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The Egg (and Veal and Pork) Lawsuit of 2017

Indiana is suing Massachusetts. AG Curtis Hill says they can't shut us out just because they don't like our processes.

STATE WIDE--Aren't your chickens just as good as anyone else's chickens? Maybe not, says Massachusetts. And, Indiana is suing. It actually has more to do with the way we house our chickens in the Hoosier State. If it's not to the exact requirements for housing chickens in Massachusetts, we can't sell our eggs there.

We also can't sell our veal or pork.

Indiana Atty. Gen. Curtis Hill, and the attorneys general from 12 other states, are suing Massachusetts to keep them from imposing agricultural regulations on our farmers.

The other states include Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Texas, Utah, West Virginia and Wisconsin.

The suit was filed in the U.S. Supreme Court. The Massachusetts law resulted from a 2016 referendum, which means it was the will of the people to make that law. 

“Under the U.S. Constitution, states must respect the rights and prerogatives of other states,” said Hill. “No state has the right to dictate how other states choose to regulate business operations and manufacturing processes within their own borders.”

Last week, Indiana sued California, along with 12 other states, to challenge a law requiring egg producers in all other states to comply with California’s farming regulations regarding housing of poultry in order to sell eggs there. 

Both the California and Massachusetts laws, said Hill, violate the Commerce Clause of the U.S. Constitution, which gives Congress exclusive authority to regulate commerce among and between states.

“No one disputes that individual states have every right to regulate products based on such priorities as protecting consumer health and safety,” said Hill. “But that’s a different scenario from when one state sits in judgment of another state’s manufacturing and production processes despite the lack of any discernible impact on product quality or safety. States should not erect barriers to the free flow of products from other states.”

PHOTO: Thinkstock/Wavemedia Ltd.

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