SEN. ROGER MARSHALL & REP. ASHLEY HINSON: Liberal Activists Want to Dictate Dinner. The EATS Act Will Stop It

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 American farmers and ranchers are under attack by radical animal rights activists backed by wealthy liberals. If it were up to them, you would never see another piece of meat on your dinner plate ever again. Not only are our farmers and ranchers under attack, but so are the conservative principles of free trade, limited government, personal liberty, and states’ rights. We look no further than the blue state of California and its laws like Proposition 12 that demand farmers and ranchers across the country bend their knees to their California pork regulations before accessing their market.

Proposition 12 changes the regulations for the production practices of pork, veal, and poultry producers and sets a dangerous standard about what’s to come and how far the blue states will go to regulate Ag-heavy, conservative states like Kansas and Iowa. They could ban beef raised on a feedlot and fed corn, impose an embargo on food not produced with more than a $20 per hour wage, and could even go as far as requiring all farmers to use battery-powered tractors and harvesters.

California is just the first; other blue states will jump at the opportunity to force regulations on American farmers and other conservative companies that will inevitably increase the cost of production while decreasing sustainability and overall animal well-being. Inherently, increased production costs will also force consumers to pay higher prices at the grocery store. Imagine a world where states ban the sale of goods from out of state companies that deny abortions in health care policies or ban the sales of goods from states that allow concealed and carry firearms, or block sales from states that didn’t mandate vaccinations. It’s a slippery slope.

However, there is hope for those who don’t want to live under radical California rule. Our legislation, the Ending Agricultural Trade Suppression Act (EATS Act), is a conservative solution that enshrines states’ rights. It would preserve state and local government’s rights to regulate agriculture within their state and ensure that the federal government will not allow blue states to force their hand on states like Kansas and Iowa and flip the script on our agriculture producers.

California has the right and will continue to have the right to impose regulations upon California farmers. However, California’s detrimental policies should not regulate farmers in Kansas or Iowa, where the states legislature has never approved such policies.

This conversation cannot be had without the reader’s understanding of how deeply farmers and ranchers care about the well-being of their livestock. Those who oppose the EATS Act unfairly point fingers at farmers. Yet, they do little to appreciate or understand the immense stewardship that is accompanied by being involved in raising livestock. Animal rights activists argue that Proposition 12 will provide opportunities for small farmers, but in reality, imposing these standards undermine our domestic production, piles on more red tape for our producers, and gives a golden ticket to foreign-owned pork packing giants.

Meanwhile, small independent pork producers may not have the money or influence necessary to meet California’s requirements. They could lose access to the California market, the 5th largest economy in the world, unless they can make substantial capital investments on their farm to adhere to California law. These investments may not pay off unless a packer is willing to pay more for their pigs, of which there is no guarantee. You don’t need to be an economist to know that’s a bad deal. Simply put, the big guy wins, and the little guy loses without the free-market protections afforded under the EATS Act.

With the Supreme Court’s recent decision to uphold Proposition 12, the urgency to pass the EATS Act has never been greater. While we were disappointed the court did not limit the reach of California’s law, we do appreciate the court called for Congress to do its job and provide legislative clarity.

As we take on the animal rights activist and the attacks by the big blue state elitists, make no mistake about who and what we are fighting for with this legislation. We are fighting for conservative principles. We are fighting for the freedom to farm. We are fighting to let consumers choose what they want with their pocketbooks, not socialist regulations. We are fighting to ensure people can afford their food at the grocery store.

American farmers and ranchers continue to supply the American consumer with safe, affordable, and reliable protein. By making the EATS Act law, the debate will shift from radical liberal states using the heavy hand of government to do their bidding, but instead, to what delicious Kansas and Iowa pork dishes are being served up for dinner tonight.

Roger Marshall serves as U.S. Senator for Kansas. Ashley Hinson represents Iowa’s 2nd Congressional District.

The views and opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author and do not reflect the official position of the Daily Caller.