MEAT + POULTRY | Opposition Arises to the EATS Act

Reposted from:

February 20, 2024

In the last week, a group of food companies wrote an open letter to members of the US House and Senate committees on Agriculture urging them not to include the Ending Agricultural Trade Suppression (EATS) Act in the upcoming farm bill.

Retailers and meat processors included in the letter were ButcherBox, duBreton, Niman Ranch, Perdue Foods, Pederson’s Natural Farms and Whole Foods Market.

“If passed, the EATS Act would eliminate virtually all state and local legislative powers to impose standards or conditions on the “pre-harvest” production of agricultural products entering their own borders,” the letter stated. “This includes regulations related to food safety, disease and pest control, and government procurement. In doing so, the EATS Act would overturn California’s Proposition 12 and Massachusetts Question 3, two state laws that require farm animals to be raised without cruelty and ban the sale of pork that doesn’t comply with certain animal welfare laws.”

Later in its letter, the group argued that the EATS Act implementation could go against the Supreme Court ruling from 2023, which allowed Prop 12 to remain law in California.

“The court ruled that the state could establish its own rules on meat sold in the state, even if that means that products produced outside of the state must comply with the law,” the letter stated. “The EATS Act — if passed — would thus not only overturn voter-affirmed laws in multiple states but would also run afoul of US Supreme Court precedent.”

After the EATS Act was first proposed, several attorneys general across the country shared their support for the legislation.