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



JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP)
— 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
Tuesday.



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

Police say two people in custody after search connected to Michigan teen's murder
FBI agents and Michigan State Police troopers took two men into custody Wednesday after executing a search warrant relating to the death of a 14-year-old girl. 

EXCLUSIVE: Report reveals ‘disturbing trend’ of brazen attacks against border security by gangs, drug and human traffickers
A weekly report distributed by a Texas state agency to senior law enforcement officials paints a grim picture of the Mexican border.

AP Exclusive: As Florida panther rebounds, study shows ranchers lose calves to the predators
Since Florida's frontier days when cattlemen drove their herds through the state's vast fields and forests, ranchers and native panthers have been natural enemies.

Indiana man wins $1M lottery prize for second time in three months
Any search for the luckiest man in American might very well begin and end with Robert Hamilton of Indianapolis. 

Document says State embraces harsh Senate report about post-9/11 CIA interrogation practices
The State Department has endorsed the broad conclusions of a harshly critical Senate report on the CIA's interrogation and detention practices after the 9/11 attacks, a report that accuses the agency of brutally treating terror suspects and misleading Congress, according to a White House document.

Passenger killed when plane crashes in San Diego parking lot
A small plane crashed in a San Diego shopping center parking lot Wednesday, killing an 80-year-old woman who was the lone passenger and injuring the pilot, authorities said.

Labor War: Longshore union shows aggression in Washington port dispute
A labor dispute at the Port of Vancouver, Wash., that has locked out longshore union members for more than a year appears to have taken an aggressive and disturbing turn, with accusations of menacing confrontations and violent threats.   

Firefighters stop run by Yosemite fire, keep it far from reaching grove of giant sequoias
A wildfire in Yosemite National Park made a new run that firefighters quickly stopped, and containment lines have kept it from threatening some treasured trees that are among the largest and oldest living things on earth.

Suspect in fatal shooting of Minnesota police officer arrested after gun battle
A police officer in Minnesota was fatally shot Wednesday while making a traffic stop, and authorities had a suspect in custody after a gun battle hours later.

Archbishop in Minnesota says he doesn't think he mismanaged sex abuse scandal, won't resign
The head of the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis is defending his handling of a sex abuse scandal.

News at Ten Stories

Advertise with us!
IE6 Float Fix