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California’s Proposition 12 Challenged on Constitutional Grounds

  • As our readers may know, in November 2018, California voters passed a ballot initiative known as Proposition 12, which establishes new standards for confinement of certain farm animals and bans the sale of products that do not comply with the new confinement standards. Specifically, Proposition 12 requires that all eggs sold in the state come from cage-free hens by 2022, and it also bans the sale of pork and veal in California from farm animals raised in cages that do not meet new minimum size requirements. Therefore, farmers across the country who sell eggs, veal, and pork in California will be required to comply with Proposition 12.

  • In a lawsuit filed on October 4, 2019, the North American Meat Institute (NAMI) argues that Proposition 12 impedes interstate commerce and violates the Constitution’s commerce clause by banning the sale of pork and veal imported from other States unless they comply with Proposition 12’s animal-confinement standards. “This case is about whether California can insulate its farmers from out-of-state competition and project is agricultural regulations beyond its borders…” NAMI requests the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California stop implementation and enforcement of the law and issue a declaration that these requirements are unlawful under federal law.

  • We will continue to monitor developments in this challenge to California’s Proposition 12.

© 2020 Keller and Heckman LLPNational Law Review, Volume IX, Number 282


About this Author

Keller and Heckman offers global food and drug services to its clients. Our comprehensive and extensive food and drug practice is one of the largest in the world. We promote, protect, and defend products made by the spectrum of industries regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the European Commission and Member States authorities in the European Union (EU) and similar authorities throughout the world. The products we help get to market include foods, pharmaceuticals, medical devices, veterinary products, dietary supplements, and cosmetics. In addition...