One of the more controversial issues in the farm bill discussion has been the so-called King amendment.
That’s Iowa Congressman Steve King’s plan to prevent states like California from imposing their own animal welfare standards on farm goods brought in from other states.
During a news conference this week in San Antonio, Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack was asked how the USDA would implement the King amendment if it becomes law. Vilsack responded that he will probably be out of office before that happens.
“I won’t be secretary by the time you go through all the legal challenges that will occur—and there will be a lot because it’s not well-drafted,” Vilsack said. “It’s very confusing, it’s complex—there’s a lot of unintended consequences.
“There are a lot of folks who have angst—not just outside of agriculture, but also inside agriculture—and that thing is going to be challenged.”
The main focus of King’s amendment is eggs, as California prepares to implement a law that would require all eggs sold in the state to meet that state’s larger cage-size standards. Iowa is the top egg-producing state in the nation.