WSMH FOX 66 on Facebook WSMH FOX 66 Twitter WSMH FOX 66 RSS Feed WSMH FOX 66 Mailing List

FOX 66 News at Ten

WSMH FOX 66 :: News - News at Ten - California egg law gets a legal challenge from Missouri's attorney general
California egg law gets a legal challenge from Missouri's attorney general

— Missouri's attorney general has asked a federal court to strike down a
California law regulating the living conditions of chickens, setting up a
cross-country battle that pits new animal protections against the economic
interests of Midwestern farmers.

The lawsuit by Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster takes aim at a California
law set to take effect in 2015 that prohibits eggs from being sold there if
they come from hens raised in cages that don't comply with California's new
size and space requirements.

Koster said Tuesday that the California law infringes on the interstate
commerce protections of the U.S. Constitution by effectively imposing new
requirements on out-of-state farmers.

"If California legislators are permitted to mandate the size of chicken
coops on Missouri farms, they may just as easily demand that Missouri soybeans
be harvested by hand or that Missouri corn be transported by solar-powered
trucks," Koster said.

Missouri's lawsuit was filed Monday in U.S. District Court in Fresno, Calif.

California Attorney General Kamala Harris declined to comment on the suit

But the Humane Society of the United States, which campaigned for the ballot
initiative, said in a statement that states have the right to pass laws that
protect the health and safety of their residents. Jennifer Fearing, the group's
senior state director for California, said eggs produced from hens in
"battery cages" have a higher risk of salmonella contamination.

"Attorney General Koster's lawsuit targeting California's laws, filed just
to curry favor with big agribusiness, threatens state laws across the country
dealing with agriculture and food safety," she said.

California voters approved a ballot initiative in 2008 that required egg-laying
hens, pigs and calves to be raised with enough space to allow the animals to
lie down, stand up, turn around and fully extend their limbs. The measure gave
farmers until 2015 to comply with the provisions.

After voters approved the initiative, concerns were raised that the measure
would put California egg farmers at a competitive disadvantage with
counterparts in other states.

In 2010, California legislators expanded the law to ban in that state the sale
of eggs from any hens that were not raised in compliance with California's
animal care standards. The California law cites concerns about protecting
people from salmonella and other illnesses.

But the Missouri lawsuit said the real intent was to protect California farmers
from being put at a disadvantage with their counterparts in other states.

U.S. Rep. Jared Huffman, a California Democrat who wrote the legislation when
he was in the state Legislature, also declined to comment Tuesday.

Missouri farmers produce about 1.7 billion eggs annually and sell about one-third
of those — about 540 million eggs — in California, according to Koster's
lawsuit. He said that makes Missouri the second-largest egg exporter to
California, behind only Iowa.

Many of Missouri's hens are raised in tight cages that won't meet California's
new standards. Koster said Missouri farmers would have to spend about $120
million to remodel their cages or forgo sales to one of their most important
markets, which could force some Missouri egg producers out of business.

Farm Sanctuary, an animal rescue and protection group based in Watkins Glen,
N.Y., was among the organizations that helped fund the campaign for the
California ballot initiative.

"It's a real embarrassment for the state of Missouri that Mr. Koster would
defend a practice that is horribly abusive of animals with a legal theory that
is tilting at windmills," said Bruce Friedrich, a senior policy director
at Farm Sanctuary.

Missouri Farm Bureau President Blake Hurst praised the lawsuit as an important
legal challenge. He said the California law, if upheld, could set a precedent
in which the biggest states can effectively set agricultural policies for all
the states.

"A pretty good tradition in this country that's worked pretty well is that
we have free trade among the states, and we would not want to see that
changed," Hurst said.


Source: Associated Press  

California egg law gets a legal challenge from Missouri's attorney general

Thursday, February 6 2014, 10:36 AM EST

National News Headlines

5 Tips for Developing a Winning Employee Incentive System
Paying out bonuses and offering stock options can benefit your company, but only if you prepare properly.

The Delegation Dilemma: How Do You Know When It's Time?
Are you guilty of 'self-enhancement bias'?

Small airplane lands on Idaho interstate during rush hour
A small plane with a single engine that stopped working made a belly landing on a major interstate through Boise at the start of rush-hour traffic Tuesday.

What Your Small Business Can Learn From 60 Years of Disneyland
Despite so many societal changes, the founding principles of Disney's first park endure.

How This Famous Behavioral Economist Is Trying to Help People Solve Their Most Common Money Problems
Financial savings startup Qapital just named Duke psychology professor Dan Ariely its chief behavioral economist. Here's how he plans to help the company change users' spending and saving habits.

4 Places to Find Job Candidates You Probably Never Considered
With new trends in recruiting and changes in the workplace, there are new pools of talent to explore.

Church gives pizza driver $1,000 tip from collection plate
An Ohio church congregation ordered a pizza from Domino's during a service, then tipped the driver more than $1,000 that had been collected for the offering.

Fashion Victim: Snapchat Founder Evan Spiegel Mugs in Bizarre Photoshoot for Italian Vogue
Here's what not to do when you're a 25-year-old billionaire.

Know When and How to Sell Your Business
Experts say selling a business takes just as much thought and effort as starting it.

Shell drill vessels leave Arctic after oil exploration ends
Vessels used by Royal Dutch Shell PLC to drill for oil off Alaska have safely departed Arctic waters.

News at Ten Stories

Advertise with us!
IE6 Float Fix