Recently, Utah Attorney General Sean D. Reyes joined a 13-state coalition fighting for pork producers. Together with 12 other states, Iowa is opposing a new Massachusetts law banning states from selling or shipping pork through Massachusetts if they do not meet strict hog-housing requirements.
Massachusetts’ pork ban, Question 3, extends further than California’s similar Proposition 12 by prohibiting the shipment of “non-compliant” pork through the state. This means that even if Utah-produced pork meets all Utah and federal safety and quality standards, it cannot be sold in – or even transported through – Massachusetts if it does not also comply with Massachusetts’ hog-housing requirements.
The proposed ban will cost pork producers nationwide hundreds of millions of dollars, drive many pork producers out of business, and dramatically raise pork prices. It also sets a dangerous precedent that would allow states to upend markets across the nation based on their political agendas.
The Massachusetts pork ban violates the Constitution. Violations include the Commerce Clause, which gives the federal government, not state governments, the power to regulate interstate commerce; the Import-Export Clause, which prohibits states from imposing import taxes on products brought in from other states; and the Full Faith and Credit Clause, which requires states to respect the laws passed in other states.
Utah joined the Iowa-led amicus brief with the States of Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, and Wyoming.