WASHINGTON, D.C. – Will Coggin, director of research for the Center for Consumer Freedom, today issued the following statement praising five state attorneys general and the Iowa governor for appealing a federal ruling that upheld California state law AB 1437, which restricts the importation of eggs from other states:
“The two months that have passed since this law went into effect have shown it is a bad law with negative effects that stretch far beyond California’s borders. This barrier to free trade forces egg producers across the country to adopt costly new mandates for their operations, and in turn raises egg prices for consumers across the country and especially in California. Luckily, attorneys general and Governor Branstad are fighting on behalf of consumers in their states against this poorly conceived measure pushed by animal-liberation radicals at the Humane Society of the United States, who are against the consumption of eggs entirely.”
An appellants’ brief was filed yesterday in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals by Attorneys General Chris Koster (Missouri), Jon Bruning (Nebraska), Scott Pruitt (Oklahoma), Luther Strange (Alabama), Jack Conway (Kentucky) and Iowa Governor Terry Branstad.
AB 1437 is an economic protectionism bill passed in 2010, following the passage of Proposition 2 in 2008. These laws have caused egg prices in California to jump 66 percent higher than in other parts of the West, while wholesale egg prices jumped 35 percent in the lead up to its implementation. A recent report from Iowa State University found that low-income individuals will be disproportionately harmed, as they often rely on eggs as an affordable protein substitute in lieu of pricier meat-based options.
Moreover, the ruse for the laws—humane treatment of hens—isn’t so clear. According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, cage-free operations have higher rates of internal parasites and hen mortalities than traditional cage systems. Manure management may also not be as advanced in cage-free systems causing food safety issues.