Agriculture Reform and Risk Management (FARRM) Act of 2012 on 11 July.

The first amendment has important implications for animal agriculture in the US. It prohibits states from enacting laws that place onerous conditions on the means of production for agricultural goods that are sold within its own borders but are produced in other states.

The Protect Interstate Commerce Act (PICA) is aimed to prevent states entering into trade protectionism by requiring cost prohibitive production methods in other states.

Rep. King commented: “I am pleased that the Committee passed my amendment."

He explained: “PICA blocks states from requiring ‘free range’ eggs or ‘free range’ pork but covers all agriculture products listed in section 206 of the Agriculture Marketing Act of 1946.

“By 2014, California will require only ‘free range’ eggs be sold and the impact of their large market would compel producers in every other state to invest billions to meet the California standard of ‘means of production’.

“PICA will ensure that radical organisations like the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) and PETA are prohibited from establishing a patchwork of restrictive state laws aimed at slowly suffocating production agriculture out of existence,” he added.

Further Reading

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