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Prop12 sparks federal concern - Urgent congressional action required

By Farms.com

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack underscores the urgency of addressing state animal welfare laws like California's Proposition 12 to prevent potential market disruption.  

Prop12, regulating housing standards for pigs, poses challenges to producers and risks creating a patchwork of conflicting regulations across states. Vilsack warns of the detrimental impact on the meat market if Congress fails to act promptly. 

Pork producers' express concerns over compliance costs and interstate commerce rules, fearing price volatility and market instability. House Agriculture Chairman Glenn Thompson stresses the importance of congressional intervention to effectively regulate interstate commerce amidst industry challenges. 

Vilsack acknowledges the complexity of the issue, highlighting the need to navigate the balance between federal oversight and states' rights. Despite USDA efforts to support the pork industry, challenges persist, with certain pork prices rising significantly since Prop 12's implementation. 

The USDA prioritizes strengthening local and regional farm supply chains to support smaller producers and mitigate distribution challenges. Vilsack anticipates a transitional period for farmers as they navigate market dynamics and assess participation options.


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