Grassley: SCOTUS ruling letting CA hog rules stand will hurt farmers, consumers

By: - June 28, 2021 5:36 pm

U.S. Sen. Chuck Grassley on Monday said he’s disappointed the U.S. Supreme Court declined to review California’s ban on the sale of meat from animals that don’t meet the state’s space standards for confinements.  

It’s a big issue in Iowa, the nation’s top pork producer, where industry officials have said sales would rise sharply if California would loosen its minimum required space for breeding pigs in confinement, for example. 

In a tweet, Grassley, R-Iowa, wrote that he was “disappointed” the court rejected a petition regarding California’s Proposition 12, approved by Californians in 2018. He added that nearly all of California’s pork comes from other states. 

Grassley said Proposition 12, in his opinion, is “not based on science” and will “hurt farmers/consumers with increased cost.”


The North American Meat Institute, representing meatpackers, asked for the review. The court didn’t explain its decision to deny the petition, letting the California rules stand. 

AgriPulse reported that the institute said in a statement, “We are disappointed our petition … was denied. We will be considering other options to protect consumers and producers from Proposition 12, which will cost both millions of dollars, according to economists and the state of California’s own analysis,” meat institute spokesperson Sarah Little said in a statement.

Opponents of the petition included the Humane Society of the U.S., Health Care Without Harm, The National Council for Occupational Safety and Health, The Consumer Federation of America, and Food & Water Watch, AgriPulse reported.

Grassley said he hopes another pending case in the 9th Circuit will give the industry a chance to address its concerns.

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Perry Beeman
Perry Beeman

Perry Beeman has nearly 40 years of experience in Iowa journalism and has won national awards for environmental and business writing. He has written for The Des Moines Register and the Business Record, where he also served as managing editor. He also is former editorial director of Grinnell College. He co-authored the recently published book, "The $80 Billion Gamble," which details the lottery-rigging case of Eddie Tipton.