KTIV | ‘Unintended consequences’ Harvard Law School says EATS Act could backfire on Iowa farmers

Reposted from: https://www.ktiv.com/2023/07/26/unintended-consequences-harvard-law-school-says-eats-act-could-backfire-iowa-farmers/

July 26, 2023

DES MOINES, Iowa (KCRG) – “Very real unintended consequences.” That’s what Harvard University Law School says about a bill proposed by Congresswoman Ashley Hinson. The school is sounding the alarm for her ‘EATS Act.’ The Republican from Iowa’s bill aims to stop a California law regarding spacing requirements for animals that will impact many Iowa farmers.

Representative Ashley Hinson introduced the ‘Ending Agricultural Trade Suppression, or EATS Act,’ which would prevent states from passing laws that would impose on growers in other states. But Chris Green, Executive Director of the Animal Law & Policy Program at Harvard Law School, says the Supreme Court says Proposition 12 is constitutional because it applies to producers both in-state and out-of-state.

“They’re not telling out-of-state producers what to do. They’re just saying if you want to sell into California, these are the requirements you have to make. It’d be different if they said California is saying every Iowa pork producer has to meet these certain requirements, they’re not saying that,” Green said.

Green says the law will lead to scalebacks in regulations. As many as 1000 state laws could be overturned if the act takes effect because many products don’t have federal standards, leaving it up to states to make them.

“Anybody who’s impacted can sue to have them invalidated and as long as there’s one state out of 50 that is is not having any sort of Regulation,” Green said.

Green says the law could backfire and hurt producers. For example, a pork producer in Missouri could sue Iowa over their sanitation requirements to transport live animals. If that went away, producers could see their livestock exposed to diseases.

“Even though it maybe saves them a little money not having to comply with larger cage requirements, it actually could expose them to, sort of you know, bankrupting economic losses if these protections go away,” Green said.

Green also said the bill’s broad language would likely tie it up in the courts if it ever became law.

Congresswoman Hinson wrote in a statement: “Listen to the farmers instead of the liberal elites: Prop 12 would devastate family farms in Iowa and undermine our food supply. I am proud to lead the EATS Act to stand up for Iowa farmers and producers who make nutritious, affordable proteins that families across the country enjoy and to protect interstate commerce.

Anyone who opposes this legislation has an open invitation to join me at a hog farm in Iowa to gain a better understanding of why we need to enact the EATS Act and stop the Prop 12 bacon ban. Food doesn’t grow at the grocery store.”

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