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Agricultural News


Oklahoma Attorney General Pruitt Joins Other States in Egg Lawsuit Against California

Fri, 07 Mar 2014 05:23:29 CST

Oklahoma Attorney General Pruitt Joins Other States in Egg Lawsuit Against California Attorney General Scott Pruitt on Thursday announced Oklahoma has joined a multistate lawsuit against California over a restrictive farming law that violates the Commerce Clause of the U.S. Constitution.


In 2008, California voters approved Proposition 2 which requires egg producers in that state to comply with new regulations regarding the size of housing enclosures for egg-laying hens. Some California officials predicted the law would increase the cost of production for California egg producers putting them at a competitive disadvantage. To protect California producers from out-of-state competition, California lawmakers in 2010 passed a law requiring egg-producers in other states like Oklahoma to comply with the regulations outlined in Proposition 2 in order to continue selling eggs in California.


The lawsuit asks the federal court to rule California’s legislation violates the Commerce Clause of the U.S. Constitution, which prohibits states from enacting legislation regulating conduct outside its borders or protecting its own citizens from out-of-state competition. Oklahoma joined an amended version of the lawsuit late Wednesday in federal court in California. Other states joining the lawsuit are Missouri, Alabama, Kentucky, Iowa and Nebraska.


“With this law, California is telling farmers in our state they must operate their Oklahoma farms according to California's egg-producing regulations. That places an undue burden on Oklahoma farmers and violates the spirit of the Commerce Clause of the U.S. Constitution which prohibits states from regulating business and industry outside their own borders,” General Pruitt said. “This lawsuit is about protecting the ability of Oklahoma farmers to sell their products in all 50 states without fear of other states imposing burdensome new requirements or limits.”


According to the USDA, Oklahoma produced 741 million eggs in 2012 with a value of $90.5 million.



   

 

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