National Association of Egg Farmers Urge Attorneys General to Support MO Lawsuit Against California Egg Bill
The National Association of Egg Farmers has been involved in encouraging Attorneys General from a number of states in support of the MO AG’s lawsuit against the California egg law, and we are pleased to note that 5 states have joined in; Iowa Governor Terry Branstad (R); Nebraska AG John Bruning (R); Oklahoma AG Scott Pruitt (R); Kentucky AG Jack Conway (D) and Alabama AG Luther Strange (R). But the effort continues. While NAEF has been encouraging Minnesota’s AG Lori Swanson to file an amicus brief, a group of egg farmers have recently met with Minnesota’s Agriculture Commissioner Dave Fredrickson to solicit his support in encouraging the Minnesota AG Lori Swanson (D). In addition, NAEF has reached out to Texas AG Greg Abbott (R); South Dakota AG Marty Jackley (R); Utah AG Sean Reyes (R); Montana AG Tim Fox; (D) and Idaho AG Lawrence Wasden (R).
California has passed a law on eggs sold in the state claiming rights to set up production standards to block agricultural products competing with their state produce. Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster filed a lawsuit in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of California arguing that a California farming law violates the Commerce Clause of the United States Constitution and encroaches on Missouri sovereignty. In 2008, California voters approved Proposition 2, a ballot initiative that prohibits California farmers from employing a number of agricultural production methods currently in widespread use throughout the country. Beginning in 2015, for example, California egg producers are required to comply with new regulations concerning the size of the enclosures housing egg-laying hens. Even before the initiative passed, California farmers, economists, and legislators expressed concern that Proposition 2 would put their state's egg producers at a competitive disadvantage by increasing the cost of egg production within California. To protect that state's farmers from out-of-state competition, in 2010 the California State Assembly passed new legislation (AB1437) requiring egg producers in other states to comply with Proposition 2 themselves in order to continue selling their eggs in California. The MO AG is asking the federal court to rule that California's legislation violates the Commerce Clause of the United States Constitution. The Commerce Clause prohibits any state from enacting legislation that regulates conduct wholly outside its borders, protects its own citizens from out-of-state competition, or places undue burdens on interstate commerce. We are hopeful you would consider filing an amicus brief in support of the MO lawsuit.