This week the highest court in the United States announced they will be hearing a case set forward by the National Pork Producers Council and the American Farm Bureau—California’s Prop 12.

Back in 2018, California’s Proposition 12 was passed that changed the state's regulations for selling pork, eggs, and veal that were not bred in conditions that meet the state's requirements. This not only affects producers in California but producers all over the country, including Iowa.

According to an article in MSNBC, veal and egg producers nationally are optimistic they can meet these requirements, it’s the pork industry that isn’t so optimistic.

Only 4 percent of hog operations complied with the rules in 2021. This means if courts do not intervene or the state doesn’t change its rules so non-compliant meat can be sold in the state, California is in a position to lose most of its pork supply.

And where does this supply come from? A lot of the pork California eats comes from Iowa.

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According to Reuters, the pork industry is the main focus of the lawsuit. Only 0.2 percent of breeding sows come from California, however, the state consumes 13 percent of the nation’s pork through national markets.

A critical feature that is getting backlash is the clause that would require each sow to have 24 square feet each. This is larger than what many operations in the United States can offer. Not to mention, it would cost many operations millions of dollars to comply.

Back in January, a judge halted the law from taking effect. It was supposed to go into effect on January 1 but by the time that date rolled around, there were no final rules in place.

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