clear
Wednesday December 13th, 2017 7:35PM

12 states launch new legal challenge to California egg law

By The Associated Press

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — A dozen states are banding together to ask the U.S. Supreme Court to block a California law requiring any eggs sold there to come from hens that have space to stretch out in their cages.

Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley said Monday that he plans to file a lawsuit on behalf of the states alleging California's law has cost consumers nationwide up to $350 million annually because of higher egg prices since it took effect in 2015. The lawsuit, provided to The Associated Press, argues California's requirements violate the U.S. Constitution's interstate commerce clause and are pre-empted by federal law.

A federal appeals court panel rejected similar claims last year in a separate case brought by six states, ruling that they failed to show California's law would affect more than just individual farmers. The latest lawsuit seeks to address that by citing an economic analysis of the California law. It also asks the Supreme Court to take up the case directly instead of requiring that it first move through the lower courts.

Hawley, a Republican who is running for U.S. Senate in 2018, is leading the lawsuit. Other plaintiff states are Alabama, Arkansas, Indiana, Iowa, Louisiana, Nebraska, Nevada, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Utah and Wisconsin. All have Republican attorneys general except Iowa, which has a Democrat.

The California attorney general's office did not immediately respond to a request for comment Monday.

California produced about 5 billion eggs and imported an additional 4 billion from other states in 2012, according to the lawsuit. Thirty percent of those out-of-state eggs came from Iowa, the nation's top egg producer. About 13 percent of California's egg imports came from Missouri, the second highest percentage cited in the lawsuit.

The number of eggs produced in California dropped to 3.5 billion last year despite rising nationally, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Missouri's egg production was up 60 percent since 2012 to 3.2 billion last year.

Hawley asserted in statement that California's egg law is "a clear attempt by big-government proponents to impose job-killing regulations" on other states.

California voters approved a ballot initiative in 2008 that requires that hens in cages spend most of their day in spaces large enough that they can lie down, stand up, turn around and fully extend their limbs. The measure gave farmers until 2015 to comply.

After California egg farmers raised concerns that they would be put a competitive disadvantage with those elsewhere, state legislators in 2010 expanded the law to bar the sale of eggs from any hens that weren't raised in compliance with California's standards.

The California law cites concerns about protecting people from salmonella and other illnesses. But the suing states say such health concerns are unmerited and merely a pretext for protecting California's agriculture industry.

The lawsuit cites a study from a University of Missouri economist who concluded that the national price of a dozen eggs has increased between 1.8 percent and 5.1 percent since January 2015 because of the California cage requirements. The study said the price increase has added thousands of dollars annually to states' costs for supplying eggs to prisoners.

The study also estimated that California's egg regulations have cost U.S. households up to $350 million annually, including about $97 million for those whose incomes are in the lowest one-fifth nationally.

___

Follow David A. Lieb at: http://twitter.com/DavidALieb

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP Business, AP Business - Economy, AP Business - Industries, AP Business - Agriculture, AP Business - Poultry & Egg
© Copyright 2017 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Sentencing phase begins for white ex-cop who shot black man
An attorney for a white former police officer who shot an unarmed black man to death as he fled a traffic stop in South Carolina says the officer never had any "racial animus" toward minorities
4:01PM ( 4 minutes ago )
Facebook's Sandberg warns of backlash against women
Facebook's Sheryl Sandberg is calling for systemic, lasting changes to combat workplace sexual harassment
3:59PM ( 6 minutes ago )
In wake of Weinstein, men wonder if hugging women still OK
With sexual harassment allegations being brought against some of the country's most high-profile men seemingly every day, average guys have begun to ask themselves is it still OK to hug a female colleague
3:56PM ( 10 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
Lamborghini joins the boom in supercar SUVs
Supercar makers want in on the profits in the market for SUVs, which has been growing quickly, and Lamborghini is the latest brand to unveil a high-end model
3:24PM ( 42 minutes ago )
Facebook launches parent-controlled Messenger app for kids
Facebook launches parent-controlled Messenger app for kids
3:12PM ( 54 minutes ago )
GOP senator says comments on estate tax misinterpreted
A top Republican senator is defending GOP efforts to reduce the hit to the wealthy from the federal estate tax because it helps those who invest rather than people who spend their money on "booze or women or movies."
2:27PM ( 1 hour ago )
AP Business
Congress' top 2 Dems to meet Trump on government spending
Congress' top 2 Dems to meet Trump on government spending
1:08PM ( 2 hours ago )
Greece buoyed by bailout talks but growth numbers disappoint
Eurozone finance ministers were poised Monday to approve a bailout-related plan for Greece to secure upcoming disbursements, with the end of the country's massive rescue program now just eight months away
12:41PM ( 3 hours ago )
Portugal's finance chief wins race to head eurogroup
Portuguese Finance Minister Mario Centeno has won the race to become the top official of the 19-country eurozone, the body which has been at the forefront of the single currency bloc's crisis-fighting efforts in the past few years.
12:24PM ( 3 hours ago )
AP Business - Economy
10 Things to Know for Today
Among 10 Things to Know: Trump takes to Twitter to criticize FBI, special prosecutor; Stealth jets, other aircraft fly in US, South Korean drills; CVS-Aetna deal may mean more services
5:58AM ( 10 hours ago )
Sanofi says it is cooperating with gov't on dengue vaccine
Sanofi says it is cooperating with Philippine authorities on suspended dengue vaccine
4:25AM ( 11 hours ago )
Beyond Rx? CVS Health-Aetna deal may mean more services
Drugstore giant CVS Health is buying the health insurer Aetna in order to push much deeper into customer care.
4:12AM ( 11 hours ago )
AP Business - Industries
NOT REAL NEWS: A look at what didn't happen this week
NOT REAL NEWS: A look at what didn't happen this week
11:56AM ( 3 days ago )
Street food vendors up in arms over possible EU kebab ban
A possible European Union ban of phosphates in doner kebab meat for health reasons has vendors of the popular street food up in arms
4:45AM ( 3 days ago )
New Zealand dairy giant Fonterra to pay Danone for recall
New Zealand dairy giant Fonterra ordered to pay Danone of France $125 million for recall costs stemming from a 2013 food scare
10:54PM ( 3 days ago )
AP Business - Agriculture
USDA petitioned to include poultry in humane slaughter law
Week before Thanksgiving, animal rights group asks U.S. Department of Agriculture to require more humane treatment for turkeys, chickens and ducks as they're sent to slaughter
2:45PM ( 2 weeks ago )
Kansas community fights becoming a 'chicken town' and wins
Residents used social media to organize protests to drive Tyson Foods away after it announced plans to build a chicken-processing plant in a northeastern Kansas bedroom community
6:06PM ( 1 month ago )
Technology firms and small companies lead US stocks higher
Stocks finish the third quarter by setting more records as technology companies and smaller, domestically-focused companies climb.
4:39PM ( 2 months ago )
AP Business - Poultry & Egg
Facebook's Sandberg warns of backlash against women
Facebook's Sheryl Sandberg is calling for systemic, lasting changes to combat workplace sexual harassment
3:59PM ( 7 minutes ago )
In wake of Weinstein, men wonder if hugging women still OK
With sexual harassment allegations being brought against some of the country's most high-profile men seemingly every day, average guys have begun to ask themselves is it still OK to hug a female colleague
3:56PM ( 10 minutes ago )
In shift away from austerity, euro countries pick new leader
Portuguese Finance Minister Mario Centeno has won the race to become the top official of the 19-country eurozone, the body which has been at the forefront of the single currency bloc's crisis-fighting efforts in the past few years.
3:35PM ( 30 minutes ago )
Tribal request for Dakota Access spill response plan granted
A federal judge has ordered the Army Corps of Engineers and a pipeline developer to complete an oil spill response plan for a section of the Dakota Access pipeline beneath the Missouri River in North Dakota
3:34PM ( 32 minutes ago )
The Latest: Natural resources chairman lauds Trump decision
The Republican chairman of House Natural Resources Committee is applauding President Donald Trump for reversing what he called "abuses" of the Antiquities Act by former Democratic presidents
3:34PM ( 32 minutes ago )