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

Window washer who fell from downtown San Francisco building set to leave hospital
A window washer who fell 11 stories from a downtown San Francisco building onto a moving car last month is preparing to leave the hospital for a rehabilitation facility where he hopes to walk again.

2 men indicted in California bank robbery, shootout that killed hostage, 2 other suspects
An indictment unsealed Monday charged two men with murder, kidnapping and other crimes in a violent bank robbery and shootout with police that ended with the deaths of a woman taken hostage and two other suspects.

Police: NY shooter watched protest before Garner decision but did not take part in it
The gunman who fatally shot two New York City police officers watched a protest over police-involved deaths earlier this month, but did not participate.

Prosecutors to dismiss animal cruelty charges vs 4 defendants in deaths of 21 dogs in Gilbert
Prosecutors plan to dismiss animal cruelty charges against the owners of a suburban Phoenix kennel and two other people charged in the deaths of 21 dogs this summer.

Police: Maine man strangled children, ages 8 and 10, because they saw him kill their mother
A Maine man charged with killing his girlfriend and her two young children told investigators he chased down and strangled the 10-year-old boy and 8-year-old girl because they had seen their mother's death, according to court records released Monday.

Man who shot protected hawks from his New Jersey home gets 6-hour jail term, community service
A man who repeatedly shot protected hawks from the back door of his southern New Jersey home has been ordered to serve six hours in jail and perform 60 hours of community service at a wildlife facility.

Police: NY shooter saw protest, didn't participate
The gunman who fatally shot two New York City police officers watched a protest over police-involved deaths earlier this month, but did not participate.

Ex-Delaware headmaster guilty in child porn case
The former headmaster of an elite Delaware prep school faces at least 50 years in prison after being convicted Monday of dealing in child pornography.

Steinbrenner charity, Bowdoin College offer financial aid to slain NYPD officer's sons
The children of slain New York City police officer Rafael Ramos (rah-fy-EHL' RAH'-mohs) are getting college aid from a charity founded by the late New York Yankees owner George Steinbrenner.

Police: Shopper fatally shoots teen police say may have been trying to steal athletic shoes
Police say a shopper fatally shot a 16-year-old boy in a robbery attempt outside an Ohio mall that may have been over limited-edition athletic shoes.

News at Ten Stories

Advertise with us!
IE6 Float Fix