NPPC, AFBF Heading to Court This Week to Fight California’s Prop 12 on Behalf of Producers

The National Pork Producers Council (NPPC) and the American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF) have joined together to sue the state of California over Proposition 12.

California’s voters approved Prop 12 in November 2018 as a series of animal welfare initiatives.

“It prohibits the sale of pork in California that does not meet its very prescriptive standards,” says Michael Formica, assistant vice president and general council with NPPC.

Those standards would be for states that produce pork that is shipped to California.

“Other states outside of California are going to be the ones who are losing access to a market and are going to be forced to incur millions of dollars in cost in order to try and comply with this,” says Formica. “It’s in court because California, under the Constitution, isn’t allowed to reach across the country and regulate economic activity outside of California.”

Formica says it will also impact consumers in California.

“California is a majority Hispanic/Latino and Asian state,” he says. “The Hispanic/Latino population is about 40 percent of the state’s population—the Asian population is another 15 percent. You add those two together and you’re over 55 percent. 55 percent of the consumers come from cultures where they favor pork as their protein of choice, and it’s going to disappear unless we’re able to stop Prop 12.”

Arguments scheduled for this case will begin on Wednesday with the Ninth District Court. Formica expects the courts to have a decision by mid-summer.

“We’re working as hard as we can to try and get some certainty and relief for producers, and that’s why we’re fighting this case—to put a marker down and to draw a line and stop these things from happening anymore,” he adds.

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