EATS Act Language in House Farm Bill Threatens Consumer Protections, Farmer Opportunities, and Animal Welfare

May 23, 2024

Washington, D.C. — Earlier this week, House Agriculture Committee Chair Glenn “GT” Thompson introduced H.R. 8467, the Farm, Food, and National Security Act of 2024, which is slated for Committee markup on Thursday, May 23, 2024.

The text contains a version of the Ending Agricultural Trade Suppression (EATS) Act, which aims to strip state and local governments of their ability to make agricultural policies within their own borders — policies that create market opportunity, protect communities’ health and wellbeing, and set common-sense production standards that address animal welfare.

In response, the Defeat EATS coalition — a diverse group of 120 organizations urging Congressional opposition to the EATS Act and any bills like it, led by the ASPCA® (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®), Farm Action Fund, and NRDC (Natural Resources Defense Council) — released the following statements ahead of the House Farm Bill markup:

Farm Action Fund President Joe Maxwell, a Missouri farmer, said, “The House Agriculture Committee needs to strip the Chairman’s slimmed down version of the EATS Act or vote no on the legislative package. This language is picking winners and losers in the marketplace and unfortunately, the winners are corporations like China’s Smithfield or Brazil’s JBS. The farm bill should be about providing support to America’s farmers and ranchers.”

NRDC’s Managing Director of Food and Agriculture, Rebecca Riley said, “State and local governments protect our environment, animals, and people when the federal government fails. A Farm Bill that undermines regulation of harmful agricultural practices is a non-starter.”

Chelsea Blink, director of farm animal legislation at the ASPCA, said, “Despite the Committee’s attempt to distance the House language from the dangerous EATS Act, its effect is the same: to strip states of their right to protect animals, farmers, consumers, and rural communities. The inclusion of this language in the Farm Bill would create a race to the bottom that sentences millions of farm animals to a life of confinement in cages and crates, further disadvantages farmers who are committed to raising animals in higher-welfare systems, and disregards the will of voters across the country who want to see a more humane and just food system.”

For more information about the Defeat EATS campaign, visit the coalition website here.

Media Contacts: 
Alexander Craig, ASPCA®,
Jessica Cusworth, Farm Action Fund,
Emily Deanne, NRDC,


Founded in 1866, the ASPCA® (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®) was the first animal welfare organization to be established in North America and today serves as the nation’s leading voice for vulnerable and victimized animals. As a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit corporation with more than two million supporters nationwide, the ASPCA is committed to preventing cruelty to dogs, cats, equines, and farm animals throughout the United States. The ASPCA assists animals in need through on-the-ground disaster and cruelty interventions, behavioral rehabilitation, animal placement, legal and legislative advocacy, and the advancement of the sheltering and veterinary community through research, training, and resources. For more information, visit, and follow the ASPCA on Facebook, X, Instagram, and TikTok

Farm Action Fund is a farmer-led organization fighting corporate monopolies in agriculture. We envision a fair, sustainable, and healthy food system that empowers farmers, ranchers, and rural communities to feed their neighbors.

NRDC (Natural Resources Defense Council) is an international nonprofit environmental organization with more than 3 million members and online activists. Established in 1970, NRDC uses science, policy, law and people power to confront the climate crisis, protect public health and safeguard nature. NRDC has offices in New York City, Washington, D.C., Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, Beijing and Delhi (an office of NRDC India Pvt. Ltd).