NAEF Calls on Congress
Ken Klippen along with a NAEF supporter from Iowa is meeting with Members of the House and Senate this week (July 19-20, 2017) to discuss a variety of issues confronting egg farmers. One of those issues includes overturning those state laws that violate the U.S. Constitution commerce clause (Article 1, Section 8, clause 3) that states “Congress shall have the power to regulate commerce….” Yet California and now Massachusetts have embraced ballot initiatives that call for terminating caged layers for the eggs sold in those states. That violates what the U.S. Constitution has entrusted to Congress. Lawsuits by Attorneys General against California have not been successful due to the ruling of California courts. Efforts to have the U.S. Supreme Court weigh in have not been successful. Is it time for Congress to act to protect the powers granted them. After meeting again with farmers in the Midwest, NAEF will press for such action.
Another issue is the costly procedures of testing for Salmonella under the Egg Rule. Farmers are required to test the environments of their farms. Farmers will use up to 12 single drag swabs being cultured throughout a single building. Pooling the samples will help reduce the cost to farmers and as shown in the 2015 research article (published in Avian Diseases 59:548-553) entitled “Validation of Single and Pooled Manure Drag Swabs for the Detection of Salmonella Serovar Enteritids in Commercial Poultry Houses” by Dr. H. Kinde et.al., California Animal Health and Food Safety Laboratory System, School of Veterinary Medicine, San Bernardino, CA. This study showed there is no significant difference between the sensitivity of environmental sampling of four-swab pooled together using the National Poultry Improvement Plan culture method compared to the single swabs analyzed by FDA’s method, but the costs are significantly less.
On July 19 appointments are with IA Senator Chuck Grassley, Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee and a longtime member of the Senate Agriculture Committee. Also IA Senator Joni Ernst (also on the Senate Agriculture Committee) will meet with NAEF officials that same day. The next day, NAEF has appointments with Rep. Steve King (IA-4th) on the House Agriculture Committee and Rep. David Young (IA-3rd) and House Appropriations Committee. A request to see Ag Secretary Sonny Perdue has been made and acknowledged by the Secretary’s office, but we are awaiting confirmation.