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Feds, 20 states file briefs in support of Meat Institute lawsuit

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North American Meat Institute argues that Proposition 12 is unconstitutional and hurts consumers.

The federal government and 20 states filed amicus briefs in support of the North American Meat Institute lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of California's Proposition 12.

The U.S. Department of Justice filed an amicus brief in support of the Meat Institute’s petition for rehearing en banc in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.

In addition, the states of Indiana, Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Georgia, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, West Virginia, and Wyoming filed a separate amicus brief in support of the Meat Institute’s petition.

“The support from the United States government and 20 states underscores the significance of our case against Prop 12,” said Meat Institute President and CEO, Julie Anna Potts. “Prop 12 is unconstitutional and not only hurts consumers with higher prices for pork, veal and eggs, it is costly for the federal government’s programs designed to help those facing hunger, including the Emergency Food Assistance Program and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program."

According to the state of California’s own economic analysis, consumer prices are likely to increase because producers will have to spend to expand or construct new animal housing which may cost more to operate in the long term. The state acknowledges it may take several years for farmers to comply resulting in a shortfall of products and increased prices for consumers.

On Oct. 15, a three-judge panel ruled in favor of upholding California's Proposition 12,  according to the Humane Society of the United States. The proposition passed in 2018 with 63% of the vote. The Oct. 15 decision upheld a November 2019 ruling where a judge rejected a petition to stop the law from going into effect. The National Pork Producers Council is also pursuing legal challenges to Proposition 12.

Source: North American Meat Institute

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