I reported last month that Missouri’s Attorney General was planning on filing a lawsuit against California for it’s laws regarding regulation of poultry production. AG Chris Koster argued that California was violating the Commerce Clause by imposing regulations not only on their own farmers, but also out of state farmers.
It turns out, a few more states want to join in on the fun. Nebraska, Oklahoma, Alabama, Kentucky and Iowa have added their names to the lawsuit aimed at overturning the law that started out as a ballot initiative in 2008.
Now, adding more states to the lawsuit won’t necessarily help the cause, but it at least signifies how important this issue is to agriculture. It’s also a big deal because the states that joined have a large stake in this fight. According to Feed Stuffs:
The states involved represent a significant share of U.S. egg production. Iowa is the number one state in egg production, producing over 14.4 billion eggs per year. Approximately 9.1% of those eggs – 1.07 billion eggs per year – are sold in California. They export more eggs to California than any other state, with 30% of eggs imported into California are produced in Iowa.
Another 13% of California’s imports—almost 600 million—come from Missouri and comprise one third of all eggs produced in Missouri annually. The complaint cited that University of California Poultry Specialist Don Bell identifies Alabama, Nebraska, and Kentucky among the states whose eggs account for another 5.6% of total California imports.
These farmers essentially have the option to spend the millions of dollars necessary to meet California’s laws (when they don’t even live in that state!) or stop selling to one of the largest markets for eggs in the United States. That hardly seems like an option.
The next scheduled court date is June 12, 2014.
You can read the full Complaint here.