EATS Act faces pushback

A bill that would prevent states from regulating interstate trade and agricultural practices is facing some pushback in Congress.

In a letter to House Ag Committee Chairman Glenn “GT” Thompson, a bipartisan group lawmakers, mostly Democrats, expressed opposition to the Ending Agricultural Trade Suppression (EATS) Act and asked that it not be included in the 2023 Farm Bill.

Republican Congresswoman Ashley Hinson of Iowa authors the bill and told reporters Thursday it would protect pork producers from California’s Proposition 12, which goes into full effect at the beginning of next year.

“The issue here the way I see it is (Prop 12) is a violation of interstate commerce rules,” she said. “That’s exactly what this bill is designed to fix.”

Supporters of the bill say the EATS Act would preserve the rights of states and local units of government to regulate agriculture within their jurisdiction.

Hinson says Prop 12 adds unnecessary costs and regulatory burdens for producers, and creates a slippery slope that puts interstate commerce at risk.

“In essence, one state’s liberal policy that’s being pushed by special interest groups could in fact override the will of producers all across the country,” Hinson said. “It would put small, family farms out of business.”

Opponents of the EATS Act say it could harm small farmers and would infringe on the fundamental rights of states to establish laws and regulations within their own borders.

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