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Email Content: Poultry Industry News, Comments and more by Simon M. Shane

House Version of Farm Bill Includes EATS Provision


The inclusion of EATS Act provisions represents a significant difference between the House and Senate versions of the 2023, delayed Farm Bill. EATS was included by the House Committee on Agriculture but was not incorporated in the Senate Committee draft.  The EATS Act is essentially a provision that would limit or prevent individual states to enact legislation that would determine production methods to produce food shipped to and sold in a state.  The Act was indirectly suggested by the 2023 Supreme Court decision that upheld the constitutionality of California Proposition #12 and Massachusetts Question #3.  At issue is the ban on gestation crates for sows producing piglets that are grown and processed for pork sold in California and Massachusetts.


The EATS Act is essentially moot since there is adequate non-confined housing for sows in the U.S. to satisfy California and New England state requirements. Conversion from gestation crates to group housing has progressed over successive years.  Even if the EATS Act is incorporated into the eventual Farm Bill, it will have no effect on the decision of retailers and restaurant chains to source pork derived from sows held under group housing.  Inclusion of the EATS provisions in the final Farm Bill is considered to be questionable given the extensive bipartisan opposition to the practice of confining sows to gestation crates.

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