Missouri Attorney General joins the fight to protect state’s pork industry

Missouri Attorney General Seal and Gavel

Missouri Attorney General Andrew Bailey announced that he joined 12 states in challenging Massachusetts’ pork ban. The amicus brief opposes the new law, Question 3, that prohibits states from selling or shipping pork through Massachusetts if they do not meet burdensome hog-housing requirements.

“I will always fight to protect Missouri farmers, and that includes the pork industry that is critical to the success of our state,” said Attorney General Bailey. “I will not stand idly by while rogue progressive activists in Massachusetts attempt to hamper the ability of Missouri farmers to raise their hogs.”

Massachusetts’ pork ban goes even further than California’s similar Proposition 12 by prohibiting the shipment of “non-compliant” pork through the state. Even if Missouri-produced pork meets all state and federal safety and quality standards, it cannot be sold in, or even transported through, Massachusetts if it does not also comply with Massachusetts’ impossible hog-housing requirements.

The new ban will cost pork producers across the country hundreds of millions of dollars, drive many pork producers out of business, and dramatically raise pork prices. This new ban also sets a dangerous precedent that would allow states to upend markets across the nation based on their political agendas.

The states note, “Massachusetts itself has few hog farmers or pork producers — most live elsewhere. That means, in effect, that the state is trying to regulate a market in which it lacks expertise and economic stake.”

In the amicus brief, the attorneys general assert that the Massachusetts pork ban violates the Constitution, including the following:

  • Dormant Commerce Clause, which gives the federal government, not state governments, the power to regulate interstate commerce;
  • Import-Export Clause, which arguably prohibits states from imposing import regulations on products brought in from other states;
  • Full Faith and Credit Clause, which requires states to respect the laws passed in other states.

Joining Attorney General Bailey in filing the amicus brief are Iowa, Louisiana, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Utah, and Wyoming.

Read the full brief here.