Producers Scramble to Decode Prop 12’s Muddy Language Ahead of Implementation

Producers Scramble to Decode Prop 12’s Muddy Language Ahead of Implementation

Welcome back to our miniseries on California’s upcoming Prop 12 implementation. Folks in nearly all 50 states work to prepare to meet the new animal confinement regulations, but confusing language and unprecedented obstacles for foreign trade partners muddy the water.

Put simply, because a law like Prop 12 requires tracking, California needs to hire and send off inspectors to ensure the pork coming into California is Prop 12 compliant. We’re joined again by Canadian Pork Council Executive Director Stephen Heckbert.

“We've negotiated a free trade agreement with the United States, and from our perspective, that's the trade agreement that would govern Commerce between our 2 countries, not a state regulation.”

And true to form, California leadership passed legislation restricting animal agriculture without clear instructions on implementation.

“For example, frozen products are apparently going to be exempt. So, does that mean that more frozen products will flow into California? Ground pork is exempt. Sausages are exempt, and the trade in live animals between the 2 countries is also apparently exempt according to California. This is the real challenge is that, uh, I'm not sure California has done a particularly good job of explaining to American producers or Canadian producers about what will and will not be permitted.”

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