We investigate how the pandemic has wreaked havoc on meat supply chains and if this affects the price and the amount of pork available at your supermarket. Plus, the 3-day teatox to rid your bloat. And, Dr. Oz's guilt-free cookie platter.
Read the National Pork Producers Council's full responses to the show's questions below:
What is your position on California's Prop 12?
Proposition 12 violates the U.S. Constitution's Commerce Clause by imposing regulation on businesses, including farms, outside of California's borders. Despite consuming 15% of pork produced in the U.S., CA has virtually no commercial pork production. The impact of Prop 12 will be felt by farmers across the nation. The typical sow farm today provides a safe and comfortable 16-18 square feet per sow. Beginning Jan. 1, 2022, California requires all sows to have 24 feet of space. Importantly, Proposition 12 prohibits the use of breeding stalls, which allow sows to recover after delivering and nursing piglets. California's production standards were developed without the input of hog farmers, veterinarians and others with expertise in animal care, food safety and other elements of pork production. Prop 12 was driven by the Humane Society of the United States, an activist organization determined to end livestock agriculture.
What percentage of pork producers will this new law affect?
According to Rabobank, only 4 percent of U.S. hog farms would be in compliance with Prop 12 based on what we know today. See attached Rabobank report. Please note that CA was required by its own law to put forward proposed Prop 12 implementing regulations on Sept. 1, 2019. They only came forward in May of this year and many questions remain unanswered. Regulations still aren't final, so uncertainty remains across the U.S. pork industry. At a minimum, implementation of this law should be delayed at least two years. This is among the input we provided to the state of California in the attached comments. Farmers will need to make hundreds of millions of dollars in new investment to comply. Many small producers won't be able to incur these costs and will go out of business.
Will this proposition cause pork prices to rise at the consumer level, nationally?
Again, CA consumes 15% of all U.S. pork. Only four percent of hog farms comply today based on what we know. Clearly, less consumer choice and higher prices are a very real possibility.
Will this proposition cause pork shortages at the consumer level, nationally?
As noted, compliance costs will be astronomical for producers and many smaller producers won't be able to incur these costs. We're not going to speculate on shortages, but the harmful impact of Prop 12 extends to farmers, their suppliers, consumers, restaurants, grocery stores and others nationwide.