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Iowa Senators Strike Back Against California’s Anti-Bacon Bill

OSAGE, IA - JULY 25: Hogs are raised on the farm of Ted Fox on July 25, 2018 near Osage, Iowa. According to the Iowa Pork Producers Association, Iowa is the number one pork producing state in the U.S. and the top state for pork exports. The state sends about 50 million hogs to market each year and its pork exports totaled more than $1.1 billion in 2017. Pork producers in Iowa are bracing for the impact a trade war with China and Mexico may have on their bottom line going forward. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
• August 6, 2021 1:30 pm

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Iowa senators Joni Ernst (R.) and Chuck Grassley (R.) are pushing back against a California law that will cut off the Golden State's supply of pork and harm Iowa farmers.

The California law, Proposition 12, will ban the sale of pork from farms where a pig is raised on less than 24 square feet of space. Since only 4 percent of the nation's hog farmers abide by it, the law will eliminate 96 percent of pork suppliers from the California market. Iowa is the largest pork supplier in the nation. Ernst and Grassley on Thursday introduced a bill, the Exposing Agricultural Trade Suppression Act, that would combat California's law by preventing any state from regulating the production or distribution of agricultural products in other states and localities.

"We thought we’ve seen it all from the radical left—from defunding the police, to the Green New Deal, to trillions in new spending with skyrocketing inflation—but this takes it to a whole new level: banning bacon? No way, folks," said Ernst, a member of the Senate Agriculture Committee. "Radicals in liberal states like California shouldn’t be allowed to punish hardworking farmers and producers in Iowa, which is why I’m pushing to strip out this ridiculous law and ensure Iowans can continue selling the nation’s best pork, bacon, and eggs to Americans across the country."

More than 20 states have challenged the California law, and Iowa farmers have said complying with the legislation will cost them millions.

"Iowa has an abundance of agricultural products to offer and folks from coast to coast should be able to enjoy them," Grassley said. "I’m glad to sponsor this bill which will protect Iowa farmers and producers and allow them the freedom to operate their farms as they see fit."

The California law was passed as a ballot measure in the 2018 election and will take effect on Jan. 1, 2022. The state consumes about 15 percent of the nation's pork.

Published under: California